3D Scanning and Project Updates

In Week 10, we had a class in MakerLab and explored the 3D scanning technology with Arielle Rausin. Afterwards, we moved forward in our team project and tested out the components printed during the session.

3D Scanning Technology

After watching the videos of different types of 3D scanners prior to class, I couldn’t wait to actually see how it works in class. In the class, we were excited to have Arielle again to talk about 3D scanning. Arielle is a previous student from Digital Making class, and she founded a company produce 3D printed racing gloves for wheelchair racers. Back in Week 1, she gave us an overview of how she found the opportunity in 3D technology and built the company. This week, she further explained how she used 3D scanning to build the model she need for 3D printing. She introduced several 3D scanners to us and showed us how to use them. In addition, she demonstrated how to use the software to modify the model generated from the 3D scanner. This function can greatly speed up the process of prototyping based on feedbacks.

Following the demonstration, we took a try in 3D scanning each other in the class. I was surprised by the amount of details it captured and the speed of how it works. The type of scanner we used during the class is very similar to the one in the picture below except ours are desktop version.

Source: https://www.3dsystems.com/shop/sense/techspecs

As showed in the picture, one person will be holding the scanner and person getting scanned will rotate. The person holding the scanner will also be monitoring the progress on the screen and direct the scanned person to move accordingly.

Besides the advantages we found about 3D scanners, we also found the constraints. Because this type of scanner receives the reflected signals to build model, it doesn’t work on the surface with dark colors. One way to solve this problem is to have a person holding a flashlight while scanning. To get the best results of an object, one can paint it in white. In addition, it is easy to have the small item rotates on the plate but it’s hard to have a person rotate as it required. However, what we used is one of the cheapest 3D scanner on the market and more advanced scanners will have less issues.

Project Updates

In the second half of the last class, we continued our experiments for the group project. We printed out an enlarged model of the gear and learned how the gear works. Based on that model and our calculation, we scaled our design. In addition, we tested out the Arduino and motors with the code. We also put the outer case into print. Overall, we got a significant progress and we are on the right track. For the next meeting, we will be connecting the motor with the gear and modifying the outer box based on the size of components.

2 thoughts on “3D Scanning and Project Updates

  1. Hey Xinlu,

    I enjoyed the last class as well but was unable to 3D scan myself and 3D print myself. But i can imagine the challenges you faced using that technology for the first time. The constraints you mentioned are quite valuable to know too. Hopefully we will be able to overcome those in time. I also liked the detailed explanation that you included as well. I am looking forward to seeing your progress with the arduino and you r project

  2. Xinlu,

    I really like your analysis of the class, particularly how to you highlight both the benefits and downsides of the particular scanner that Arielle demonstrated. It is vital to understand the limitations of such technologies before planning them into the creation of a given product, as it could entirely alter the accuracy of the scan (or even potentially make it incapable of scanning.) Overall, very interesting discussion!

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