Three-dimensional scanning is normally an expensive proposition, leaving DIY reverse engineering enthusiasts without much recourse for their endless side projects. That ends now with the MakerBot Cyclops, a home 3D scanner kit.
Actually, it’s more of a mount than actual 3D scanner. You’ll need to provide your own pico projector, webcam and an optional VGA video source into the mix. Put those relatively common electronics in, though, and you can have yourself a functional device for turning everything in your toy collection into a series of editable 3D design renderings to play with.
The Cyclops comes with all laser cut parts and connectors needed to build the mount. Since this is more of an ongoing project than a set-it-and-forget-it kit, MakerBot is hoping to build a community who will share their progress with the use of the system. As such, they’re recommending people stick with a limited set of electronics to keep the collective research more focused. While it can, theoretically, work with any existing devices in the categories mentioned, they suggest that buyers of the kit use an Optoma EP-PK-101 for the pico projector, either a Playstation Eye or a Microsoft LifeCam for the webcam, and either an iPhone or an iPod Touch for the video source.
Like all DIY kits, this is marketed towards more hardcore enthusiasts who are willing to deal with uncertain results and perform tweaks along the way. Priced at $40, with a relatively affordable recommended equipment set, it’s arguably the most accessible recourse available right now for experimenting with 3D scanning technology.