A miniature model of 3D Systems Cube
Last week we used one of Ben Heck’s tips and attached the 3D Systems' Sense 3D Scanner to the front of our laptop with tape but this week we thought we’d try our hand at one of the techniques Ben failed with; a rotating platform.
The reason I’ve decided to give this a go when Ben failed is that we’ve scanned people in the office pretty well by having them rotate themselves slowly but surely on a swivelling office chair. The theory of using a platform should theoretically remain the same.
The Sense scanner has a handy tripod mount which means you can find the perfect position and not have to worry about yourself moving and losing the tracking, which when scanning a smaller object is virtually impossible to find the point again.
So I mounted the scanner to the tripod and borrowed the microwave plate (before the lunchtime rush) to place the object on. The object I started with today was an office telephone, like last week its matte black finish and fine detailing should theoretically make a decent scan and it fits perfectly onto the microwave plate.
Alas, I suffered the exact same problem as Ben Heck did in that when I began to rotate the platform the software would immediately lose tracking. Tried all speeds and several positions of the scanner with the same, frustrating outcome each time.
I believe there is a way round this snag but today I didn’t have time to fully explore my options. Instead I decided to scan another object the traditional way...
One object I thought might be fairly interesting to scan is the first generation 3D Systems Cube we have in the office. It has plenty of contours and is an ideal size for the scanner, the hole right through the middle would present an interesting challenge for the scanner to see how it dealt with space.
So, with my laptop (still waiting for the OSX software) balanced in one arm, scanner clutched in the opposite hand and Cube perched atop of it’s own packaging I set about creating a 3D scan of the very printer we would attempt to print the scan on… without getting sucked into a black hole.
This technique of holding the scanner and laptop separate is 3D Systems’ preferred choice and I must say if it wasn’t for the cord it would be mine too. The scanner, on its own, is ergonomically sound, weighs very little and gives you an easy sense of point and shoot but that darned cord gets in the way when you try and manoeuvre around the object. This means you either have to carry the laptop/windows tablet around at the same time or step over the cord while the computer stays stationery. I think it is probably well worth investing in a USB extension cord.
Having colour turned on in the Sense's easy-to-navigate settings may look very cool if you are demonstrating the print or planning on having it printed by a bureau but if you are printing at home turning colour off in setting gives you a greater sense of what is being captured. It copes brilliantly in scanning crevices of objects as it senses depth. So the settings I scan with are: Object Recognition: On, Colour: Off, Range Indicator: On and in high resolution.
It coped with the Cube well, knowing the centre was hollow and capturing the shiny build plate admirably. Now to print a Cube off on a Cube… alas, a snag; we’re out of Cube filament! Not to worry we sent it to the UP! instead. Which although must’ve pained the little machine to process its rival in its internal memory, actually printed really nicely.
So do’s and don’ts learnt from week two? Don’t try the rotating platform, it won’t work, do turn colour off if not needed, do scan slowly and use all angles and don’t trip over the cord.