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Archive for the ‘Photogrammetry’ Category

Pictures can be a great way to record an event or object, but typically only do so in one perspective. In order to capture things in three dimensions, you’ll need to be able to snap multiple photos and stitch them together with software.

To take all the photos required for this process, “thomas_openscan” has come up with an automated device that rotates the object as needed, allowing him to capture images using a DSLR camera or even smartphone.

An early prototype is shown here, which actually moves a phone around the scanned object. The later, more refined version manipulates the object itself using an Arduino Nano and a pair of drivers to control a pair of bipolar stepper motors. 

More information on the project is available here and over on Thingiverse, and can be purchased or built depending on your needs.

Those just starting out in 3D printing often believe that their next major purchase after the printer will be a 3D scanner. If you’re going to get something that can print a three dimensional model, why not get something that can create said models from real-world objects? But the reality is that only a small percentage ever follow through with buying the scanner; primarily because they are notoriously expensive, but also because the scanned models often require a lot of cleanup work to be usable anyway.

While this project by [Travis Antoniello] won’t make it any easier to utilize scanned 3D models, it definitely makes them cheaper to acquire. So at least that’s half the battle. Consisting primarily of a stepper motor, an Arduino, and a EasyDriver controller, this is a project you might be able to assemble from the parts bin. Assuming you’ve got a pretty decent camera in there, anyway…

The general idea is to place a platform on the stepper motor, and have the Arduino rotate it 10 degrees at a time in front of a camera on a tripod. The camera is triggered by an IR LED on one of the Arduino’s digital pins, so that it takes a picture each time the platform rotates. There are configurable values to give the object time to settle down after rotation, and a delay to give the camera time to take the picture and get ready for the next one.

Once all the pictures have been taken, they are loaded into special software to perform what’s known as photogrammetry. By compiling all of the images together, the software is able to generate a fairly accurate 3D image. It might not have the resolution to make a 1:1 copy of a broken part, but it can help shave some modeling time when working with complex objects.

We’ve previously covered the use of photogrammetry to design 3D printed accessories, as well as a slightly different take on an automated turntable a few years ago. The process is still not too common, but the barriers to giving it a try on your own are at least getting lower.



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