Lighted 3D Scanner Cabinet for Under $50




Introduction: Lighted 3D Scanner Cabinet for Under $50

Build a lighted 3D Scanner cabinet to improve 3D captures using handheld devices with apps such as Autodesk's 123 Catch.

This design attempts to improve the image capture while using scanning software that requires you to move the camera around the subject. Apps such as 123 Catch need you to make multiple, incremental passes around the subject at different heights.

We'll build a 12"x12" lighted cabinet that rotates around a stationary post.

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Step 1: Materials

I purchased what I didn't have lying around the house at Michael's Crafts and Home Depot

Foam core (enough to make):

  • 6 panels - 12x12”
  • 2 panels - 12”x4”


  • 1 - .375”x8”


  • 1 - .75”x.375” inner diameter
  • 1 - .5”x.375” inner diameter


  • 1 - 8”x8” base


  • Glue.
  • Lights
  • Construction paper
  • White spray paint

Step 2: Build the Base

For the baseplate I used an 8 inch wooden craft clock body that came with a .375" hole drilled in the center.

Trim the dowel to a length of 8 inches and glue it into the hole in the middle of the base.

Spray paint the entire base white and let dry.

Step 3: Cut the Cabinet Panels

Cut 2 foam core panels 12"x12" for the top and bottom of the cabinet.

Cut 4 foam core panels for the four sides of the cabinet.
You'll make two of these panels 12"x12" and the other two 12"X11.625" to allow for the thickness of the foam core.

On the bottom panel determine the center point and make a .375" hole.

Cut three holes in the front panel, evenly spaced vertically and offset horizontally so that the camera lens of your device will align with the center of the cabinet.

Glue the four side panels to the bottom panel. Gorilla Super Glue Gel works great.

Step 4: Make the Bushings

This design uses a support bushing (glued to the bottom of the bottom panel) and a height adjustment bushing with a set screw that allows vertical adjustment of the cabinet on the center post to accommodate different sizes of subject matter.

I utilized a 3D printer to make the bushings.
You could make them from plastic tubing with foam core buttresses.

Step 5: Add the Lights

I bought a couple of "Tap" led lights at Home Depot.

Cut two panels of foam core 4 inches wide by 12 inches tall. Glue these panels inside the left and right front corners of the cabinets at a 45˚ angle. You'll have to "notch" one of them around the holes for your camera.

Attach the lights to these angled panels inside the cabinet (mine came with adhesive backs). Center them vertically.

Step 6: Add the "Sweep"

Cut construction paper to the proper size to tuck behind each light panel and sweep around the sides and back inside of the cabinet.

The idea here is to eliminate the rear corner lines in your photos.

You can also change the color of the construction paper sweep to a color that gives you the best definition from your subject.

Step 7: Finish the Lid

I added some small foam core blocks to help align the lid.

Step 8: Give It a Whirl!

Remove the lid.

Install your subject matter (figurine, etc.)
Depending on your subject you can use putty or make a hole in a small foam core base with double sided tape on top of the center post.

Using the bushing with the set screw adjust the height of the cabinet so that the model is centered vertically in the cabinet.

Push your camera, phone, etc. into the desired hole and take the first picture.

Rotate the entire cabinet around the center post as desired and take the next picture.

Repeat as necessary.

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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Very nicely done. I don't quite understand how you use it to scan. I can see from the video that the box spins around the subject, but how is that used for 3D scanning escapes me.


    5 years ago

    Looks very nice. Good isolation of light sources.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice. I love homemade jigs like this. Great project!