Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Yet another shameless copy

Once I get one project running I tend to focus not on creating a polished version of it but on the next project to do. This time I am planning to build a 3D scanner for body parts (i.e. hands, arms, head) so I can create a polygonal version of them like an sculpture. The good news is that it's been done many times before: like this one, or this other. Some people even took the time to create an open source project to develop the software for such a homemade 3D scanner.

As I am yet in the early stage of the project I can only tell you that a line laser and a webcam (or photo or camcorder) are needed. The line laser is a laser that creates a line shape instead of a single spot. The cheapest alternative if you do not have one is to buy one of these straight line levels. Alternatively you can create a line laser from a laser pointer by inserting a cylindrical lens on the laser beam (any solid cylinder shape of plastic or glass can work here).

Once you have the laser line you also need a rotating or shifting table so the object is scanned on different slices. A photo of each is taken and a 3D model is built afterwards.

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