Introduction: Quick Start Guide: Makerbot Digitizer

Picture of Quick Start Guide: Makerbot Digitizer

For this tutorial you will need:

- a Makerbot Digitizer

- USB cable

- MakerWare for Digitizer software

- computer

- scannable object (not shiny or see through)

Step 1: Connect the Digitizer to Your Computer

Picture of Connect the Digitizer to Your Computer

Yes, you will need to be plugged in for the entire process. Don't worry it won't take as long as printing!

Use the USB plug to connect the computer to the device and then flip the switch on the back of the Digitizer.

Open MakerWare for Digitizer (which should have been downloaded with the MakerDesktop software)

The software will walk you through the setup.

You will be asked to make a Thingiverse account to save your scans. Make sure that you don't have the "auto upload to thingiverse" option on if you are planning on keeping your scans a secret.

Step 2: Calibrate Your Camera

Picture of Calibrate Your Camera

To make sure that your scan is accurate you will have to calibrate the camera.

(New Inc.ers not to worry. I have already calibrated our machine. Only do this step if you suspect the calibration is off or for troubleshooting.)

This is something you should do when you first open the machine or after moving it as things may become knocked out of alignment in transit.

Place the checkerboard calibration tool in the center of the turntable. Make sure side A is up and the tab is in the hole on the turn table. The checkerboard should be facing the camera which is located under the red "M".

The turntable will spin around scanning the calibration device. This will take a few minutes.

The software will let you know when the process is complete.

Step 3: Calibrate the Turntable and Lasers

Picture of Calibrate the Turntable and Lasers

To make sure that your scan is accurate you will also have to calibrate the turntable and lasers.

(New Inc.ers not to worry. I have already calibrated our machine. Only do this step if you suspect the calibration is off or for troubleshooting.)

This is something you should do when you first open the machine or after moving it as things may become knocked out of alignment in transit.

Place the checkerboard calibration tool in the center of the turntable. Make sure side B is up and the tab is in the hole on the turn table. The checkerboard should be facing away from the camera.

When you look at the calibration tool from the top the lasers should be lined up with the edges as seen in the image.

If they do not line up use the hex wrench to adjust them.

The turntable will spin around scanning the calibration device. This will take a few minutes.

The software will let you know when the process is complete.

Step 4: Your First Scan!

Picture of Your First Scan!

Place your object in the middle of the build platform.

Start a New Scan on the digitizer software.

Choose the shade of your object.

Move out of view and press START SCAN.

The platform will slowly rotate and you will be able to see the lasers passing over the object.

As the object is scanned you will be able to see the object taking shape on your screen.

When the scan is complete you can decide to:

-Do a multiscan

-save the file to your computer

-share the file on Thingiverse

-print now!

Step 5: Do a Multiscan!

Picture of Do a Multiscan!

A multiscan will scan your object from a different angle and combine two scans into one object. The more info the better the scan.

Step 6: Share/Print/Save

Picture of Share/Print/Save

When the scan is complete you can take a photo of the object. If you don't want it to be red (like my image) you can slide the filter to the side and reveal the camera.

This scan and photo can be uploaded to Thingiverse for personal or public use.

You can also choose the Print Now option and it will open the file in MakerDesktop Print software.

Last but not least you can simply save the file to your computer and open it in MakerDesktop another time.

Comments

JodyCochran (author)2016-01-15

Hi Ashley, do you think this scan came out better than the skanect process? I know it is for a smaller more controlled scan, just curious on the model quality. Thanks!

seamster (author)2014-10-27

Great tutorial on how to use the makerbot digitizer. Thanks!

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Bio: This work is not for us. It is for the future. And robots. That is, each of these pieces takes for granted that computers will ... More »
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