Apr 23, 2016 | By Benedict

Here’s an article you can probably afford to skim-read: Instructables user yenfre has developed a low-cost (~$15) 3D scanner that can be assembled with a smartphone, two containers, and milk. The unusual contraption received the runner-up prize at Penn State’s 2016 HackPSU hackathon.

There are many ways to build a low-cost 3D scanner, whether using photogrammetry, infrared sensors, or dairy products. Wait a minute…what? That’s right: an Instructables user has used your favorite calcium-rich liquid to create a somewhat messy, ultra low-cost 3D scanner, which—much to everyone’s surprise—works! If the thought of using milk to create a 3D scanner sounds strange, that’s because it is. However, yenfre’s simple milk-based device, which has been entered into the 2016 Instructables 3D printing contest, actually demonstrates a remarkably effective method of 3D image capture, breaking a scanned object into “layers” which can then be captured by a camera.

“GotMesh” consists of two large containers, one on top of the other, with holes in the underside of the upper container and lid of the lower container. The object to be scanned is placed in the upper container, which is then filled with enough milk to fully cover the object. As the milk begins to slowly drain from the upper container to the lower container via the two holes, an image capture device such as a smartphone or DSLR is used to take pictures of the object at each stage of its reducing submersion. This effectively produced a 2D image of each “layer” of the 3D object, with the milk concealing lower layers. An OpenCV python script then converts the images into a 3D point cloud mesh which, if desired, can be converted into an STL file for 3D printing.

You’ve probably never seen a milk-based 3D scanner before, but the idea has actually been floating around for some time now. Although yenfre wrote the python script for the 3D scanner, the idea to use submersion as a 3D scanning aid is not the user’s own. In fact, the creator of GotMesh has acknowledged some debt to an earlier Milkscanner project, the work of Instructables user fiezi. “Our version is a lot simpler and is more automated and is geared towards 3D printing,” yenfre said of the newer 3D scanner.

GotMesh received second place at Penn State’s recent HackPSU 2016 hackathon, and has now been entered into the Instructables 3D Printing Contest 2016. Commenters on the Instructables page have been quick to offer their own tips for an improved GotMesh 3D scanner, such as using additional cameras and different opaque substances besides milk.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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oldnews... wrote at 4/24/2016 4:37:24 AM:

scanning by this method is a really old trick, why does the current generation never do any research? From 2007! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSrW-wAWZe4

iol@iol.com wrote at 4/23/2016 7:09:58 PM:

http://www.wired.com/2007/06/milkscanner_3d_/ :D

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