Jun 14, 2015 | By Kira

Mario Lukas, a maker and hardware hacker based out of Germany, is developing a standalone 3D scanner based on Kinect and Raspberry Pi2. While still in development, the device could eventually become a low-cost, open-source solution for those in fields from archaeology to medicine who need accurate, on-the-spot 3D scans.

Microsoft has been making inroads into the world of 3D printing for years now, however the most simultaneously hyped yet underrated device in their lineup is without a doubt Kinect. Originally launched in 2010, Kinect is a line of motion sense input devices for Xbox 360, Xbox One video game consoles, and for Windows PCs. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral and depth sensors, the device can track users movements and voice, and interpret specific gestures, allowing gamers to play hands-free, without the need for a game controller. Beyond gamers, however, the Kinect also has features that are particularly important to the maker community. Namely, it is capable of 3D motion capture and facial and object recognition. In short, it is the first step towards a low-cost, consumer-level 3D scanner.

Despite the strong potential of such a device, and the fact that within the first few years, over 25 million units were sold, not much progress has been made within the maker community, and professional mobile scanners can be prohibitively expensive. Lukas has experienced this firsthand, since his girlfriend is an archaeologist and is often in need of a portable tool that can scan objects and places in 3D in order to save and preserve cultural heritage. This inspired him to begin working on an open-source, Kinect- and Raspberry Pi2-based scanner.

“One of the biggest problems those people have is funding,” said Lukas in reference to other archeologists in need of accessible scanners. “Professional equipment is very expensive. I hope that at least my work can help a little bit.”

Lukas began by printing a Kinect handle from files on Thingiverse, which he then ‘remixed’ in order to add a Raspberry Pi2 and a display mount to it. So far, so good, since according to Lukas, hardware isn’t the problem. Rather, the real challenge lies in the software. Currently, he is experimenting with libfreenect, which he says “provides all the functionality which is provided by the Kinect.”

Detailed instructions and links to the Kinect handle files and Raspberry Pi2 display mountare available on his personal blog as well as on Hackaday. Lukas has written that he will continue to work on this project throughout the summer in order to perfect the software, however in the meantime, he is also working hard to finish the FabScan PI, a stand-alone web-enabled 3D scanner that he developed as part of his bachelor’s thesis.



Posted in 3D Scanning

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M0DD3R wrote at 7/5/2015 1:41:21 AM:

This Would Be 1,000 Times Better With Kinect 2.0

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