May.25, 2013

There are a lot DIY scanners out there, but Bernhard from VirtuMake wanted to build a time-of-flight scanner at home. Time-of-flight scanners are based a simple principle: if we know how long a laser takes to reach an object and reflect back to a sensor, we know how far away that object is.

So the heart of this type of scanner is a time-of-flight laser rangefinder. Bernhard's latest project the VirtuRange LIDAR 3D scanner uses a hacked Fluke Laser rangefinder that you can get in any hardware store. It got a USB interface from Porcupine electronics and was mounted on two stepper motors. The laser rangefinder finds the distance of a surface by timing the round-trip time of a pulse of light.

The motors are controlled by an Arduino and a Python script moves the range finder around. The script records the position of the motors and reads the distance from the laser rangefinder. It can then calculate a pointcloud and save it in the PLY format. You can use Meshlab to view this pointcloud and it is pretty accurate.

Watch the video below to see how it works:

You can get the files on Thingiverse.


Posted in 3D Scanning



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive