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This video shows you how you can make a simple 3D scanner using a webcam, laser pointer and some free software.
Tags:How to make a 3D scanner,Build your own 3D scanner,DIY 3D Scanner,How to build a 3D scanner,tinkernut
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Male Speaker: Scanners have been around for a while and they allow us to scan photos and documents in a digital version that are lot less susceptible to damage over time, but what if you want to digitize the memories of some things that wasn't 3D. Well, in this video I'm going to show you one possible method of scanning 3D objects and saving them to your computer.
In order to do this project you are going to need a few tools first. You'll need computer, printer and a webcam that dwells on white foam board. And the size of the foam board depends on the size of the object that you wanting to scan. Lastly you'll need a laser that shines in line instead of a point. If you don't have one you'll need to order one on line or you can take a regular laser pointer and shine it to the stem of a wine glass.
Now we need to download some free software found at this website, just click on downloads from the menu and select the newest version of the software to download. And go ahead and download and install it on the computer that you want to use that as a scanner. If you go to the start program David-laserscanner folder you'll see a folder called printout you'll see the scales 30, 60, and 100 PDF files. The scale you choose depends on the size of the object that you want to scan with 30 DIN for objects around four inches and 100 DIN for objects closer to a foot. You want to print the A4 version of the file because A4 is a standard paper size and once it's printed cut it along the designated line.
Now on the backside of the foam board draw a line down the middle and score it with a knife. This will create a hinge like effect for the white side. Take the markers on either side of folds so they are perfectly lined up when the foam board is folded. You want to minimize the visibility of the any creases or gaps between the papers. Next fold the foam board to a 90 degree angle and to ensure that the angle is correct use some thing has a 90 degree corner like a small book or a box.
Then set your web camera on in front of it and run the DAVID-Laserscanner Software. Now click next, select your webcam from the dropdown menu and you should see a preview of the webcam in a new Window. You want to adjust the camera so that you see the marker in the center of the webcam. Depending on how closer how far the dots are from your camera you can adjust the calibration point scale. This will put red X's on the preview so you know where to position your marker. When you through click calibrate camera to calibrate it. If it fails adjust the camera settings by pressing the settings button and try to get until it passes calibration, then click next. Now place your object in the middle of the markers dot. If it's not high enough use the stand to boost it up. Then use your line laser to scan down the marker at a slight downward angle. The preview on the computer should start detecting the face of the object. Do this as many times as you think is necessary, then when you are through click pause and then in step two select show camera image and then click grab. This creates a texture image. Now if you click show 3D you'll see what you scanned. Use the left mouse button to pan the middle button to zoom and the right button to rotate. Then you can click save to save it as a .obj file to your C drive.
As I'm sure you have noticed, so far we've only scanned one side of the object. So now you can rotate your object slightly and go to the scanning process again, just click erase and start at the top to restart the process. Do this until you have the entire object scanned making sure that each time you save it before starting another one. For testing purposes I've only done three scans. If we have the full version of the DAVID-Laserscanner software we could then click next and delete scanner reflections and adjust each scans that make a full 3D object, but unfortunately you have to take the full version of the software to get those features. But luckily we can do something similar using blender.
Blender is an open source 3D editing program that you can download for a free from here. If you download and install you can then import that .obj files that we save by going to file import wavefront.obj then browse to your C Drive and select the first scan file. Before continuing it might be helpful to watch my Blender basics tutorial that you can find here.
First right click on the cube and hit delete on your keyboard to the delete it. Then right click on the scan that you've imported. Scroll the middle mouse button to zoom in on the object and press the middle mouse button to rotate around it. Now from the tool bar at the bottom select edit mode. It should turn your scan into a wire net. Now hit A on your keyboard to deselect everything. Then hit B twice on your key board and while holding down the left mouse button select the points that you want to delete. Then right click on any of those points and hit delete on your keyboard. select vertices and then hit enter. Continue this process until you deleted all of your unwanted points while using the middle mouse button to rotate and zoom around the object.
Once you got the way you wanted you can switch back to object mode and import the next scan to the scene. Use the same process to remove any extra scan point. When you are through removing stuff and edit mode switch back to object mode and line it up with the first scan. You can do this by pressing R, X or R, Y or R, Z on your keyboard to rotate it on the X, Y, Z axis respectively. And you can press G to grab it and move it into position. Do this until you have all the scans imported cleaned and put into the respective places. Then you can hit F10 on your keyboard to select your output settings and hit F12 to save an image or control F12 to save an animation.
Also be sure to save the project by going to file and save. So my finished product looks a little rough you can use this method to add perfect detail to your scan. You can find some example scans here. Overall it can be monotonous process, but this is an excellent cheap alternative to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for scanning an object in 3D. If you guys have any more tips for free to leave them in the comments below also be sure to check out Tinkernut on Facebook and Twitter or --tutorial for more got tinkernut.com.