The LEGO 3D Scanner


Philippe “Philo”Hurbain is a master LEGO hacker. How do we know? He’s built something truly amazing out of LEGO to solve a 3D problem. He normally posts tips and tricks for using LEGO Mindstorms® NXT®, showing folks how to build all manner of things.

One problem, though: while many LEGO projects involve relatively straightforward duplication of life-size objects such as buildings or machines, what happens when the object you’d like to LEGO-ize is highly irregularly shaped? This can happen often if your subjects are biological, as those DNA-ridden creatures don’t often have straight edges.

Philo’s solution was to build himself a 3D Scanner to digitally capture the 3D model of those difficult subjects. Of course, he built it out of LEGO.

He realized that:

The solution came with 2008 LEGO Technic sets that include a new part, the linear actuator. These nifty device convert the rotation movement of a motor into a linear movement. Coupled with the high resolution of NXT encoder, I had all the elements to build a 3D scanner, precise enough for my purpose.

The result is the scanner pictured above. It’s very slow, as you’ll see in his video, but regardless it’s pure coolness. Well done, Philippe!

Via MAKE and PhiloHome

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