Studio Courses

3D Scanning for Personal 3D Printing

Wednesday, 13 August 9:15 AM - 12:30 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Exhibit Hall A

3D Scanning for Personal 3D Printing

3D printing has entered the mainstream. Many low-cost desktop 3D printers are currently available from various vendors, and open-source projects allow hobbyists to build their own. This course provides attendees with the mathematics, software, and practical details they need to build their own desktop 3D scanners. An example-driven approach is used throughout. A practical scanner implemented with off-the-shelf parts demonstrates each new concept.

The course begins with the mathematics of triangulation: the intersection of parametric and implicit representations of lines and planes in 3D. The particular case of ray-plane triangulation is illustrated using a scanner built with a single camera and a modified laser pointer, and the course explains how camera calibration converts image measurements to geometric quantities. Next, the details of projector calibration are explained through development of a classic, structured light-scanning system using a single camera and projector pair. A minimal post-processing pipeline is described to convert the point-based representations produced by these scanners to watertight meshes. Key topics covered in this section include: surface representations, file formats, data structures, polygonal meshes, and basic smoothing and gap-filling operations. The course concludes with a summary of some commercially available, low-cost desktop 3D scanners.

Gabriel Taubin
Brown University

Daniel Moreno
Brown University