Systm: Build a 3D scanner from a $25 laser level
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Systm: Build a 3D scanner from a $25 laser level

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>> This Systm is brought to you by the United States Air Force, Becks different by choice, and Gobi from Qualcomm, global mobile internet. I gotta say that some of the coolest hats we've seen here at Systm have also been some of the most straight forward. Today no exception. What if I told you you could make yourself a 3D scanner using nothing more than some foam core board, a laser level, and a webcam enabled computer? Sound impossible? It's not and we're gonna show you how it works on this episode of Systm. ^m00:00:31 [ music ] ^m00:00:52 Welcome to Systm, I'm Patrick Norton. We have something really cool for you today. A DIY 3D scanner as in point it at the object and get inside of your computer in virtual form. Here to show us how to put one together out of some pretty cheap parts, is Ben Eadie, an engineering technologist. Dude, welcome to the show. You have a fascinating history. You're, by trade you're an aeronautical engineer. >> Engineer and technologist; can't quite say I'm an engineer but okay. >> Pretty close, pretty close. Well let's say you've done things like my personal favorite involves 24 hours of bicycle and a lot of fabrication. What did you do? >> Actually a friend of mine, Greg Kolodziejzyk and I, we built a bike. I did all the aerodynamics and some of the structural design on it. And we built it so Greg being the athlete he is; he went 24 hours straight inside this bike and he went 650 miles. So it's more than most people can drive in a day and he did that with his legs, so it's pretty impressive. >> And was that a world record at the time? >> Yes it is. >> That's pretty cool. You've been involved in setting a bunch of records. Not so much from, I should say, land speed record - human powered land speed records. >> Right. >> But you're not the guy inside like the bicycle? >> Oh no, no, no. I'm the geek behind the brawn kind of thing. We've got one very talented designer and everything, Greg Kolodziejzyk, but he doesn't have that as especially training and what not, he's more graphic artist. So at the same time he's one heck of an athlete; a 12 time iron man finisher, he's even qualified for Cowanas, so using him as the engineer, he's getting older in age so I gotta use him before my engine basically wears out. >> So you do a aerodynamics design? You're building vehicles? >> Yeah. >> What's your favorite tool for actually doing the design work? >> I use Solid Works as a three dimensional cad package, that's what my business purchased to use. There's a lot of other packages out there. Solid Works is quite expensive but you can go right to free if you go to Google sketch up, you can go and use them for a tool. In fact it's probably the best way to get started in it. >> Very cool. >> But if you're doing high end engineering or something a little more technical, Solid Works is good. There's a few other packages out there but that's my preference and it works quite well. >> So 3D scanning, obviously you're dealing with engineering, you're dealing with modeling and solid works. How do you go from Solid Works to like a 30 dollars laser level and a net cam if you scan in designs? >> Well I'm Scottish by heritage and I'm cheap - cheap, cheap, cheap and you know the cheapest one out there is what 2,500 dollars for the hardware and a base sort of package itself. >> It'll look like a Ken doll, it's the really ... >> Yeah, well you can stitch things together and with this one it's a little more scalable but the fact remains is it's quite expensive, and there's a lot of ... if I'm dealing with aerodynamics, it's a lot of organic shapes and they're really hard to model, it's better if you kind of make it by hand and then scan it. So I was looking online one time, I've always been interested in it, and there' s different ways to scan things. There's one called photogrammetry where you take several pictures and you can actually generate a 3D shape off of it, but it's not all that accurate. You've got mechanical arm scanners, they're good but they're really subject to the user's ability to use it, and they're more expensive than laser scanning because the hardware's very expensive. And there's all sorts of different things, but laser scanning seems to be fairly effective but again, the prices coming down but not cheap enough. When I was looking online and I found this David hyphen laser scanner dot com, as a few engineering students in Germany that I believe are writing their master's on this, but they're offering the software for real cheap where you can actually get the scanner for free but to knit all the surfaces together you have to pay for it. But even then it's, I think it's 200 Euros or somewhere close to that for the high end. >> Assuming we still have the currency by the time this airs. >> Yeah. [ laughter ] >> Not that we're feeling the fiscal crisis here, it's just terrifying. >> No, it's very true. But so you basically, you take that and you can go get like a cheap laser level and a cheap web camera and now the more money you spend on better equipment, like if you get a really good webcam, that helps, and if you get a really good laser that helps. And you can find those but I've built one for 30 dollars off of garage sale items, and the fact is is that not everybody needs something to be accurate within 5 thou, they just want to get the shape available to put it in. >> Whoa, time to go back ... accurate within 5 thousand? 5 thousandths of an inch? >> 5 thousandths of an inch. >> But wouldn't it turn like a couple ... like a hundred dollar netcase, the highest resonant cam we can get is 640 by 40 and what kind of a laser - at the high end - 5 thousandths of an inch, that's pretty accurate. >> Oh yeah, absolutely, and the thing is is that again, you gotta buy a decent laser for this and even take another step. Most lasers you see are red, get a green spectrum laser, it scans better. But at the same time you can buy a green spectrum, I'm not sure how many watt lasers, for probably about 60, 80 dollars which is about as high end as you possibly want to get. >> We've got a pair of lasers here; I unfortunately went of the cheap laser because apparently I was getting my Scottish on. Are either one of these gonna work for? >> I've actually tested both of them, they both work. That one has got some major issues with the line, you can see the line gets brighter and dimmer and it'll still scan, it's a little bit awkward. But this one has a little better of a line but you really don't have to worry too much about the accuracy, in fact you can even use, if you can generate it, is a shadow light. So if you can get a flashlight and a couple sheets of paper really close together, and project a line you can use that line as well. ^m00:06:10 [ music ] ^m00:06:12 >> So we got our two lasers pointed at the wall here. >> Right. >> And what are we looking for? Which one of these is better than the other? >> Well this one is better. You can see a more consistent line and it varies very little as far as thickness goes, from one end to the other for within a certain range. This one's very bright at one end, there might be a reason for it but I'm not sure but the fact is, is that that line is a little wider than - a lot wider than down at this end, so makes it really hard to scan. Like the software can accommodate that, but you start losing accuracy as that goes; but you can even go as far as to take a laser pointer, just the point, and if you can find a wine stem or the glass itself, you grab the stem and you point the dot right into the stem, it will make a light. So it's ... if you're really, really frugal and you go borrow your kids' laser pointer. [ music ] >> So if you want to go for the high end, the creme del la creme, the Cadillac of lasers, what am I looking for? >> You know generally prices, you buy what you get or you get what you pay for, there you go. If you go onto eBay and stuff, find the laser that's say 40 dollars and above is usually good. 40 dollars will get your really high end or reasonably high end red laser. >> Are we looking at one of those little sort of keychainy things, button on the side and ... ? >> Well you're gonna get like a little barrel module itself and you're gonna have to get a power supply and ... >> The bit that's like inside the blue part here? >> That's right, actually the bit is about this long, it's real tiny little thing and it's not that big of a deal. When you get it you'll probably be surprised at how small it is. And you don't want to get a laser that's super high powered, if you want to spend a few hundred dollars, you're gonna get a laser that can burn things. You don't want to burn things. >> Including your flesh, books, wallpaper, the oil off of parts of your car ... >> Yeah. >> You wouldn't know this by experience would you? >> Nah, not even a little bit. So green laser, why is green laser better than red? Scans better? >> It scans better. I think that the camera CCD's pick up green a little better, is my understanding. Again, I sort of use the technology, I'm not absolutely familiar with like how it works and sort of the power user and I can hack it together and make it work but ... >> So, okay so we've got lasers, we've got a webcam, we got a computer, we need the software right? >> You do, and you go to David hyphen laser scanner dot com, you download it from there. You can get the free version just to try out and then if you really like what it does and want to stitch a whole bunch of pieces together, then you pay for it. But even if you don't want to pay for it, you can go for another piece of software called Mesh Lab and be able to stitch everything together. It's just how do you want to pay for things, do you want to do it with sweat equity or do you want to do it with money? >> So when you say stitch things together, are we gonna walk through that later or should we talk about that now? >> Well we can talk about it right now, the idea is that if I scan you, I can only see a certain portion of your head. So I'd need to take about 4 or 5 different scans all the way around so that I can take those different pieces and put them all together to make one 360 or water tight solid. >> That would be the stitching part. >> Yeah. >> That sounds like it sucks to do that manually. >> It does suck to do manually, some of the software out there though, it's a really hard thing for software to figure out, so the algorithm and stuff's pretty intense on it. But it does it fairly well, but it doesn't always work. >> What do you use to manually stitch together those scans? >> What I would do is I'd place like say 4 or 5, like I'd take a Sharpie and actually place dots on your head and then what I'd do is on one scan I'd see 4 dots and on the other scan I'd see 4 dots, and I'd make sure that those dots mesh between each scan. >> Are you using Photoshop for this or? >> No you'd be using like the Mesh Lab itself, a 3D software you'd need to do it. >> Okay. So actually before we go into the part where we start scanning, what actually file format do I end up with? Can I do it to a DXF or Solid Works file or? >> You can translate a lot of this stuff out. What you end up getting is an OBG file and it comes straight out of the David laser scanner software, and from that you can go into Mesh Lab and you can actually create a 3DS file, a DXF, or different file. Yeah, and then you import that into whatever software you're using for CAD. So it's one of those multi step things, but again you just step through the process and get what you want. >> Speaking of steps, so we've a laser, we've got a net cam, we've got a computer, we downloaded the software, and we need a printer. >> Yeah, you get a printer and you print with a calibration pattern. A calibration pattern itself, I've done it on 11 by 17 but you could do it on 8 and a half by 11. This is all scalable. If you want to do like a little tiny thing and scan a coin, you absolutely could, and you just try to make the calibration pattern fit about the same size as the object. In this case we got the pengy and we use them as such. >> So you said we want to scale it to fit, so if we were doing a coin, you're talking about the design on the surface of a coin? >> Oh yeah. >> So what do I scale this down, to like 2 inches by 2 inches? >> Yeah, it helps if you have to have a high quality laser for that. Laser lines' are very thin and then if you scale it down it works really well. And again, that comes into being able to get a web camera where you can actually focus it because web cameras generally are set at a preset focus, so you can't get close enough to the calibration pattern, you have to be able to focus the web camera at that point. >> This is an interesting thought; why a web camera and not say, a high resolution digital camera? >> You can use those actually. What you do is use the digital camera and record a movie. Now I'm gonna have to show how you can adjust the camera settings so that you get the best possible image to do the scan, but you can totally record knowing the little tricks, is you can record the item itself, do the scan, and then after once all that's been done, is put the recording into your computer and then use the recording as the scan. So you don't even actually have to have a web camera if you've got ... if you've got the digital camera then yeah, you could do that. You could even use an HD camera if you really wanted to. >> That's kind of a wild thought. So if I wanted to do something like a boat. You said you did a 27 foot boat hull. Did you print out a giant version of this? >> Well we found a good 90 degree, again accuracy so you have a very high accurate 90 degree corner in a shot. Yeah, exactly. [ laughing ] And it was very hard to find but we did, we managed to sort of work it out for the accuracy we needed. The corner of this one hanger was fine. We painted it white and then what I did is I measured all of these points and I just painted them on the wall. >> So just scaled them up? >> Yeah. >> Were they 4 inches apart or were they like 4 feet apart when you scaled them up? >> They were about 4 or 5 feet apart, yeah. >> Oh wow. [ music ] >> Why don't you take some time off to thank one of the sponsors of this week's show? Germany's number one exported beer; to get a relationship issue or cure your dilemma, who needs professional advice when you've got the insightful perspective of loyal Beck's drinkers? At Beck's Beer dot com, you'll find a universe of choice. Unlike powered engines, electricity, any issues or life's dilemma to the community of Beck's drinkers for real time voting. Log on to Beck's Beer dot com for full details and you'll leave a more enlightened person. [ music ] >> Is it time to start scanning? >> It is, basically we lined up the program itself, we calibrate the corner so we make sure that all the dots ... it knows where all the dots are and the way it works is the laser line, when you project it, leaves one line in here - say I'm coming in at this angle and it has to come in at an angle to the camera itself so that it can view it properly. Now the software knows that the lines comes in at this angle and it comes in at this angle, so whatever object it's hitting, wherever that line is can only exist in one point in 3D space and that's where the software comes in. It calculates where that point is, and it starts generating a surface on all these points that it grabs. >> So do we actually leave the camera in a single point during the entire session? >> Yes, you do. >> That's critical. >> Once you've done everything, once you've calibrated ... once you've set it, it's like you don't want to breathe, you don't want to move it but there's different things you can do. If we took some wood and we just made like a little tripod to hold this, come up to there and we have all static. If you have it set up in one system, you could make it so that you only calibrate once and once you've done that, you never have to calibrate it again because you know that that 90 degrees already been locked in. There's another really cool thing that some people have been doing, is that they calibrate this but they make this and this section here actually fall out. So as long as you have that one line here and one line there, you can actually take this whole thing if it's on a mount, and place it over top of an item and scan it so it could be in the background as long as it has those two lines, it'll still scan it. >> Oh, how do we set up the two lines? How do we calibrate it? >> Well what we do is go on to the software itself. We open this up and we see we've got the camera itself. Hit the settings, this is the device settings. A few things that you want to do is a black and white image is generally the best so it means that get rid of all the saturation, and then you brighten it up until you can actually see those dots. You see how stark black and white that is? >> Yes. >> That's what you want to actually go for, so you generally want the contrast cranked. The other thing you can deal with is like the exposure and the frame rate, over 15 frames per second is more than adequate. But in this case what we'll do is I'm just gonna reposition the camera a little closer ... we're trying to overlay the little red X's on our spots. >> Exactly. So now we've got the camera so it looks fairly good. One problem that we're gonna have is that it's gonna try to find any spots that's gonna see all this area here; is they give you a handy little paintbrush and you just paint over the area you want it to ignore. You don't always have to do this. If you build the calibration corner right, you won't have this; have to deal with this. But generally you only do it once and you hit calibrate and they'll say the calibration's successful. >> Also it actually moves the spots, you don't have to. >> That's right. You can manually do it, but why? >> Exactly. [ laughing ] >> That would take me a few minutes and then this is just so much easier. So now that we've done all that ... I generally reset it so that you can't see where I painted over anything and you're still gonna have to play with the camera settings at this point. What I end up doing is you take the laser itself and you just hold that so that it's in the view. And we start playing with the camera settings again so that we can see the line, the laser line and only the line. And in this case it's gonna be pretty hard because the studio lights are fairly bright. You're gonna have to dim it down. >> When are we gonna dim the studio lights, we can? >> Right here you can actually see where the light is being reflected off the white but it's hitting one of the dots and there's a little bit of a gap there. >> So that's my laser right there? >> Yeah. And you get that, it's like you see all nice and clean and the contrast is great. So at this point what we do is we place the penguin right in the corner and we can literally start scanning at this point. So ... >> Do you normally scan, like you talked about doing a boat hull in a warehouse? Did you scan that at night? >> The warehouse itself got dark enough and the laser was bright enough that it really wasn't that big of a deal. >> That looks really creepy when I do that. >> Yeah. [ laughing ] So hit apply with the camera settings, it should be good, and this is where it gets fun. Now what I want you to do is hold your hand up fairly high like at least 12 inches above the camera. You want to be a certain distance and you're gonna rotate the line, you're not going to pan the line, you're going to rotate it with your wrist. So you start scanning down, now watch the screen as you scan down and once you hit the penguin itself, it'll start giving you the point clock. >> Oh it's crazy. >> Now the more data you get, you keep ... >> Going to fast. >> Yeah, you can go fast and again, this is one of those things where your first few scans are gonna suck but you're gonna learn how it all works, right? Actually you don't wave the line so much as just slowly pan it up and down and you find it picks up all the points. >> Well that should be good for right now, just to show how this works. So we'll pause that and at this point we can show the 3D. >> That's funny so if we want to do his feet, we'd actually have to elevate the whole ... >> Yeah, so you'd place the item up but now we've got this is that you can zoom in and so there you go, it's in 3D space. [ laughing ] And ... >> There's a few things you can do. >> Given the surface sometimes you'll get some bad data, so you can do things like use one of the medians, smooth the average, you gotta play with the buttons a little bit and the template actually fills in holes if the holes aren't too big. And you hit show 3D so you start getting surface like that, that looks like it could use a little bit more ... >> Why don't we try it, let's try another scan and I'll see if I can do it right this time. >> Okay. >> Do a better job. >> I swear I can do it! You do it coach! >> Okay, so let's get rid of this 3D. Okay and you just go ahead. Scan it now. ^m00:18:47 >> So I think by putting a bracket and a bearing on the laser might help a lot. >> Yeah, you know if you want to get really good is you ... >> Oh we just bought the laser with the camera, sorry. >> You get somebody like Dave to come in and build a little swivel mount to rotate that and a gantry to actually spin the item around, and you probably have something that will work pretty good. >> I'll gonna get a paint can real quick so we can get his feet. >> Okay. We'll be right back. [ music ] ^m00:19:14 >> Okay so you can see here we've got a fairly descent line but if I move it fairly fast, the line disappears and not because the frame is one fifth of a second, so it takes a while. So you want sort of the highest frame setting you can. >> So up the frame right? >> Yeah. And now if I move it you can see it kind of follow ... >> Oh that's a huge difference. >> And then the next, I'm gonna take one more step up. So again this is one of those things where you just got to play with it and you don't want the line completely washed out. And you don't want, you can see that fog, you want that fog gone, you want black and white. That makes the best scan. >> What's the frames per second we're running right now? >> Currently it's one fifteenth of a second and at 15 frames per second that ... >> Seems to work out quite nicely. >> So now we put the penguin in on his pink can enema. >> It's just a stool man. >> He said the word stool. [ laughing ] >> Okay, and this time I'm gonna do it because well ... >>You have superior Canadian hone scanning ability. >> Yeah, it's sort of ... >> It's a genetic thing. ^m00:20:25 >> Apparently I didn't watch enough Degrassi Junior High growing up? [ laughing ] ^m00:20:32 >> You know Spike was pretty hot, I thought she was the chic man. >> Hey you don't have a giant hole where his beak went, so that's just a tough angle to get on that beak isn't it? >> Yeah. >> So you can notice that it's really not quite getting things here because of this laser line angle, so we'll just rotate this through again. You can see where it's picking up. >> So basically figuring out the laser line angle on the object you're trying to scan is going to require experimentation. >> Oh yeah. >> Okay. >> So as it's filling in that, the scan result ... do the colors represent anything particularly? >> No, imagine if there was a light projected onto the object itself and had a rainbow pattern to it. That's what you would see, so it's more just a reference thing just to sort of help you out in figuring out where everything is. >> Got it. ^m00:21:33 >> So we'll deal with that for the first little bit of the scan, where we're seeing some of the feet but again, you can take different parts of it and stitch it all together. So you hit pause, we'll take a look at the 3D. So it's fairly clean but you can see there's some errors and that's where you smooth the median and the smooth the average, and again each time you hit the button it applies it. So actually those 2 hits worked really well, so we'll interpolate which means it's gonna fill in the holes best it can and you get a pretty descent scan. >> So it sounds like ... so we can don't move the camera in relationship to the background but you can move the object in relationship to the camera, and that's how you get your multiple scans that you stitched together? >> Exactly. >> Okay. >> So will this take this first scan? We'll call it zero one. We'll save it. >> And then we're gonna take the penguin himself and rotate him, I don't know - 15, 20 degrees. And again, this is one of those things where you just gotta play with it. Each object's different, if it's a complex object you're gonna wanna turn like 5 degrees at a time, make a lot of scans. If it's a simple object, this is reasonably simple; we can turn a fairly large bit. >> How much detail could you resolve on this? You mentioned the surface of the coin ... >> Yeah, the surface of a coin. That's thinner than most human hair. >> Right. >> So you know ... >> So you can really resolve detail that close with this? >> You can, absolutely you can. It takes a lot of practice, you're not gonna do it first off and definitely not gonna do it with the laser level, you're gonna have to eBay a descent laser and a descent webcam. >> If you got to David hyphen laser scanner, there's a forum and on the forum itself ... >> There's a lot of people who have done the experimentation and they can tell you which webcam or which laser works the best, and different techniques and tricks that they found so the community itself can help you out if you just do a little bit of reading. If you're like me, you don't read that, it's like reading instructions. You just go in there and you start bashing around until something works and then claim that you were the first person to ever do it. >> You're not claiming that though? >> No, that's because I know I did it first. Because I'm awesome, right? >> Oh I can smell the forum postings now. >> Oh I know, I'm gonna get flamed. Huge. That's okay. I don't participate too much in the forums. I probably should but I'm just way too self centered for that, so ... [ laughing ] >> So you can see we've got just the side of his face and not so much the frontal anymore. We'll hit smooth medium and smooth average, and again if I hit smooth average a couple of times it'll clean him up a little more but for this, this will be pretty good. You can actually see the top of his foot here. >> And we're gonna save that. >> Zero two? >> Well you don't want me to overwrite the first one; we have to do this over and over and over and over and over. >> There is a certain charm to that approach. >> Right. >> So again, if you can get that so that there's no little dots on the screen and you've got all this filled in, that's the best kind of scan but it's a lot of data. >> So at this point we've probably got enough and we can fill in those little bits. >> Cool! ^m00:24:39 >> You know with this little last move ... >> I've not completely lost faith in your ability to scan something. [ laughing ] >> No points for first scan. ^m00:24:49 [ music ] ^m00:24:53 >> It's time now to thank one of our sponsors, Gobi. Gobi gives you the freedom to go anywhere without fear of losing internet connection. One wireless device built into your notebook that supports both EvDO and W-CDMA GSM technology. In effect, the world is your hotspot with Gobi's multiple support. You can get global connectivity without the hassle of extra data cards, downloads, or devices - less the carrier, fewer support issues, and a whole lot easier to handle. It's even better for IT departments because Gobi gives you multiple carriers in one device that supports multiple technologies and carriers. Companies can now procure and support one notebook, SKU for every uses everywhere in the world. To learn more check out www dot Gobi anywhere dot com slash devices to find a notebook for you. ^m00:25:42 [ music ] ^m00:25:44 >> So we took the scans, your superior Canadian scans, my poorly informed American scans, and you're going to stitch them together? >> That's right. So the next stage on this laser scanner is you hit next. Funny how that works. Then you add, you hit add, so you grab the scans. Save them somewhere where you know where they are, like first time I was so excited on the scan I have no idea, they're in here somewhere! I'm just not sure where. >> It scanned ... I think. >> So it'll give you a 3D and its gonna bring all 3 of those parts in there and they're kind of overlapped. Yeah well you hit arrange and it says it's gonna separate them, so that's great. >> That's a little more functional. >> Good. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna turn one of them off, we're gonna stitch these 2 together so you hit align, and it's around the Y axis is the up and down axis. Click on one scan, click on the other, and it'll do it's best to solve it. And then it'll say can do a fine registration; see if it can really tweak things. So that looks pretty good actually, how it all stitched together. Occasionally it's not gonna stitch and look good, just do it again. They algorithm works that, it didn't work the first time try it again, try it again, and eventually it'll ... >> I would see for motion capture, like they put the little dots on all the joints or something. Is there anything you could do like that to make it easier to scan or to stitch things together? >> There is, like for the show we didn't show one thing, is that you can actually - when it's bright - is actually take a shot of this, the visible light as it is and you can apply that as a texture onto the object itself. Now if we took that and we put a little whole bunch of dots along here, and then we took that picture and we'd have that on top of the surface. Then you'd go, okay well this dot is on that surface of this point and this dot on that surface of this point. You match at least 3 of the dots and they'll start aligning it up manually. >> You just use like white tape? >> You could use white tape ... you can do all sorts of different things. I prefer taking somebody's face and putting little dots on it so they look like pinhead when they leave your office, and they can't wash it off. >> Always popular. >> It's so much more fun. [ laughing ] >> What's that? Camilla's no longer volunteering to have her face cam? [ laughing ] >> Don't worry, it won't burn ... much. >> So once you've got those 2 aligned is you're gonna combine them so that they're essentially one surface, and ... >> Kind of a cleft in his forehead right now right? >> Yeah, well that's just sort of scanned and you'll notice that around the edge, you can't really resolve that so it sort of flares it out a little bit. >> Got it. >> So it'll get rid of that data here in a moment ... on the next stage, so now we've got this guy here, we want to align him to the whole object so we'll grab this guy and this guy. ^m00:28:17 And we'll do a fine rotation ... so that finished off, and it looks pretty good here. I know relatively ... it looks good to me. I know you're thinking ... >> You're experienced; you know what this is supposed to look like. >> You've gotta have skills. [ laughing ] >> So at this point, you can combine it and this is if you keep going adding more and more ... but you want to fuse it. Now there's 2 different ways you can fuse it. If you use the facade, what that does is it'll make a watertight body out of everything and in this case because you only got the front face, it'd look really stupid. So ... >> We're not gonna do that. >> Flattened on a belt sander or something. >> Exactly, but we're also gonna get rid of some of this data down here, so I just grabbed the selection box and we'll just delete that out so now it's fairly clean and we'll just use a simple and again, you play with the resolution and smooth this and removal. You gotta play with these numbers and see how it fuses. So off that you could, it did a pretty decent job but like you said, there's a little bit of data and stuff in here that needs to be resolved. But for the most part that's pretty good surface, I'd feel comfortable in saving this, taking it to the next step and putting it into Mesh Lab before we actually take it into the Cad software. >> Alright, off to Mesh Lab? >> Yep. >> Actually one question about this before we go. We were talking before about 5 thousandths of an inch accuracy? >> Yes. >> You mentioned, so you set up your target area. Is there a tool inside of this that will tell you how accurate you can get based on the laser and the camera and the target area? >> It's not so much a tool. If you go onto the forum there, they tell you the distance of the camera from the calibration pattern, the type of laser and stuff that you have. You can ballpark it, you can use the numbers and try to get something, but again it's a ballpark. You're scanning with your hand right there, and inherently there's errors. >> Sure. >> So ... we've got this scan, so the next thing is ... >> Off to Mesh Lab. >> Mesh Lab! That's right, so close this guy down. We'll open Mesh Lab up. ^m00:30:09 Then one thing I really, really like about Mesh Lab ... is it's free. >> So what is Mesh Lab in relationship to the scanning software? >> As far as I know they're not connected in any way, shape, or form other than the fact that they both do what ... >> What do they do that's different? >> They deal with point cloud data better. Imagine if ... >> It's a technical phrase. >> I take a Sharpie and I place 8 million points on your face and then I have to account for everyone it becomes, yeah. >> But if you scan them then it becomes point cloud data. >> Exactly. >> Okay. >> Now you still have to account for it and the algorithm that handles that sort of data, is not the same as CAD software. CAD software works off of lines and planes and faces, so that would bog down, that kind of information would bog down the CAD system. >> So CAD cam's kind of like 3 dimensional vector drawings. >> Exactly. >> And this is ... that's really insane. >> And we can look at just the points and this is like, as we zoom in, you'll start seeing more and more like ... the points are so small. >> A firefighter is what it looks like. Little defenses on the edge. >> Yeah, I'll take obscure references for a thousand. Okay, so basically this is the tool you're gonna use to smooth everything out and then turn it into a model you can enter it into your ... >> Exactly. >> I'm with you now. >> So one thing I noticed is on top of the beak here is actually pretty gross as far as the data goes, so I'm just gonna paint over that and I'm gonna delete the section. I'm gonna let the software fill it in, so that way we can get some better data this way. Let's go back to rotating it. Good. Then you do filters, and again this is one of those where we could go into the details of how they use the software. Be like me, get in there, just play with it, poke around, hit the buttons, see what happens, crash your computer 5 times, you know ... This is a big thing that everybody should know. If you're trying to do something, you have to select the surface. So if you hit all these filters, nothing's happening, the surface is not selected. >> Got it. >> At this point we're gonna smooth it out, so you hit smooth and you notice right away it smoothed out a lot of the bumps and the ... >> He no longer has the cellulite. >> That's right. And in here down here, close holes. So maximum sides, this is a monster hole so we're gonna like estimate the 500, we hit apply and you see boom - it goes oh there's the hole, we'll fix it. So it's done. >> That looks more like his nose. >> Yeah. >> Looks like his nose if you took and iron and sort of went ... >> Looks like he's been bred with Opus. [ laughing ] >> I like Opus. >> I like Opus too, but Opus had a very funny looking nose. >> I'm shaped like Opus. >> Your nose is ... [ laughing ] >> Don't take this the wrong way but ... >> Okay, so you could play around again, you get in here; you clean up the surface and ... >>The basic idea right, where we've got a six pack, we've got the right shape for his head; you are saddled with my inadequate scanning abilities. >> Right, so at this point let's say I'm going to take it into Sketch Up. Sketch up being free, your audience probably use Sketch Up more likely than not. Sketch Up takes a 3DS file, so you can save out as a 3DS format. We'll call this zero one and we'll save that out. Now if you have a texture, that photograph I was telling you about applied there, that'll actually pull that data in as well and you'd be able to have that, so you can scan somebody's face and then it's really creepy when you apply that texture on there. It's like, ugh. Well depending if you have a good looking person, then it's like whoo! >> You know I think some of those are pretty creepy even if it's an attractive individual. >> Yeah. >> There's just certain things faces aren't supposed to do. >> Right. >> And again, this is one of those things where you can buy a next engine scanner which is a 3D scanner. If you spend between say 3 and 5 thousand dollars, be able to have a functional thing, it's plug and play. You plug it into your computer, you hit go, and it spits it out into your software. >> In this case we're trading ... elbow grease for thousands of dollars for the ... >> Exactly, and if ... there's one guy, he was looking for some work, I couldn't hire him but I told him here, make a scanner then use the free software and go somewhere, find somebody who needs scanning. He found an archeological dig where they're scanning pots and he wanted a 3D model of it. He created the 3D models, got paid enough that he could buy Solid Works, then he's sort of been stepping up from there. So like if you have nothing to do and you want to make some money, 3D scanning is actually quite a profitable venture. >> Good to know. ^m00:34:45 [ music ] ^m00:34:47 >> We'd like to take a moment now for a short message from the United States Air Force. >> I'm Lt John Wagner, the United States Air Force. I'm the commander of 45th launch support squadron. You know, I've always wanted to be a part of the space program and the Air Force is an exciting place where I could do just that. What I realized, the Air Force Space Program is equivalent to NASA in size and scope and in more cases larger. The shuttle launch is about once a month and I've got 3 launches here in the next 30 days, so if you want to be in the space program, the Air Force is a great way to do it. ^m00:35:19 [ music ] ^m00:35:24 >> So at this point we just go file ... >> So we're in Sketch Up. >> Yeah ... and we import it. >> This is gonna look really strange. ^m00:35:34 >> One thing too is that when you print it off the calibration pattern, there's a little measurement at the bottom and you have to measure that in millimeters, and you tell David laser scanner what that measurement is. And what it does is it will scale this object so in real life we're in the CAD program, it brings it in at the right size. >> So it's gonna be very small in Sketch Up. >> Always compare to the person who's standing there. >> That's right. So we'll zoom out, we have to drop him somewhere. He is there, I'm sure of it, I'm positive. Here we go. So ... he's fully selected and there's his bastardized nose, but ... you can rotate this model around and you create different things for him etc, etc. >> That's really wild. >> You can soften the edges so when you get into Sketch Up you'll start understand that you gotta double select it. >> You could use this for 3D games; you could use this for your CAD cam designs. >> Can you make the data manipulate-able? >> Yes, you can. You can manipulate the data. >> It's a hard word. >> The next thing is, if we were taking it to Solid Works itself. >> Solid Works will create ... surfaces that you could change and work according to their software. >> So if I wanted to play with the curve of the bow of the boat, or if I was basically doing aerodynamic analysis of the body design, you could scan it ... >> You can push it hull and twist it around a little bit. >> That's really cool. >> And this, you take it; you soften it up so it looks pretty good. Clean it up and you'll be able to look at ... you could use this for like if you got somebody designing a game and he wants a little 3D guy, you can scan in like ... >> Scan the dog, scan the cats, scan your BMW. >> Well I've got like a little 3 year old and she loves her play dough and my wife hates it because she's like, well where is the play dough and I have it up modeling something and I scan it so that I can have the shape. [ laughing ] Yeah, my daughter and I fight over the Play dough. >> If you'd like to thank Ben for this amazing show, please send play dough to Canada. Ben that was so cool man. >> Hey my pleasure. >> So I can ask one more before you go ... what's the next big project you're working on? >> There's one of two things. Greg and I are talking about either crossing the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean on a human powered boat, a little peddle boat, or we're gonna start working on an aircraft and seeing if we can do a 24 hour distance record in a human powered aircraft. >> You know, the whole boat thing is just scary to me. Not because I ... offshore sailing's great but the idea of paddling my ass across the Atlantic is just horrifying. >> But it's not me. I designed the torture device, he rides them. ^m00:38:11 [ laughing ] ^m00:38:13 >> That is a beautiful concept. Ben again, thank you so much for ... >> My pleasure. >> Ladies and gentlemen, if you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions do us a favor - email us Systm at provision 3 dot com. And don't forget to visit the forums, revision 3 dot com slash forum, and visit our archives at revision 3 dot com slash Systm. And do us a favor, check out absolute 30 at popSiren, where Moujon shows you how to throw the best presidential debate party ever and gives you the inside scoop on the top places you should flee to if the economy gets any worse or if you experience an unfortunate election turnout. New episodes of popSiren released every Thursday at noon Pacific. That's it for today's episode. I want to thank Ben for stopping by and showing us his awesome project while he was down here in North Cal. If you want to learn more about what Ben is up to, check out his site www dot mountain dash wave dot ca. I'm Patrick Norton, until next time, you've been watching Systm. [ music ]

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