123D Catch Photos Made Easy



Introduction: 123D Catch Photos Made Easy

You can spend a hundred bucks buying a specialty stand to take 3D capture photos, or make one for yourself with inexpensive household items. For under $20 you can have a setup designed to make taking 360 degree photos of practically anything easy as pie. Using this instructable with a camera on a stand you can take all the photos you need to accurately generate a model in programs like 123D Catch. In the following steps you'll see how to turn a lazy susan into the perfect 3D scanning turn table.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies


  • Utility Knife
  • Pencil
  • Ruler/Straightedge
  • Compass
  • Permanent Marker


  • Lazy Susan
  • Newspaper - that is mostly text, no color photos
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Poster board

Step 2: Marking the Degrees

Using your straightedge mark a line straight across the top of the lazy susan and measure the halfway point and mark it. In my case it was just under 7 inches. Once you have that point, center your compass on it and mark 90 and 180 degrees. Use your straightedge to trace that line into an "X".

That will be your zero degree starting point. Put the compass back in place and trace a circle around it, so you can keep the compass always in the same place if it would happen to shift. You can use any degree placement you choose,as long as it is an even division of 360, but for me 10 degrees is what I chose. Starting at your zero point mark your degree delineation all the way around on the circle. These will be the lines used to mark out to the edges.

Step 3: Marking to the Edge

Now that you have your dashes in place you can use your straight edge to mark the lines all the way to the outer edge of the lazy susan, as shown. Once you have all of your lines drawn continue around the edge of the top, as shown. This is so you can still see your degrees of rotation after we cover the top with newspaper in the next step.

Step 4: Applying Orientation Pattern

123D and other similar programs need a pattern that they can use to orientate the pictures correctly in the final 3D model. Newspaper seems to be the go to choice for clean, distinguishable patterns. I ripped my news paper into 4ths, just to make it easier to apply. To attach the newspaper, spray the top of the lazy susan with spray adhesive and lay down the sheets of paper to cover the whole top. Reapply thin coats of spray adhesive as needed to make sure all the edges are down. Smooth down the air bubbles making sure you have a nice surface finish free of wrinkles or bubbles. Leave to dry overnight.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Just to make the marks easier to see and line up, I colored in every other block with a blue permanent marker. Then to give myself a consistent point to always stay lined up for each picture, I folded a piece of poster board in half and drew a line in the middle. You can also put an "X" across the top of the newspaper to make placing your object in the center a little easier.

To use your new capture station, set up a camera on a tripod for a straight on side shot, a 45 down angle shot, and then a final shot straight down on top. Line your line and an edge of the degrees markings up and take one picture per rotation. Like the last four photos of this tutorial. Not only can you use this to take still pictures, but it can also be used to take video captures as well.

I hope you've found this tutorial, if you have please vote for me in the 3D printing contest. If I would happen to place, anything I would win will be donated to my local Boys and Girls Club to help grow their new 3D Printing Club.

3D Printing Contest 2016

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3D Printing Contest 2016

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