Mendel Replicator - one step closer


In the time just after christmas, we had some free time to improve our 3D scanner system. We added some gears to get a smoother and slower scan with the linelaser. Also we made a small turntable to let us turn the object between the scans so we would be able to make a fully automated scan of the whole object.

We only had one Motor available, so we used the turntable like a spool, and connected the thread on this spool to the gears of the linelaser. So when we now let the linelaser turn more than normally needed for scanning, it pulls on this thread and turns the turntable.

Then we created a small automation script to control the motors and click on the right buttons in the DAVID-Laserscanner software so it makes scans from all sides of the object, which can be easily fused into one 3D model.

When this was ready, we started a test to see how much work and how fast it would be to get from one real object to a printed copy.

We started scanning a little dragon model (~6 x 4 x 4 cm³) and after around 2 hours of fully automated scanning, we had 8 scans from all sides on our computer. The scans where so good, no cleaning was needed. We then spent around 1hour combining those scans and preparing the resulting model for printing. Although on a faster computer this would probably go much faster. You can see the result here:

When the model was ready, we sent it through skeinforge and started to print it on our Mendel. Skeinforge needed 15mins and the print time was also around 2 hours. You can see a few pictures of that here:

The resulting object looked really good, and pretty similar to the original object, as you can see here:

So all in all we needed 2 hours for automated scanning, 1 hour manual work for cleaning and preparing the print, and 2 hours printing time. This means we have a time from a real object to printed copy of around 5 hours, depending on the size of the object. Sounds great :-)

You can find the scanned object at thinigverse thing: 5374