Scanning Models

There are many different devices that can be called 3D scanners. Any device that measures the physical world using lasers, lights or x-rays and generates dense point clouds or polygon meshes can be considered a 3D scanner. They go by many names, including 3D digitizers, laser scanners, white light scanners, industrial CT, LIDAR, and others. These devices scan physical objects and create a digital file that can then be downloaded to CAD software for further manipulation or straight to a 3Dprinter for printing. These devices work by capturing the geometry of physical objects with hundreds of thousands or millions of measurements. Specialized software then translates this information into a digital file.  If you think about how GPS works, by triangulating locations between satellites it is a very similar process. Scanners use the information from the light against the object and perform trigonometric triangulation, but instead of looking at laser light, these systems project a series of linear patterns onto an object. Then, by examining the edges of each line in the pattern, they calculate the distance from the scanner to the object’s surface. Essentially, instead of the camera seeing a laser line, it sees the edge of the projected pattern, and calculates the distance similarly. One example of these devices is the MakerBot Digitizer.  It will be demonstrated in the video below.



Digitizer Assignment Idea:

Choose a small object from your home to bring in to be scanned.  Select something that you think will be a good example of an object to be created.  When you are selecting consider the following:

1. is this related to a hobby?

2. is this related to a book/movie/game that you are fond of?

3. is this something that you could make out of a different substance?

Create your scanned image by working with the software.  How many passes do you think will be necessary to get a clear clean object to print? Record how many passes it takes and then download it to MakerBot and  print it.