OpenSkan – Hardware, software, and website updates!!

After OpenSkan got a lot of attention (thank you Make, Adafruit, and Hackaday!) I felt the need to update a lot of things. I had some poor quality videos, pics, and hardware out there. Since then things have changed a lot! Just check it out at OpenSkan.Org ! Lots of new Vids!

Hardware Changes

The platform frame is made of metal extrusions with 3D printed feet and a printed handle. The platform plate is now made of several laser cut layers, this makes the inner gear a lot stronger. Added a motor with higher torque and speed with a bigger 3D printed gear.

The column is a lot smoother running. Its also now made with the same aluminum extrusions rather than u-channel. This has added portability!  Also a few more printed odds and ends here and there. The center of the column where it connects to the legs is printed and adjustable.

Sensor and Software Changes

Marcos Garciaacosta from Intel was kind enough to give me an ivy bridge motherboard and processor. This coupled with a new Nvidia GTX 650 ti and a fancy new mini itx case makes for a really decent scanning computer. Especially since I now have a Carmine 1.09 scanning sensor from Primesense. I’ve even strayed away from reconstrustme and now have a license for Skanect, which after recent updates is amazing for 3D scanning!


Anyway, check out the new site , find Open Skan on facebook and twitter. Thanks!

(If any of my work inspires you, please let me know, I’d love to see what you have!)



New Video and a Twitter for OpenSkan

I posted a new video tonight. Shows a bit of the function better than the last vid. Kind of noisy going up, but thats mainly because the steel cable makes odd noises when winding. I got a bunch of extruded aluminum today so I’ll be doing some redesign.

In other news! I made a twitter account today so anyone interest can stay up to date. There is a lot more coming soon that has nothing to do with the scanning rig. ;)

OpenSkan: Open Source Full Body 3D Scanner


Its no secret what I’ve been working on in my free time this year. I’m proud to say, after neglecting it for awhile, I’ve completed a functioning prototype for the OpenSkan full body scanning rig. I do say prototype, because I have a few parts to strengthen and replace, but as far as form and function, its there. I’ve got plenty of pics and a video posted after the break showing all the inner workings, a friend being scanned, and some prints.


As it stands now, I’m controlling the linear column and rotating platform manually through changeover switches, in a project box enclosure that I gutted from an old robot I made to teach students. Unfortunately I bricked my Arduino, so once that gets re-programmed I’ll have the column running with speed control for smoother scans and full automation.

So far I’ve managed to keep the costs low. Everything you see is either lasercut, 3D printed, or cut on a bandsaw. Once I work out the kinks I’ll be posting all the files. There are some pics, in the photoset below, that show some of the 3D printed assemblies, including a nifty winch I’m proud of. Keep in mind however, I modeled most of these more recent parts in 10 minutes or less.

Right now I’m using Reconstructme to acquire the scans through the kinect. I’ll be switching software as soon as I get a full license of Skanect, since its pricey for a broke University student. I also hope to get my hands on an Asus Xtion.

What does the future hold?

The platform is going to be strengthened and given a makeover with a fancy LED lighting system. The column will be replaced with two 4ft pieces of 1 X 1 t-slot extrusion and given added strength and stability. I’ll be bringing this bad boy out to some local events to build some interest (and some funds for more research). There are also some more OpenSkan products in the works, so keep your eyes peeled!

One more thing to note! A proper OpenSkan website is in the works. We’ll be creating a one stop place for information and plans on any and all types of open source homebrew scanning equipment.

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OpenSkan Full Body 3D scanner nearly done










As many of you know (mostly from my previous posts) I’ve been putting together a full body scanner. Well, I actually got it built over a month ago, just haven’t gotten around to posting about it. Now I say its built, but I have yet to wire and program it for automation.

My goal with this is to make an elegant and cost effective solution for 3D scanning and printing. My next stage after wiring is to take it out to local events. I bit the bullet and bought a Replicator 2, so that I can have a high turnout rate. Future plans involve incorporating scans into digital avatars for use with Occulus Rift and Leapmotion.

More pics on my flickr page.

Check it out on Thingiverse

Also help this open source project out by contributing!


3D Full Body Scanner Progress


I ordered the parts I needed last week to build my 3D scanner mentioned in a previous post and I’ve cranked out most of the system in only two nights.

The rotating platform (pics after the break), is finished mechanically, I’ve still got some prettying up to do. It can support a person of at least 200 lbs. I played around with a lot of different motors and drive methods, but after looking through a parts bin I found a high torque motor. I attached it to the base of the platform and the lazy susan helps make it easier for it to rotate. This motor was perfect to keep the platform low profile.

I’m using Open rail to guide the gantry for the Kenect sensor. Its perfect and modular. I ordered enough to be able to scan at most a 7 ft person.

In my original design I had intended to use a pulley system to actuate the gantry. I ended up JB welding timing belt along the aluminum U-channel holding the open rail. I’m going to use a stepper with 3D printed pulley (shown above) to actuate. Later tonight I hope to design and laser cut a plate that’ll hold both the kinect and the stepper.

Next steps after prettying things up and getting them actuated is attaching a rangefinder to the kinect to let it know when its gone past the top of the scanning subject. That should help in automating the scan positioning process.


– Note: Newer pictures towards the back. see latest posts for details–

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Automated Full Body 3D scanner (open source WIP)

I came up with this a few days ago after playing around with a software called ReconstructMe. This fantastic piece of software renders a 3D model using an off the shelf consumer 3D sensor like the Microsoft Kinect or Asus Xtion. I did a 3D scan of myself by spinning around in an office chair a few times and printed a bust of myself on my Makerbot. That really got me going. I’ve seen other full body scanners using the kinect sensor, but I want to make one better, faster, stronger, cheaper, and more versatile.

So far I’ve modeled it out with all real measurements. Its mostly just to give others a better idea of whats in my head. The whole thing will be made to fold together or screw apart in certain areas. I want this to be completely portable.

Now, a basic explanation of the function. Subject stands on the platform. The platform rotates. The kinect sensor will go up and down via a pulley system. Using a rangefinder to determine when the sensor has gone over the height of the object, a servo will tilt the kinect down to scan the top of the subject being scanned. There is a curved wall behind the subject to prevent background information from interfering. This all will provide a perfect 3D scan.

I’ll post more soon. I begin the build next week and I should have it finished ideally in a day two.

Lawgiver Mk2 Judge Dredd (the Stallone vs) Prop build

  My roommate and I got the chance to advance screen the new movie, DREDD. Being a fan of the 1995 rendition of Judge Dredd I was not entirely enthused by it, thought it was still a great action flick. I set out to build this prop from the first Judge Dredd movie. Sunday I designed the laser cutting patterns using 123dMAKE using a 3D model of the gun. For some reason I got 3 really weird stackable layers. I took the pattern given by the program and edited myself and added most of the details and cut layers as needed til I got the right thickness. So basically this gun is just stacked piece of MDF cut in the shape of the gun glued together, sanded, and painted. The red parts are cut out of acrylic. This build did not take me much time and for that I am greatful because I have a lot more to put together if I am to have a Judge Dredd costume ready by Halloween.

Great pics after the break!

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Custom Rasp-Pi Arcade

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So this is actually still a work in progress. The body is all laser cut and the joystick top was printed on an Ultimaker with emerald PLA. I’ve posted the files for this project on thingiverse . The body is designed to house a rasp-pi with holes for audio/video and the SD card for easy change out of games. Idealy MAME will be installed on the rasp-pi and GPIO pins will be used to interface with the buttons and joystick. Unfortunately I ordered my Raspberry-pi over the summer and still haven’t recieved it. So it may be awhile before I see this beauty work.




Custom “antique” Arcade Controllers


Since we got the laser cutter at the lab I’d been wanting to build an arcade machine with it right away….but back then the laser was down for the first few weeks we had it. We also had our Retro gaming night quickly approaching I wanted something to show off.

I ordered some Happ controls arcade buttons and joysticks. For the interface to MAME I bought a Xin-Mo 2 player arcade to usb interface. I went to michaels, bought to wooden boxes and stained them. After that it was a matter of drilling holes and mounting. Bada bing bada boom, arcade controllers.

Pics after the break.

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HeatSync Labs: A haven for Arizona’s finest Makers

So if you’ve met me or read the rest of my blog, you’ll know I bring up HeatSync Labs pretty often. Thats because its just an amazing resource that a lot of people are starting to take advantage of. Its also more than just a resource of tools, its a resource of people and a hub for various communities within the larger community. We’ve got everything from 3D printing, robotics, custom electronics, food hacks, music hacknights, to even knitting groups.

Check out the HackADay video tour and the pictures after the break!

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