3D Scanner Using A Sharp Infrared Sensor

[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.

13 thoughts on “3D Scanner Using A Sharp Infrared Sensor

    1. That is an interesting thought. The problem… I think… is that because the object would then be spiraling upward there is a good chance you would miss over details, unless the threaded rod (or whatever you used) was quite wide. Though that would slow down the scan.

    2. Yeah. IMHO that’d work. Just make a “piano stool” construction, place the sensor that it captures the “stool” when it is in the “fully up” position…. The “z-pitch” of your scan is then fixed to the pitch of the threaded rod you used.

      1. IMO, if you are scanning an item with some parts more complex than others, maybe you would like to control Z and Phi separately, so that you can scan faster the areas which are simpler…

  1. Wow now that is a coincidence.
    I got the same sensor yesterday and today I have built a similar setup without knowing about this one.
    I planed taking it to the 30C3 and wanted to code the software there. Instead of the stepper for the sensor I will use a servo. but other thant that it is very similar.

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