Building a Laserscanner

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MagicBrou
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Building a Laserscanner

Post by MagicBrou »

Hello guy is there any information on how to build a Laser Scanner by youself?

I really want to get into this topic!

Thanks!
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jcoco3
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Re: Building a Laserscanner

Post by jcoco3 »

Julian,

How deep down the rabbit hole do you want to go? I guess what I am asking is if you can define what kind of laser scanner you would like to create? I like to think of these scanners on a spectrum with the inexpensive DIY type on the low end of performance and accuracy built from off the shelf parts and controllers, then on the high end most of what the members of this forum would think about when hearing the works terrestrial laser scanner...manufactured by Riegl, Z+F, Lecia, Faro, Surphaser, Trimble, Topcon, etc. On the high end there there are always components and technologies that are inevitably isolated and often proprietary to the manufacturer making it difficult to find documentation. In between these there is a narrow field where a somewhat off the shelf ranging device or 2d scanner is paired with simpler off the shelf parts creating something perhaps in between. The Matterport scanner comes to mind, Scanse Sweep, possibly more.
Edit: This is not to say that high end scanners don't use many off the shelf parts, but they frequently have many parts that are uniquely manufactured per device.

If you want to build something on the low end, you could use an intel realsense depth camera and just spin around in circle, and then call it a terrestrial laser scan. Moving up a notch you could purchase a hokuyo 2d scanner, or velodyne puck and mount it on a stepper motor or dynamixel (servo with encoder feedback) and spin them around. You then need to create some software to combine the polar coordinates of the 2d scanner and the angles from the stepper or encoder to produce a spherical xyz coordinate system. The math is not that hard, even I can do it :geek:
One step further would be to use a better 2d profiler like the Rigel VUX or the Z+F profiler with higher accuracy encoders and other sensors, but at that point you will likely be spending as much as it cost to purchase what would normally be considered a manufactured terrestrial laser scanner.

The inner workings of most terrestrial scanners are not simple, and the complexity required to achieve acceptable performance in real world professional applications is somewhat beyond what the individual can produce...at least most individuals. Basically, I am saying that the high end is more difficult than you might think.

This article is probably the most open and descriptive about the inner workings of the high end stuff that I have read.
https://www.xyht.com/lidarimaging/behind-big-eye/
After reading it I was amazed by what the developers had achieved making me appreciate the tools we get to use even more.

Still want to build one? Me too :lol:
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Re: Building a Laserscanner

Post by Scott »

jcoco3 wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:01 pm Julian,
...
The inner workings of most terrestrial scanners are not simple, and the complexity required to achieve acceptable performance in real world professional applications is somewhat beyond what the individual can produce...at least most individuals. Basically, I am saying that the high end is more difficult than you might think.

This article is probably the most open and descriptive about the inner workings of the high end stuff that I have read.
https://www.xyht.com/lidarimaging/behind-big-eye/
After reading it I was amazed by what the developers had achieved making me appreciate the tools we get to use even more.

Still want to build one? Me too :lol:
Jonathan, thank you for this thoughtful response--and amazing article link (read it folks). The article about the design of Trimble's SX10 sparked my curiosity--at first impression it looked like a beast to lug around, but it seems manageable enough from this photo:
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Re: Building a Laserscanner

Post by Mike Annear »

There is always the "David " Scanner, it was around several years ago. It used to be a tiny DIY scanner, with a Line laser swept by a stepper motor controlled by an Arduino.
It chewed up a lot of my spare time :)
Then, David released a Structured light version, it is simply a projector, a camera and some software.
You could get some pretty decent results out of it.
David Scanner_ss.jpg
caliper2.jpg
Then.. HP bought the whole system and made it really expensive with very poor support :)
There are literally dozens of similar systems around if you look for them.
Regards,
Mike
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Re: Building a Laserscanner

Post by jcoco3 »

Thanks Scott.

Oh yeah! The David scanner was a great diy scanner. My first laser scan was of a little desk ornament animal using line laser, webcam, checkboard background, and their software. The scan was pretty poor, but it was my first :lol:
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Re: Building a Laserscanner

Post by Bohdan gutnyk »

This is an interesting topic.
A year ago I tried to build my scanner on Arduino and Garmin LIDAR-Lite v3 sensor. There are many similar projects on the Internet, you can find them by yourself. There is few that were very close to what I planned to build then: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46hmIfB7cCo
https://www.instructables.com/LIDAR-Sph ... pture-Rig/
https://hackaday.io/project/11598-open-lidar

Having studied the existing similar projects of other people, I thought that it was almost impossible to build a DIY scanner, which could be used for real projects. The quality and speed of scanning will be incomparable with the time spent. Better to look at used Leica BLK360.
For scanning small details, I made photogrammetry turntable, which automatically rotates the object and sends a signal to the camera to take photos. I took the instructions from here: https://photopizza.org/#!360_product_ph ... _turntable
There are instruction, component list and everything that you will need to build it by yourself. It is not a laser scanner, but a very good thing to start your DIY builds
Here are some photos of my turntable and results of photogrammetry scanned objects:
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Re: Building a Laserscanner

Post by darcycharlton »

I have built a working 'proof of concept' DIY 3D LiDAR scanner that is built around an Arduino Mega development board and the Arduino IDE. I've attached a YouTube link below that gives a general overview of the project:


youtu.be/NxXoUK7qS4Q

https://youtu.be/NxXoUK7qS4Q


If there are others in the LSF community that may be interested in doing their own DIY build, I have designed a PCB board (based on my proof-of-concept model) that will greatly simplify the wiring and development process (images below). The PCB shield has been designed to support clean and simple connections of:

rocker switch
push button
stepper motors
motor drivers
servo motor
LCD
fan
laser emitter
IMU
limit switch
SD data logger
IR receiver
real-time-clock
sensor (Garmin LIDAR-Lite)

The board is designed for 12V input and provides power to all 12V, 6V, and 5V components. This board would be an excellent starting point for development of any DIY LiDAR scanner build or automated photogrammetry device. You can see in the YouTube video above how messy the wiring can get when you introduce this many components... with the PCB, you would only need to mount it to the Arduino MEGA, provide 12V/3A to the DIY shield, and then connect your components (as required) using female pin headers. From that point you would be ready to begin programming in the Arduino IDE.

3D Top.JPG
3D Bottom.JPG

This board interfaces with the Arduino MEGA and requires an EasyDriver for each stepper motor (1 or 2 depending on whether you use a stepper or servo to drive the rotation of the sensor:

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12779
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Daniel Wujanz
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Re: Building a Laserscanner

Post by Daniel Wujanz »

Dear Julian,

the university I've worked for had a research project called "Pomes" which sounds slightly like french fries in German: https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... r_Scanners

The aim was develop a new methology for the calibration of a polar measurement system without targets. The system consisted of an aluminium frame, some servo motors and a handheld rangefinder that was triggered via bluetooth. Oh, one outcome of this research project is a piece of software you're frequently using ; )

If you don't have a reflectorless rangerfinder - you're screwed. This task is so complex that it takes years to accomplish. If you have usable components you could built your spooky "Franken-scanner" - if you're patient enough. Starting from scratch is impossible / way too complex (signal processing is evil) in my opinion.

The ETH Zurich had a recent research project on the subject. A big arse bugdet and some specialists in certain fields like optics and signal processing definitely helped in their endevour.

All the best

Daniel
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