- Project goal: to create an affordable handheld 3D laser scanner
- Current status: software development and testing
Hello everyone. My name is Roman Konyukhov. I live and work in Novokuznetsk, Russia.
In 2017, I bought a 3D printer and appreciated how useful it is for prototyping different things. Immediately there was a need to obtain 3D copies of existing objects. It turned out that there are no high-quality 3D scanners on the market for an affordable price (at least comparable to the price of 3D printers). My previous project (computer game Dream Car Builder), brings me passive income, which allowed me to completely immerse myself in the creation of a not expensive handheld 3D scanner.
I decided not to make a static 3D scanner with a projector, since there are a lot of such scanners, and projectors are also not cheap. Instead, I tried to make a hand-held 3D scanner at an affordable price.
At first I tried to make a scanner out of an inexpensive Chinese stereo camera. The result showed that even with such a scanner, you can get accuracy comparable to scanners that are 10 times more expensive when detailing (voxel’s size) is 1 mm.
However, this prototype had the following disadvantages:
- Scan quality deterioration due to the small bandwidth of USB 2.0.
- Plastic lenses expand when heated, and the focal length changes. I had to add a cooling fan, due to which, during prolonged use, dust accumulated inside.
- The sensitivity of the cameras was not enough to scan dark and shiny surfaces.
For scanning with such a scanner, one would have to use special sprays that cover any surface with a thin white matte layer. But to me, these sprays did not like because of the price and pungent odor.
I was not satisfied with this prototype, and began to make a new one. I ordered expensive industrial cameras, and high-quality lenses. I changed the frame to a stiffer one, improved the mount of the lasers, changed the backlight to a more powerful one, and continued to work on the software.
The result exceeded my expectations. The USB 3.0 interface transfers frames to the computer without loss. This allowed scanning at a detail of 0.25 mm. The result was a very accurate device. In this example, the repeatability of marker positions was within 60 microns. Here are some different examples of scanning with this prototype.
I am pleased that I managed to make the scanner no worse than expensive 3D scanners. While this is a hobby project, but if I can make money on it, I will be doubly happy.
Now I’m working on improving the software. If you have questions or suggestions, I will be glad to answer, email me.