3D scanning objects for reproduction

Discussion in 'Pattern making' started by Mach, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. Mach

    Mach Silver

    I built one of these scanners recently and successfully scanned an old plaster mini sculpture.

    I was very impressed by the detail that it extracted so I'd thought I'd share. My goal is to upsize my old sculptures in bronze.

    The original is about 3-4 inches in size. I spattered paint on it to help the software align the photos. The scanner was set to take about 100 pictures while rotating and tilting the sculpt.

    As scanned and processed in RealityCapture, photogrammetry software. Interestingly, you can do the same thing manually with a cell phone with larger objects/sculptures.


    After clean-up in Meshmixer where it was hollowed and split


    It'll be almost 14" when cast. It'll need to be welded back together.

    Tobho Mott and Jim Edgeworth like this.
  2. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Looks like the scan came out really well.
    Can't wait to see the casting...
  3. Mach

    Mach Silver

    I'll start another thread on the actual casting. I'm going to need some advice on using ceramic shell but will move my questions to that sub-forum.

    I'm very pleased with the quality as well.
  4. Jim Edgeworth

    Jim Edgeworth Silver

    Now that I do like, cute and quirky, just not sure if he’s flying or swimming.
  5. Peedee

    Peedee Silver

    Very neat!

    Pink Floyd springs to mind.....
  6. rocco

    rocco Silver

    LOL, Pigs on the wing.
    Damnit Peedee, now made me feel old!
  7. Mach

    Mach Silver

    Swimming, that's a Pish, I did a couple of different land/sea animal mash ups for fun.
  8. Jim Edgeworth

    Jim Edgeworth Silver

    You have got some talent there Mach; I know what I like when I see it, but other than that, I don’t have an artistic bone in my body.
  9. Mach

    Mach Silver

    Thanks, there's talent for fun and talent that pays. Years ago, I submitted my sculpture portfolio to a couple of places looking for a career change. I was quickly schooled on what talent that pays looks like. I stuck with engineering. :)
    oldironfarmer and DavidF like this.
  10. HotRodTractor

    HotRodTractor Copper

    Very nice. I have an old 3D scanner outfit that I bought years ago that quite frankly I never got to work quite right to get any awesome results from. I know that technology has changed a lot since then and I need to revisit it and do a deep dive. Maybe some of my old equipment is still viable (It was a DavidLaserScanner setup - now owned by HP).
  11. Mach

    Mach Silver

    As long as it generates a point cloud, it should still be viable. I'd try it with RealityCapture. The trick for getting my setup to works was using a toothbrush to spatter acrylic paint on the plaster. Before that a lot of frustration. Once painted, the results were jaw dropping.
    Tobho Mott likes this.
  12. Billy Elmore

    Billy Elmore Silver

    Awesome! I am impressed nearly every time I visit this forum. I was just talking about how these things would be handy if not so expensive.
  13. HotRodTractor

    HotRodTractor Copper

    Somewhere I have a couple of cans of a spray that you can use for scanning an object and within a couple of hours, it totally sublimes away and leaves no trace. It's perfect for scanning objects that you simply can't paint and move on.

    My issue was mostly with the software side of things - it took a lot of power to compute and align the scans to get something worthwhile. I've seen RealityCapture around - I looked at it when it was just coming onto the market. I need to take a new look at it.
  14. rocco

    rocco Silver

    Very cool! I did not know such a product existed, what do they call it?
  15. HotRodTractor

    HotRodTractor Copper

    I need to look it up - I found it through an internet post long ago about laser scanning an old Nokia Phone - they coated the phone with it while powered on, scanned it, and then had time-lapse of the coating subliming away into nothing. If memory serves me right it was a coating originally used for art restoration - basically, spray the stuff onto the area of a painting where you aren't working to help protect it during the restoration process. I do seem to recall that someone has been marketing this product, or one very similar to it specifically for 3D scanning..... but I don't recall the name for that either.
  16. Mach

    Mach Silver

  17. Yo, that's seriously awesome. Building your own scanner and successfully scanning an old plaster mini sculpture? That's some next-level stuff right there.
  18. Smoking Shoe

    Smoking Shoe Silver

    Updated links to the OpenScan project:


    Github page

    Looks interesting - AND - potentially useful.
  19. And the fact that you're planning to upsize your ancient statues in bronze is seriously remarkable. I've never heard of RealityCapture, but it sounds like some pretty sweet photogrammetry software. And speaking of scanning stuff, have you ever heard of Smart Engines? They're not for 3D scanning, but they have some seriously cool automatic, eco-friendly document scanning and OCR technology. Just a thought in case you ever need to scan some crucial docs.
  20. Smoking Shoe

    Smoking Shoe Silver

    I did some research over the weekend on 3d scanning. I had/have a pretty nice laser scanner that did work. Unfortunately the company got into a legal squabble a few years ago and as a result of that and having to have an online connection to verify the license for each use it is now little more than an expensive brick. One of the reasons I stay away from "cloud'" based software.

    For those of us that aren't looking for a commercial grade scanner Creality, the same company that makes 3d printers, has come out with a sub $1000 unit that from all I can find does almost as well as my old Laser scanner. The detail it captures isn't as fine (for things like small sculpture/jewlery, but the accuracy looks to be as good. The software? FAR better. The software isn't open source, like their printers, but it isn't tied to a license. It appears that the data collected can be used by any software that can manipulate standard photos and cloud point files.
    Creality had some legal problems after their Kickstarter closed, but those have been settled.

    I'm seriously considering purchasing one. I miss not being able to scan.

    There are a few other sub $1000 scanners with similar capabilities. Each has a little different 'ideal' scanning environment. The open source project that started this thread is still active - and - a viable path for those that also want to have a project. For those of us that just want/need a basic scanner ................ time = money

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