Feb.2, 2015 | By Simon

As more and more hardware startups aim to make their presence known in the small-yet-ever-expanding additive manufacturing community, it’s refreshing to hear about a group of guys who are focused on keeping technology both accessible and affordable for a wide array of new users.  

One such company, BQ, aims to be the first to meet society’s new technology needs by offering products that are both relevant and affordable to the majority of the people.  The company has already made their mark with smartphones and tablets but are moving into the 3D printing space with an open source-mindframe as well as full professional support for those new to the technology.  

More recently, the Spanish company has announced that they are expanding their 3D printing ecosystem with their first DIY 3D scanner, Ciclop as well as their own 3D scanning software, Horus.

For the Ciclop, the mechanical design, electronics, software, algorithms, mathematics and previous experiments with the Open Source 3D scanner have been made available to the open source community for anybody with an interest in building their own 3D scanner while the software allows for users to experiment with the scanner with open source capabilities, which have been published on GitHub for users to modify and improve on.   

For users who choose to build the DIY 3D scanner, BQ hopes that they will be able to study and understand the functioning of 3D scanners as well as make their own modifications to help improve upon the design and functionalities for the community.  BQ hopes that their decision to contribute the design to the open source community will help boost the development of open source 3D content creation devices.  

The design of the Ciclop structure consists of 3D printed pieces for the housing, M8 threaded rods, M8 screws, M3 screws, nuts and washers.  The 20 cm radius turntable platform is made from methacrylate and is covered with an anti-slip surface to prevent objects from moving while scanning.  The turntable is supported by a 110 mm diameter ball bearing while the 360-degree movement is created using a Nema 17 stepper motor.   

The sensor of the Ciclop consists of a Logitech C270 HD webcam in the middle, two class-17 line laser modules on either side of the unit and an internal ZUM BT-3288 board.  The ZUM BT-328 is an Arduino-based board that controls the firmware for both the motor and the lasers.  It is also able to communicate wirelessly with Bluetooth or tethered with a micro USB cable.  Additionally, the ZUB BT-328 features a ZUM SCAN shield installed on top, which is based on the Arduino CNC Shield9. The ZUM SCAN shield has 2 stepper drivers and connection pins for 4 lasers and 2 Light Dependent Resistors (LDRs).

While there are open source scanners in existence - including the FabScan5 and MakerScanner6 - they are not readily available as an all-in-one kit option for those uncomfortable with sourcing the materials separately.  The Ciclop aims to make the DIY experience easier by including all necessary components in one kit while still allowing a user to experiment with their open source 3D scanner.     

“In this project we want to continue evolving and improving.” said BQ.  

“One of our main working lines will be incorporating of 3D post-processing and meshing into Horus.  We are very interested in the community’s opinion, this is why we are open to suggestions and improvements.  We encourage you to join this project!”

Posted in 3D Scanning


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Carmen Agosto wrote at 10/30/2017 8:14:55 PM:

Hi I have a ciclop. But I am having a hard time finding where to download the soft where. Could you please send me a link where I could download it. Thankyou

Troy wrote at 9/23/2015 5:57:52 PM:

Anyone know where to buy the controller board and shield? email troyster84@rogers.com

Akshay wrote at 9/12/2015 2:59:06 PM:

I want to build my own scanner. Need some guidance for it. (akshaymech@hotmail.com)

Manuel wrote at 4/13/2015 5:01:19 PM:

You can buy the kit or download the 3d models for printable parts from http://www.bq.com/gb/products/ciclop.html

Jed wrote at 3/28/2015 5:30:50 AM:

Is there somewhere I can get the parts files for the plastic pieces? I want to build one to compliment my printer.

Joe Blue wrote at 2/3/2015 9:22:35 AM:

Cool, because Scanners are still expensive yet.

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