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laser measuring of atrifiact? Answered

I have a friend that needs to make a duplicate of a fragile archeological artifact for further examination.
He only needs the face, a single surface, measured and duplicated.

I thought of a two technologies project.

First a 3D measuring of the surface
then a 3D printing of the results.

Have we done such a project?



Best Answer 5 years ago

It won't be as accurate as a dedicated scanner, but with some practice and an iPhone (android as well?) you can use an app called 123d catch (free) + a free autocad account (it prompts you to create one if you don't have it) to process photos into a 3d model. You can then log into the autocad site and download the model in a variety of formats. Companies like shapeways can print it for you, though you may have to clean up the model first.

1 watch the in app tutorial
2 light the object well
3 put it on something with a pattern (app uses the 'floor pattern' and walls to generate depth data.)
4 circle the object in one direction, doing a loop at ground level, then a higher, and higher loop, taking pictures as you circle
4.5 get close to the object, but not so close that you chop bits of it off
5 take as many photos as it will let you, taking more photos in smaller arcs of complex surfaces
6 do it several times. The difference between my 5th capture and my 1st we stunning

It is not as accurate as a dedicated scanning rig, but it has the twin advantages of possibly being something you can do now and for free.

No affiliation, but with some practice, I've gotten surprisingly good results. Then sending it to a friend in another state and having him print it was a very very cool geeky moment.

Best of luck.

+1, Count one more for giving this approach a shot as it is, relatively, very cheap.


Just what I was going to suggest.

(Beware, it does not cope well with very shiny or very plain surfaces.)

Thanks guys.
Lots of leads.
I should be able to get him pointed in the right direction.

1) It is an early Indian rock carving

2) It is in central Illinois (maybe Ohio)

3) About the size of a mans fist

4) I don't know. I haven't seen it. From experiece with others I would guess no mor that 1/4 inch depth across a 3x5 inch max area.

That sounds like a perfect candidate for 123D Catch.

(See other comments)

(It's best to use the "Reply" button - Jayefuu won't know you answered his questions otherwise.)

Look at "DAVID scanner" for a great way to do this.

A researcher I share my lab with is doing research around structured light scanning. Pretty interesting stuff.

The original scanning methojd, with a special "corner" and a line laser was a fiddly, but worked really well on small stuff. I haven't tried the projected structured light method yet.

A couple of questions:
1) What is the artifact
2) Where in the world are you?
3) What size is the artifact?
4) What size features does it have? The shape and size of the object might affect what method you can use.