David 3D Scanner ...Or Not.





Introduction: David 3D Scanner ...Or Not.

Here's how you can get to make some .obj files out of real life objects.

What you need:

-An 8$ Laser Edge form any Hardware Store;
-The David scanner program, from
David 3D Scanner

Or, since David is generating a lot of complaints from the Readers of this Instructable, use one of these 5:


-.Net Framework add-on from Microsoft, if you don't have it installed already;
.Net Framework
-A webcam;
-Some printed patterns
-And stuff you'll find around you house, like Styrofoam boards, and UHU Por to glue it, for
If you don't like to change the Edge's batteries all the time, better add a Tranformer with 3V
output, a common Mono plug, and some soldering work, too.
For an easy scan, and good results, you better have an Airbrush around, to cover the
objects with a wash-away layer of white paint, common Gouache will do fine.

Baby powder is said to give good results on stuff you don't want to paint.

This other Instructable shows you how to make a neat laserline, so have a look at it, too:


Step 1: Download

Right, you better start with the program, download it from http://www.cs.tubs.de/rob/david.htm , click on the links on the intro, comes with a complete manual, just double-click on the program, or click Help anytime.´

And, if you're not into recieving Window's updates by
the Net, download the .Net Framework add-on from
Microsoft, first.

Step 2: Frame Thang

Then you're off to make a square angled thing where to place the prints you make from the

Calibpoints_Scale60_DIN_A3.pdf or

I went and done a hap-hazzard contraption from a couple of straight
Styrofoam boards I had, and glued a cut Kodak envelope onto it, AFTER I cut and glued the A4 page into it.

See, you can make an half-decent right-angled frame, even if you're a lazy slob!

Step 3: Cardboard Gluin' Fool

Get some cardboard, you're in business!
Of course, for an A3 thing, you need to do things a little mode decent!
Maybe Acrilic glass, so there's no excuse for crappy scans!

Step 4: Dismantling Stuff! Yeah!

Then I disassembled the Laser Edge, after getting annoyed with changing batteries, got a Mono plug from junk I keep, wired it to the Red and Black wires, and it's now only a question of pluging the thing to a Multi-Voltage Power Supply, and presto!

Allways bright laser light!

Step 5: Re-assembled

Here's the Laser edge assembled, with a few holes on it, too!
After the shot, I added a lateral slot for the thing to stand upright.

Step 6: A Lenzzz!

The egde's lens was bloody useless for 3D scanning, so, after a few other attempts, I settled for an old eyedrop filled with water and sealed with the last failed attempt, a BIC ballpoint pen's transparent body, it's plastic melt away to seal the eyedrop, first sealed at the tip, then fill it with water, then seal the top.

Used the re-usable adherent stuff that comes with the Edge, to fix the eyedrop into the Edge, too.

Here you can see it, cheaper than looking for a
glass rod, I suppose!

Step 7: Scan It!

You got it all, so on to the first scan, mine were complete garbadge, either the objects had dark colours or a shiny surface, or the laser batteries loosed their juice, so I went and done the power plug, and picked a completely dull piece of Roofmate, and scanned it, perfection, for what it's worth, so here's the thing,
then here's the obj file it gave:

Step 8: Obelix, Where Are You?

A dull example; let's see Buzz Lightyear instead, see next step:

Step 9: Buzz Lightyear!

Here's Buzz Lightyear, too much colours, so I've airbrushed white paint on it, see next step

Step 10: Plaster! or Is It?

...and it looks like
plaster, now.

Step 11: Well....Humm...

As you can see, close
but no cigar!
Looks like I've wrapped the thing on Aluminum foil, or the impact marks of Buzz smashing into a metal wall!

Either the webcam's junk, or I'm doing soemething wrong, but as far as showing the program works, it does, so next thing I'll make
the A3 version, and see if that changes anything.

Remember, my webcam's a crappy old Mustek 300 A, so if you've got something better, and a PC to handle it, go for it!



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    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.



    Hello. I don't know if you can help me or not but I am desparate so here we go.
    I'm using david 4, 3d scanner. I'm using the image grabber function. I take pictures of the 48 projected patterns on the calibration panel and let david use them instead of the live view. Apparently it should work perfectly but I get very low scanning quality. The scanned image of the calibration board is missing large parts and has a very bad quality. What am I doing wrong here? I have attached a picture.
    Thank you



    Well, I got here late and it's a mixed bag now. I'm happy he made it big with the HP deal and all, but now everything is stupid expensive. Oh, no not as bad as other products in this category costing as much as a new car (no, for real like $30K for hardware AND software...EACH), but still more than I can tolerate. I have said for years that software companies need to market individual licenses of their madly expensive products. I don't even begrudge the high cost for corporate licenses as I understand the point of the business making millions using the product.....however, I'm not, and only need it as a hobby. Same goes for Autodesk and their products who started all this thousand dollar onion layer BS.

    6 replies

    This is an old version of the program, here


    Instructions say to buy a pro license, how much is that prey tell?

    I'm editing this, but for now, here's 5 alternatives:


    Cool, thanks for the link will have to check that out. What about software?

    Check the link.

    Just use one of these 5:


    The free version isn't

    Not the free version.

    Hello, can somebody give me an advice which laser should i buy? I cant find proper laser pointer for this david scanning. I want to buy laser from ebay.... some cheap device

    3 replies

    I believe the best is to go for the David's own:

    i was looking for something cheaper. this one costs on amazon 480EUR

    Then, go for a regular laser pointer, or laser level, and add a cylindrical glass rod on the front of the laser, so as to spread the laser sideways.

    Just downloaded the software and installed on my EeePC (Windows 7) with integrated camera. After starting the program I don't see any possibility to choose the camera. I also see no camera image / preview. Any hints?

    MODIS image of the day

    4 replies

    Windows 7? Never went beyond XP, who needs flying windows on 3D?...
    Must be the integrated camera part, try it with some plug-in webcam, if it still won't work, send a message to the Guys at David, they are nice fellows, and will find a way.

    Uuuuhhh... This is a somewhat embarassing... I found out how to choose the camera. I'll start calibration soom. Anyway, thank you very much!

    MODIS image of the day

    Almost as bad as me. I had a 'broken' Hall light. Changed the bulb for a new one. Nothing. Electrician arrives, replaces the bulb. Works perfectly.

    Dammit! :)

    Ok :)

    i want a matlab code 4 David 3D laser scanner please..