39 Raspberry Pi 3D Scanner

raspberry pi 3d scanner

[Richard] just posted an Instructable on his ridiculously cool 39 Pi 3D Scanner! That’s right. 39 individual Raspberry Pies with camera modules.

But why? Well, [Richard] loves 3D printing, Arduinos, Raspberry pies, and his kids. He wanted to make some 3D models of his kids (because pictures are so last century), so he started looking into 3D scanners. Unfortunately almost all designs he found require the subject to sit still for a while — something his 2-year old is not a fan of. So he started pondering a way to take all the pictures in one go, to give him the ability to generate 3D models on the fly — without the wait. 

He originally looked at buying 39 cheap digital cameras, but didn’t want to have all the images on separate SD cards, as it would be rather tedious to extract all the images. Using the Raspberries on the other hand, he can grab them all off a network. So he set off to build a very awesome (and somewhat expensive) life-size 3D scanning booth. Full details are available on his blog at www.pi3dscan.com

Stick around after the break to see it in action at Maker Faire Groningen 2013!


  1. arachnidster says:

    Why not 1 Raspberry Pi, 39 USB cameras, and a couple of hubs?

  2. Hi, using webcams, I would not be able to all at the exact same time take all the images, and the average webcam with 5m pixel sensor would really be much more expensive.

  3. Ninthlamp says:

    I think if he’d tried to use 39 usb cameras, the small delay between each image capture would end up skewing the final 3d image.
    With 39 systems all waiting for a single command to do a capture, the skewing would be cut to a minimum and, with good software, could even be calibrated out.

  4. Nova says:

    It would be far cooler to have a GoPro that spun around the person in high FPS mode in a quick spiral, this just seems.. wasteful? But it is interesting none the less, and those boards can be used for other things down the way.

  5. hugowesseling says:

    This could in theory make 3d videos right? What is the shortest time needed from one shot to another? (store all on individual pi’s, then merge afterwards?).

  6. Tom the Brat says:

    Now this could stir up excitement among the panicky news media: “3d printed children.”

  7. Blah says:

    With this, soon my robot avatar army will be complete and I will be able to conquer this world from my couch as was always my plan…

    Now pair this with this:


    and I will be set for mass production!

  8. Whatnot says:

    This reminds me of that drone they now have that captures a many many megapixel image live that it can capture entire boroughs or a city from high altitude, and it does so by using a boatload of common camera sensors set in an array.
    It sounds simple but it still requires some work to make it all go smoothly, even when you get army/spook money to develop it. You need to combine all the sensors, combine the data, and then stream the whole selected region.

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