Import Soul Wouldn’t it be nice if things just worked

28Apr/102

Recycled Zero Cost 3D Scanner

This is another one of the projects I have done for Design and Technology at school. This time it is for a Year 11 minor project where we had to design the majority of the project out of reused materials that would otherwise be thrown away. I was originally going to do some more experimentation with casting aluminium but then I decided on building this 3d scanner.

The project consisted of:

  • Building a turntable to be controlled by the computer that can rotate the object accurately
  • Convert a laser pointer to emit a line onto the object rather than a dot
  • Have some way to take pictures of the position of the laser line on the object
  • Write programs to control the turntable, find and process the laser line in the captured images and display the processed information as a 3d model

Here is a picture of the general setup I ended up using (I didn't get a good photo of the new stepper and gearing I got to rotate the object)

In this image you can see the turntable (black circle), the laser pointer being refracted into a line using the glass rod in the top right, the circuit board used to control the motor, and the board used as a quick way to trigger the camera.

Here are some images from the different stages of the process:

The object to be scanned

The object sits on the turntable and is rotated accurately using a stepper motor. The first stepper I used allowed 98 steps per revolution (the scan you can see below) while the second stepper motor I used had extra gearing and allowed 290 steps per revolution.

The hardest stage in the entire project is the extraction of an exact line from the image. The stages of this are:

  1. Load the raw image
  2. Extract the Red channel out of the RGB image
  3. Find the entire line in this image as a 2 bit image
  4. Decide upon an exact line through the previous blob ignoring noise

Coordinates are calculated for each point using how high in the image each point on the line is, what rotation the table was at in the image and some basic trigonometry to create thousands of data points that are then linked and covered with faces by a blender script to create a model.

The Raw Model

Then I have simply manually tidied up the model removing where the table appears in the scan and smoothing it.

Trimmed and smoothed

Then I have applied a stock wood texture to the model to produce the final result. I think that it has turned out rather well for a first go at creating a 3D scanner especially as it only took a few weeks and cost me nothing.

The finished product

I am happy to answer any questions you might have and last of all if you are still curious here are some of the sheets I handed in with my folio to show how the points were converted after extraction.

3D Scanner - Notes -
27Apr/100

Simple wooden puzzles

I came across plans for these puzzles and made them for a friends birthday they ended up turning out quite well except for the joining of the metal rings. For the top puzzle you need to get the two beads next to each other on the same loop, for the lower one you simply need to remove the ring. Of the two the top one is the hardest.

Filed under: Puzzles, Woodwork No Comments
6Dec/092

Chess Table

Had some spare time and finally got around to putting the finish on the chess table i made at school in intro to cabinet work a while back. To go with the table i started turning chess pieces to go with it but only got around to creating a king and queen.

Finished Table

Finished Table

Chess Table - 2

The top of the table lifts out and you can store the chess pieces under it. To lift the top out there is a simple button on the underside of the table

The top of the table lifts out and you can store the chess pieces under it. To lift the top out there is a simple button on the underside of the table

I'm glad to finally finished off this table, the finish definitely improved its appearance allot, now it can go back to collecting dust.

4Oct/094

Triple Cross Puzzle

This weekend i spent many hours with a chisel trying to create this handmade puzzle. The puzzle is called the triple cross puzzle and consists of six pieces that lock together to form a 3D cross. I was unhappy with how loose and rough my first go at it turned out so i stated from scratch and made a second one which turned out much better.

Tripple Cross Puzzle - V1

My first attempt

Here you can see the parts of the two different puzzles, as you can see  i used plans for two different puzzles. The puzzles are still assembled in much the same way

The parts of my first attempt at createing the puzzle

The parts of my first attempt at createing the puzzle

The parts for my second attempt at makeing the puzzle

The parts for my second attempt at makeing the puzzle

And here is the finished and assembled puzzle, i may make a few more of these to get more practice using hand tools.

The finished puzzle

The finished puzzle

4Oct/090

Puzzle Box

I created these a while back and never got round to posting them

The boxes are quite simple to make, but can take people hours and hours to solve. I have given a few away as presents and have had plenty of fun infuriating people at school with them.

Two different boxes, the one on the right hasn't been sanded or oiled

Two different boxes, the one on the right hasn't been sanded or oiled

Construction

As is visible in the picture below, the box is made up of an inner MDF box covered in thin slats, the bands serve only to hide the joins of the tabs and improve to boxes appearance. If anybody is interested i may write a full article on how to make one of these boxes.

In this picure you can see how the bok opens, you can see the magnets in the corners that help keep the box shut

In this picture you can see how the box opens and you can see the magnets in the corners that help keep the box shut

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