Montana based engineer and rancher Jason Smith has helped design the CowTech Ciclop, a 3D laser scanner for less than $100. Its touting a laser scanning capability as good as a much more expensive model and just needs you print some of its parts with your existing 3D printer.
Sometimes when you really need to capture the minute details on a particular object for 3D printing, you need the ability to scan that object in 3D space rather than designing it from scratch in a CAD program. Sadly, most 3D scanners aren't cheap, so that's why this $99 version is proving such a hit on Kickstarter. It's actually based on a previous open-source 3D scanner, the $400 BQ Ciclop, only with a few parts dropped to keep the price point so affordable.
The catch is, you still need those 3D parts in order to make the open-source scanner work so you'll need to use your existing 3D printer to produce the extra parts show here in green. The designs for each are provided as part of the package, so a few prints later and your new scanner is complete. With a 720p 3D scanner and a pair of lasers, the design is very DIY, but with over $60K already raised on the crowdfunding platform it's clearly a very popular alternative to the more expensive 3D scanners on the market.
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