CowTech's $99 3D scanner captures detail from small objects

You'll have to 3D print some of the parts, though.
Billy Steele
B. Steele|02.26.16

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In today's maker-friendly workshop a 3D scanner is just as useful as 3D printing for replicating small objects. And now there's an option to adding the former gadget to your setup for under $100. The CowTech Ciclop is an open-source 3D scanner with two lasers and a 720p camera (a Logitech webcam, actually) to capture object. It touts the same resolution (0.5mm) as MakerBot's much pricier Digitizer. CowTech's version is based on another open-source 3D scanner, the $400 BQ Ciclop, but a few tweaks dropped the price to a mere $99.

First, you print some of the parts for the device using your own 3D printer. The CowTech Ciclop also employs an Arduino shield and other parts that keep costs down. In fact, those parts you'll need to make only require a print bed capable of 115mm x 110mm x 65mm (4.5 x 4.3 x 2.6 inches) builds. This means that smaller 3D printers can be used to complete the kit. The device arrives in pieces that you combine with your 3D-printed parts to build the scanner. It's very DIY.

CowTech's Ciclop also uses the same open-source software as the BQ Ciclop, too. You can expect to capture details of objects that measure 200mm (7.87 inches) wide and 205mm (8 inches) tall. What's more this 3D scanner can complete the capture in a span of 2-8 minutes. As we already mentioned, $99 will nab you a kit, and you can expect it to arrive in April following an already booming Kickstarter campaign.

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