MRRF: Stuff From Lulzbot

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A lot of the big names in 3D printers were at the Midwest RepRap festival showing off their wares, and one of the biggest was Lulzbot with their fabulous Taz 3 printer. This year, they were showing off a new filament, a new extruder, and tipping us off to a very cool project they’re working on.

The new products Lulzbot is carrying are Ninjaflex filament and the extruder to go with it. Ninjaflex is the stretchiest filament we’ve ever seen, with the feel of a slightly hard silicone rubber. Straight off the spool, the filament will stretch to a little less than twice its original length, and in solid, printed form its a hard yet squishy material that would be perfect for remote control tank treads, toys, and 3D printed resin molds. With all the abuse the sample parts received over the weekend, we’re going to call Ninjaflex effectively indestructible, so long as you don’t try to pull the layers apart.

Also from Lulzbot is word on the new 3D scanner they’re working on. The hardware isn’t finalized yet, but the future device will use a webcam, laser, and turntable to scan an object and turn it directly into an .STL file. Yes, that means there won’t be any point clouds or messing about with Meshlab. Lulzperson [Aeva] is working on the software that subtracts an object from its background and turns it into voxels. The scanner will be low-cost and open source, meaning no matter what the volume of the scanner will be, someone will eventually build a person-sized 3D scanner with the same software.

Videos of [Aeva] below showing off the new stuff and talking about the scanner.

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Kinect + Wiper Motor + LEGO = 3D Scanner

bambergDE-scanner

[Christopher] from the Bamberg Germany hackerspace, [Backspace], wrote in to tell us about one of the group’s most recent projects. It’s a Kinect-based 3D scanner (translated) that has been made mostly from parts lying around the shop.

There are 2 main components to the hardware-side of this build; the Kinect Stand and the Rotating Platform. The Kinect sits atop a platform made from LEGO pieces. This platform rides up and down an extruded aluminum rail, powered by an old windshield wiper motor.

The Rotating Platform went through a couple of iterations. The first was an un-powered platform supported by 5 roller blade wheels. The lack of automatic rotation didn’t work out so well for scanning so out came another windshield wiper motor which was strapped to an old office chair with the seat replaced by a piece of MDF. This setup may not be the best for the acrophobic, but the scan results speak for themselves.

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An Affordable Full Body Studio Grade 3D Scanner

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Looking for a professional 3D scanning setup for all your animation or simulation needs? With this impressive 3D scanning setup from the folks over at [Artanim], you’ll be doing Matrix limbos in no time!  They’ve taken 64 Canon Powershot A1400 cameras to create eight portable “scanning poles” set up in a circle to take 3D images of, well, pretty much anything you can fit in between them! 

Not wanting to charge 64 sets of batteries every time they used the scanner or to pay for 64 official power adapters, they came up with a crafty solution: wooden batteries. Well, actually, wooden power adapters to be specific. This allows them to wire up all the cameras directly to a DC power supply, instead of 64 wall warts.

To capture the images they used the Canon Hack Development Kit, which allowed them to control the cameras with custom scripts. 3D processing is done in a program called Agisoft Photoscan, which only requires a few tweaks to get a good model. Check out [Artanim's] website for some excellent examples of 3D scanned people.

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3D Scanner Using a Sharp Infrared Sensor

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[Fernando] sent in a tip about a pet project he’s been working on. It’s an interesting take on a 3D scanner. He used a stepper motor to rotate the object being scanned, and an Arduino for control, but the real novelty is the way he used the sensor. [Fernando] mounted a Sharp GP2D120X on vertical surface, and used a second stepper motor to raise the sensor during the scan. As you can see in the videos (embedded after the break), this results in the scan being put together in an ascending spiral.

The Sharp sensor is cheap and decent, but you’re obviously not going to get amazing accuracy. Still, using the average of several measurements, he ends up with a decent result. Happily, [Fernando] has released the code, and it should be easy enough to repurpose it with a more accurate sensor. It would be interesting to see a laser-based sensor paired with this code.

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39 Raspberry Pi 3D Scanner

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[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!

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Hackaday Links: October 27, 2013

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[Kyle] came across a project which he thinks is “simply elegant”. If you don’t already have a PCB vice, here’s an easy way to build one of your own.

This one’s so good but alas it’s not a hack. Check out the slideshow tour at UC Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium. You get a really cool look at the hardware that makes the dome and projector such a great experience. [via Reddit]

Here’s a schematic and a couple of snapshots of [Trax's] CAN bus hacking rig. He plans on doing a tutorial but decided to share this link after reading the first part of our own CAN hacking series.

These strings of LEDs bump to the tunes. [Alex] is using GrooveShark as a frequency analyzer, then pushing commands via Node.js to the Arduino controlling the lights. It’s all planned for the back porch during his Halloween party.

We remember drilling holes in the 3.5″ floppy discs (we even made a wood jig for this) to double their capacity. A similar blast from the past was to punch a notch in the larger 5.25″ versions to make them double-sided.

If you’re trying to learn about FFT [Ronald] highly recommends this website. We didn’t do too much poking around because it’s kind of strange. But if you do get sucked in and have fun with it leave a comment to let others know it’s worth their attention.

We suppose that using 39 Raspberry Pi boards and their camera modules isn’t the worst way to build a huge 3D model capture rig. The results certainly are impressive. [Thanks Wouter]

3D scanning by calculating the focus of each pixel

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We understand the concept [Jean] used to create a 3D scan of his face, but the particulars are a bit beyond our own experience. He is not using a dark room and laser line to capture slices which can be reassembled later. Nope, this approach uses pictures taken with several different focal lengths.

The idea is to process the photos using luminance. It looks at a pixel and it’s neighbors, subtracting the luminance and summing the absolute values to estimate how well that pixel is in focus. Apparently if you do this with the entire image, and a set of other images taken from the same vantage point with different focal lengths, you end up with a depth map of pixels.

What we find most interesting about this is the resulting pixels retain their original color values. So after removing the cruft you get a 3D scan that is still in full color.

If you want to learn more about laser-based 3D scanning check out this project.

[Thanks Luca]