March 2, 2012

Line Laser for 3D Scanning

Recently I stumbled upon laser based 3D scanning. All I needed was a line laser, but I didn't want to buy one because they're kind of expensive. So I just built my own using stuff I had lying around:

Read more if you want to see another line laser concept, 3D scan results and a video.

I'll start with the basic items needed:

You will need a small DC electric motor, a cheap laserpointer and small mirrors. Just attach one little mirror to the motor's axis and build a little holder for the laser:

As the motor spins the mirror the reflected laser will form a perfect line. As long as the motor spins with more than 24 rps there will be no problems with cameras and 3D scanning:

And here's a video of the laser line:

There's another way to create a laser line from scratch:
Take an old harddrive, disassemble it and remove the actuator mechanism:
Attach a little mirror as shown in the pictures below:
The next step is to attach the actuator's coil to some AC current:
The complete setup will look like this:
The AC current through the coils will cause a vibrating actuator arm. This setup also provides a quite good line laser !
Here are some of my 3D scans I made with these two setups:
You can create your own scans using the free software 
This was a fun project and I hope you enjoyed it!