View Full Version : DSLR Scanner: 3D Printing Technology?

Drew Bedo
5-Aug-2013, 11:13
I have not imersed myself in the DSLR-Scanner threads or really followed it beyond dipping in once in a while. With that said, I do have a thought:

Is there any application for the x/y positioning technology used in he 3-D printers out there today?

Thyere are many systems with various levels of precision and cost.

Seems like one could place a light table on the building surface and support a DSLR over that instead of extrusion heads (or whatever). The software could be used for achieving focus and moving the camera around.

Am I missing something or just over simplifyong the whole thing?

Peter De Smidt
5-Aug-2013, 11:42
No doubt that could be made to work. But I expect that our DIY scanners will be cheaper, easier to use, and more suited to the task.

5-Aug-2013, 11:43
X/Y and X/Y/Z positioning systems have been around for well over 40 years. They're trivially simple, even at high accuracy.

The only thing unusual about 3D printing systems is that they're new. The motion-control technology they use is not.

I was engineering manager for a printer company in the late 1970s. Anything a modern printer can do, I could do then.

- Leigh

Steve Smith
5-Aug-2013, 14:05
As Leigh says, X-Y-Z positioning is very simple.

Do a search for DIY CNC.


Peter De Smidt
5-Aug-2013, 15:25
If you have a 3d printer or CNC, know the software, and have a spare one that you don't need for other things...then it's a viable option. The Gigamacro project is based on a CNC machine. You'd have to work out how to link the camera movement with shutter firing...among other things.

What's new is the convergence of DIY know-how, and affordable stitching software, digital cameras, micro-controllers, and linear motion parts.

Drew Bedo
6-Aug-2013, 07:51
A spare one? Just noodling around online I see that the bits for a x-y-z set up can be bought ala cart. The lower end machines are pretty inexpensive now too.

Peter De Smidt
6-Aug-2013, 08:52
Yes, many parts can be bought ala cart. That's what we're doing. How sturdy are the lower end machines? Is there space for a light source? How challenging would it be to adapt to a camera mount? Are all the axis easy to level? Is there enough height from the top of the negative stage to where the camera needs to be for 1:1 magnification? ...

We've covered a lot of this in the Dslr scanner threads.

But don't let me stop you. Modify one and report back.

A candidate would be a Microcarve MV3: http://www.microcarve.com/ . John designed the unit used by the Gigamacro folks. The main question is if there's enough height for a light source....

Peter De Smidt
8-Aug-2013, 07:35
Here's my XY stage before I cover everything with wires. It has 8" of movement left to right and 12" of movement front to back.

Steve Smith
8-Aug-2013, 11:16
You'd have to work out how to link the camera movement with shutter firing...among other things.

Z axis winding a cable release in and out should do it.

Then a simple programme which pretends to be drilling holes on a predetermined pitch (X and Y) is all that is needed.

For those who don't know CNC G-Code, the programme is as simple as this:

G01X150000 (if X or Y remain the same as before, they don't need to be specified again)

Each G01 X and or Y commands moves the camera (in this case) to an X/Y position. In this case X 100mm/Y 100mm then X 150mm/Y10mm.

Changing Z from 50mm to 0mm then back again is the cable release firing the shutter.

Apart from some header information, that sequence repeated is all that is required.


Peter De Smidt
8-Aug-2013, 11:50
See, if you're familiar with G-code, then it's easy. You also need delays, mirror-lock-up, and for Nikon cameras autofocus activation, even though you're not using it. Our system also shuts off power to the motors during exposure, just in case there's any vibration when they're powered up.