Outdoor 3D scanning has been around for decades, but has traditionally been much too expensive for home use. This kit aims to put this powerful technology into the hands of makers that want to develop and experiment with applications for long range 3D scanning.
Imagine being able to capture the dimensions of your home and yard in minutes, so you can plan your next renovation. Imaging building immersive virtual environments or art projects using point clouds as accurate 3D templates? These kinds of ideas and many more suddenly become possible with an affordable 3D scanner.
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This kit is not a finished product, but an evolving community effort. It’s built for DIY enthusiasts that want to get their hands dirty and try new things. If you'd like to piece this kit together yourself, we've made the complete parts list and 3D print files available here.
We invite all those who are interested to visit our forum community to contribute your ideas and suggestions for using and improving this technology.
Example Scan Files (Download):
You can view these files using the Sweep Visualizer .
This kit is for makers, artists, hobbyists and engineers who share our passion for 3D scanning. It is meant for those that want to tinker, explore applications and contribute to the evolution of a community project.
Many applications would not make sense for a $15K-$120K conventional 3D scanner. Some of these applications include planning home renovations, mapping underground cave systems or capturing environments for VR, music video or art projects. There are many creative, talented and curious people who cannot afford a long range 3D scanner. This kit attempts to fill in the gap.
Gathering a 3D scan can take several minutes. The scanner should be securely mounted in a stationary position for the duration of the scan. This makes the kit is best suited for static environment capture. This kit is not well suited for capturing moving environments, nor will it work well on a moving vehicle.
This is an add-on kit that rotates a 2D sensor (Sweep) to produce 3D scans. This kit does not make use of a new 3D sensor.
The range measurement specs come directly from the Sweep sensor. The sensor is roughly accurate to within 1% of the measured distance, except for measurements closer than 1.5 meters, which ramp up to around 25% error. A graph of this can be found in the Sweep’s User’s Manual. We recommend always putting the scanner on a tripod that positions the scanner at least 1 meter off the ground to avoid taking in-accurate measurements.
For a complete breakdown of the available scan settings, see this section of the Github wiki:
The current max angular resolution at the equator of the scanner is 0.36 degrees (the resolution is much higher at the poles), which occurs when the Sweep scanner is set to a 1Hz scan rate and a 1000Hz measurement rate. The horizontal rotation stage in the 3D scanner defaults to a rotation rate that generates even spacing between points both vertically and horizontally. It is possible to increase the horizontal scan resolution up to 0.225 degrees, in which case the horizontal resolution will be higher than the vertical resolution.
NOTE: In outdoor environments, we recommend running the Sweep scanner at 500Hz, in order to improve measurement accuracy.
Scan data is stored in simple .csv files (comma separated values) which can be parsed or converted easily. The scanner webapp is capable of exporting scans in .csv, .xyz or .ply format.
The Sweep Visualizer provides a means to view, transform and merge these scan files directly. The Sweep Visualizer is also capable of converting and exporting data in various formats, which can then be imported into many popular 3D modeling programs. You can find the Sweep Visualizer at the following link:
If your application requires a different data format, you can use freely available programs such as MeshLab to convert from .ply or .xyz to other formats. We have specifically tested this workflow with Autodesk Recap, Cloud Compare and Meshlab.