ScanBooth at Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire 2012

Kids getting 3D scanned at the Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire 2012. © Larry Rippel

At the 2012 Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire, I ran a booth where people could get 3D scanned and take home a small printout of themselves. After an intense 7 hours, we scanned over 90 people and printed out over 40 of them. Going from raw 3D scan to a printable miniature figurine requires a surprising number of steps. Raw 3D scans have holes, extra geometry and artifacts that all need to be dealt with before sending to the printer. In fact, when I first started scanning people back in March, it took me over an hour to manually clean up a scan so that it was able to be printed out. In order to scan and print so many people in such a short time span, I had to automate the process as much as possible. Using a collection of scripts I was able to get the turnaround time down from over an hour to about 8 minutes. To help others with this problem, I’m releasing ScanBooth.

ScanBooth is a collection of software for running a 3D photo booth. It includes tools for automating 3D scan capture, cleanup, printing and sharing.

Here’s what ScanBooth has to offer:

  • A rails webapp
    • Allows users to enter their contact information when they get scanned.
    • Stores status of user prints, uploads and emails.
  • Delayed job framework
    • Upload scans to sketchfab.
    • Upload scans to an FTP server.
    • Email users links to their scans for viewing/downloading.
  • Scan workflow automation
    • Auto launch ReconstructMe and start scan
    • Automated scan cleanup with meshlab

We had a fantastic time showing people the power of 3D scanning and printing at Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire. I hope ScanBooth helps others do the same. Please check out the code on github and let me know what you think!

Carlos Armengol and his son check out their souvenir from ScanBooth at Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire 2012. © Larry Rippel