DIY High-Speed Book Scanner from Trash and Cheap Cameras

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Step 79: Run Page Builder.

Picture of Run Page Builder.
Run Page Builder by clicking on "PgBldr.exe".

Watch this tutorial video to understand the interface conventions. Page Builder is highly effective software, but the efficiency is largely due to the special user interface. Watch this video before coming to us with problems about the software.

Just one more quick note: We're currently deciding how best to handle covers and stuff. If you run into a page order issue, just put your front cover image in the right folder.

Credit where credit is due: Though this is "my" project, it could not have been completed without Aaron (software), Noah (editing, camerawork, and more), and Lyle (electronics). It also saw benefit from advice from people like Nate H. Developing not only the book scanner, but the instructable really pushed the level of documentation I'm used to producing. At this point in time, I have as many hours into making this instructable clean and complete than I have in making the second book scanner. Seeing the 79th step come together, I can say it was worth it. And the book scanners are some of the most complex and enjoyable things I've built in a while.

That's it. I hope you build yourself a book scanner, and I hope that you enjoy more books because of it. If you appreciate the effort that went into this, please give us your vote. All four of us have some great ideas for the laser cutter, and you can bet if we win, they'll show up here. Thanks.
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clapfilk16 days ago


Thats fabulous



Thats incredible

Its impressive

Mariska Botha7 months ago
BunnyRoger7 months ago
Very cool and interesting, Thank you.
Very cool!!
nice one
paqrat3 years ago
Truly awesome instructable. Might I suggest a video of it in operation?
russca4 years ago
Here is an example of a commercial set-up with a page-flipping robotic arm:
eos10d4 years ago
Really cool project. I am too lazy to go thought all the trouble so my setup consists of a one camera setup. First I take pics of all ODD PAGES and then all EVEN PAGES. To take pictures, my camera is connected to the computer via USB and I use my computer to control the camera and take pictures. This setup eliminates the use of building any electronics specifically for this project. I can use a file renaming software to rename all odd pages as 001a.jpg, 002a.jpg, 003a.jpg, etc. Then the even pages as 001b.jpg, 002b.jpg, 003b.jpg, etc. Now just use a pdf builder to build pdf pages from jpg pages...... FINISHED
petrino4 years ago
while i admite what youre doing i cant build one, as i dont have many books... and the only books i have i already have on ebooks... but i will refer your design to anyone who has to many books and not enough room for them. and then they will actually be able to not only read them but share them.
mohammedp4 years ago
Hy Great Job, I am going to make one
daniel_reetz (author)  mohammedp4 years ago
Cool! Join us at
whurd4 years ago
Very nice manual scanner. Here is an automatic page turning one.
robotguy45 years ago
Idea about the cover and page order problem: Put the cover in the right folder and put a file that talks about who scanned it and using what and where with maybe a logo (For some shameless self promotion!) in the left folder. The way you would do this with this version would probably to Photoshop a blank page and copy it as your "shameless self-promotion" page. Then, as for the back cover, maybe include some extra information, and maybe a picture of the spine. I dunno... I don't think thats as much of a problem... Another thing that would be neat is if you could "de-digitize" the book. Or, make a new physical copy for your self (not for sale or distribution) using this system.
daniel_reetz (author)  robotguy45 years ago
Hmm, I like your ideas. It would be cool to handle that in the software, too. Like you could automatically generate a page crediting the scanner right in Page Builder. For some books, de-digitizing might be as easy as sending the PDF to or similar services. That could be really great to make like mini family photo albums or other 1-off books that don't have copyright issues.
Yep. And as a default have the information set to your credits, your website and this Instructable! (or you could put in some fine print somewhere...)
nlcong5 years ago
Thanks, I voted +1
daniel_reetz (author)  TNEN5 years ago
Thank you!
volto5 years ago
Nice setup. It would be 1337 to incorporate some robotics to make it fully automated. I think has something like this, but I can't seem to find my source for that information. Anyway thanks for sharing this. I might build one similar, and if I do, I'll be sure to post an instructable.
daniel_reetz (author)  volto5 years ago
Actually, the one is manual, but I totally agree, automating the thing would be great. It just adds so much to the cost, and makes it hard for anyone to build.

Nothing would be cooler than seeing another similar book scanner on Instructables. I was totally jazzed to see the bkrpr project in the comments. I think we could come up with some killer variations on this thing.

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