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For little money: Turn a Raspberry Pi into a 3D laser scanner on the cheap

For little money: Turn a Raspberry Pi into a 3D laser scanner on the cheap. (Image source: mfx2)
For little money: Turn a Raspberry Pi into a 3D laser scanner on the cheap. (Image source: mfx2)
Compatible with several version of the Raspberry Pi, a project can transform the versatile single-board computer (SBC) into a 3D laser scanner. Better still, the project is fairly cheap to build.
Alex Alderson,

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The Raspberry Pi ecosystem is rich and diverse, with many community projects managing to put the SBC to use in a variety of ways. One that caught our eye is the Raspberry Pi Laser Scanner, published by Michael Xiao on Instructables. The project utilises a Raspberry Pi as part of, as its name suggests, a 3D laser scanner. The scanner can record 3D models, which it saves as .obj mesh files.

The project requires the following, besides a Raspberry Pi:

  • Raspberry Pi Camera V2
  • LEDs, resistors and wires
  • 3D printing filament
  • 12 x 12 x 0.125 wood sheets
  • M3 hardware
  • Stepper Motor
  • Line Laser
  • LN298 Stepper Motor Drivers
  • Metal pushbutton

The Raspberry Pi Laser Scanner project page contains links to all the parts listed above. The project should cost just over US$100 including the cost of purchasing a Raspberry Pi, but you must have access to a soldering iron, laser cutter and 3D printer, along with screwdrivers and some pliers.

According to Xiao, the project can scan objects with "decent precision". The scanner is supposedly consistent too, with it able to reproduce visibly similar scans multiple times even if the placement of the object has been changed. Scanning an object in the highest resolution takes around five minutes, for reference.

Please see the Raspberry Pi Laser Scanner project page for more information.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 4126 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > For little money: Turn a Raspberry Pi into a 3D laser scanner on the cheap
Alex Alderson, 2020-02-27 (Update: 2020-02-27)