Rubicon gives the Makerbot Digitizer a run for its money


Look out MakerBot, there’s a new 3D scanner on the block and it’s about 10% of the cost of the Digitizer. Enter the Rubicon 3D Scanner which just hit Indiegogo, a device much closer to being worth its price $199.

Just like the pricey Makerbot Digitizer it’s a very simple design made up of a webcam, two laser lines, and a stepper motor controlled turn table. Still very easy to make yourself, but at $199, it’s not a bad price for an all-in-one kit, especially compared to the Digitizer. The newcomer claims a much faster scan time (3 minutes versus 12), and the same stepper rotation (800 steps or 0.45 degrees per step). There are no details about making the design open source, but after some digging in the RepRap forums we found some discussion on that topic from designer [Robert].

It scans objects up to 160mm in diameter and 250mm tall, however it has the ability to scan marginally larger objects if the camera is moved farther back. The funding for the Indiegogo campaign will go towards a custom arduino-esq PCB with a motor driver built in – personally we would be interested in just getting the PCB and 3D printing the rest of the scanner ourselves!

More information is found in the video after the break. [Read more...]

Laser 3d scanning with a webcam

[Jan] noted that they’ve come up with an interesting, low cost method of 3d scanning over (Update: at the Institute for Robotics and Process Control. Once the software is calibrated with the preset background image, a laser line is run over the object (Just think about every sci-fi laser scanner you’ve ever seen) The software appears to measure the contour of the object by the breaks in the line as it’s passed over the object. Once a mesh of measurements is taken, the object can be reconstructed in the software. According to [Jan] “With Their technique they won the Main Prize of the “work group for Pattern recognition” this Year in Berlin.” Now, make it work under something besides windows and .NET.

Get your Design Challenge entries in! The 25th is rolling up on us quick!