3D Scanner [Principles of Engineering]


If you’re here, I’m guessing you were pulled in by the amazing red electrical tape job on our 3D scanner. Well fear not, with enough tape, you too can make art like this.


The goal of this project was to make a pan-tilt 3D scanner capable of reading a letter place in front of it. Unfortunately, I did not capture a video of it in action, but here is the final image captured by it.


Yay! An N!

I’m not going to go too much into detail about the creation as I don’t want to ruin the experience for other people in the class, but here is a rough overview.

My partner and I mounted 2 servos on top of each other in a pan tilt mechanism. We attached an Arduino to the servos to make them sweep over the area infront of it. We then attached an IR distance sensor to the servos so sense the distance from the sensor to wherever the servos are pointing. After calibrating the IR sensor to convert form voltage to distance we connected it to an Arduino that controls the servos. When running the sweeping function, the IR data is sent to the Arduino which passed it along to a Python program running on one of our computers. The Python program will take the distance and angles and map them from Polar to Cartesian in order to produce the  that you see above.

Obviously it is not so easily said as done… for example here is our first plot of the data (when we were still figuring out the conversions)


So that’s it!

Obviously there are a lot of details I left out, so if you have any questions reach out to me using the details below!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s