Ditch the LPs and build your own 3D scanner

Find yourself an old record player, a laser level, and a digital scanner and you can build a 3D scanner. That’s what [Rob] did. The camera and laser level are mounted on the turntable for steady rotation. The camera captures the vertical laser line traveling around the room by recording 30 fps at a resolution of 640×480. This data is then translated into a Blender 3D file via a Python script and the Python Image Library. You can scan a whole room or just a small object. The face above is the result of this image capture after a bit of processing. [Rob] found this worked best in the dark and when scanning surfaces that are not reflective.

Make sure you also check out the camera-and-projector scanning method.

21 thoughts on “Ditch the LPs and build your own 3D scanner

  1. This has been done a number of times, but is still a cool project. One suggestion I’ve seen, for scanning shinny objects (as the summary implies, shinny objects cause the laser line to scatter and mess up the scan) you can coat the object in a thin dusting of something like talcum powder to provide a non-reflective surface without covering over much of the object’s detail. I suppose spray paint could be used too, but it’s more permanent.

  2. Oh nice. I can export blender 3D files into DXF/DWG format.

    I may have to use something like this for my next modeling project.

  3. spray the object with “bakers release” it’s basically a fine cornstarch. it adheres very well as it’s a bit moist. all you need to do is rinse it off afterwards.

    Dont use on open electronics or items that explode in water. I.E. no scanning shiny blocks of sodium metal.

  4. What would it take to make an active scanner that could provide an active scan “video”. Something like LiDAR only cheaper.

    I think it’d be pretty neat to have on a car so long as you used an IR laser and some sort of frame to mitigate the virbation.

  5. aren’t the camera and the laser level fixed and the object is rotating on the record player? the laser line isn’t traveling, too…

  6. @zord: It looks like his project switches it around and mounts the camera and laser on the rotating record player. It allows him to 3D scan an entire room by placing the scanner in the middle of the room and turning it on.

  7. I wonder if you used CHDK to control the camera, if you could use a series of high-resolution stills and discrete rotation steps (with a geared stepper motor, for example) instead of continuous video. Trade scanning speed of scanning quality.

  8. FOR scanning quality, I mean. If you used an external controller to trigger the camera shutter you could use non-CHDK cameras too.

  9. Dude!!! it’s nice
    Btw when i saw the Polish Unitra (emanuel) LP player my memories jump back in the 80s in Poland where i grew up…

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