Unless you have serious CAD modeling skills, 3D printing can be a difficult affair, which makes a 3D scanner a godsend when you’re looking to fabricate different objects on a regular basis. With one, you can simply scan an existing object and customize it according it your needs, saving you a heck of a lot of time compared to doing everything from scratch. If you’re looking for a 3D scanner that offers the best bang for your buck, there’s absolutely nothing that comes close to the CowTech Ciclop.
Based on the open-source RepRap BQ Ciclop, the new 3D scanner beefs up the original’s design with more efficient parts, a lower cost, and a more pleasant aesthetics. Like the original, you can also 3D print some of the scanner’s parts yourself, making it easier to maintain down the line.
The CowTech Ciclop is a laser scanner that uses a pair of line lasers to trace the outline of an object, which the onboard camera then picks up for digitizing. A turntable in front of the laser/camera assembly slowly rotates to let the system take a digital snap of the object from every angle, which is then stitched via software to a precision of 0.5mm. Each scanning session takes between 2 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the object, with a maximum scan volume of 200 x 205 mm (w x h).
How cheap is the CowTech Ciclop? If you’re willing to 3D print some of the parts yourself, you can get the basic kit for a pledge of $99. If you want the full thing, price is $149. Deliveries are slated for April.