( h o w . t o . m a k e ) a 3d scan and print it

gershon dublon
responsive environments group :: MIT media lab

experiments with lasers and mirrors

This week we learned about 3d scanning and printing. I was disappointed to find out that 3d printing is a ridiculously expensive thing to do, and it's not just the cost of the machines. The materials (glorified ABS plastic, acrylic, or plaster, depending on the machine) are patented and insanely expensive. It's also slow-- all in all a painful process that should (and will) be improved. 3d scanning, on the other hand, is a pretty exciting process: the Minolta makes it possible to get a respectable 3d model with a decent photo texture without too much effort. The only caveat: one would think that a 3d scanner would be good at auto-focusing, but it's not.

I decided to play with the limitations of the laser-scanning Minolta using mirrors. After seeking some advice (and a mirror) from the hologram wizards in the Object-based Media Group, I decided to try putting the mirror off-axis on the scanning turntable, with an object in front of it. On axis, the scanner would see a static plane, but off axis, the reflection would move as the table turned. The software would have to cope with the sensory mismatch.

mas863 2009