Thursday, September 17, 2015

More adventures with the Rubicon Scanner

My Rubicon Scanner just keeps getting more and more worthless the more I play with it. Turns out not only are the scans not acurate to real life, they're significantly warped. And the reason is their calibration instructions:
Make sure that the laser lines cross in the center of the rotating disk. If they don't, you might want to adjust the lasers appropriately by truing its knob.
Right. But doing this literally tilts the lasers.
The result of this tilt is multiple. First of all the scans will never align. Secondly when scanning with one laser the result will eventually flay outwards and the other one will flay inwards, crossing itself at one point and going inside out.
Outward flay example.
However if you line up the lasers so that they're vertically aligned they're off center and the resulting scans still don't line up through the at the center of rotation so the software's assumptions about dimensions are all off. The resulting scan doesn't suck quite as bad, but it's still way off, basically a blob shaped vaguely like what it's supposed to, but with no real bearing on reality.
A quick word about a feature the Rubicon has but doesn't use. It comes with an LED light that for some excuse the Rubicon people decided they didn't need. However, when capturing the textured scan above I needed to mount a lamp over my scanner to get enough light. However doing that washed out the lighter portions of the object so the laser line couldn't be read by the software. It would be nice if, on an option, the lights could be turned on when scanning the texture so that I could keep my scanner in the dark corner it is that captures the lines well, and still get the textures. Best of both worlds. The option is there, just let me have it.

The scanning problems could be solved with a calibration wizard like Horus has. Horus has it's problems, like the fact that it doesn't finish the mesh like the Rubicon software does. But Horus is open source! The Rubicon guys should take it's calibration and save themselves some time. Or maybe they should take what they've done, add it to the Horus project and use it, and make everyone's scanning better! It would do a lot to improve the longevity of their project as well. Makerbot was built on open source software, and fell when they abandoned it. Just sayin'.

As it is, at this point I'm considering either modding the scanner with 3D printed lasers holders that are adjustable, though that will never be at the right angle for the software's assumptions either, or just tear it down and build myself a ciclop from the parts.

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