Project DASER: Introduction

I finally get to my current project: Dave’s Laser Scanner, or DASER for short. It is a very simple handcranked camera-trackable platform with a spinning mirror laser that will hopefully be able to bring all types of 3D object from real life into blender to be cleaned and animated. I started a few months ago, and designed and built an automated version that synced itself with pulsating light and auto movement turntables. It was a masterpiece, that ended up being too over-engineered, and misuse of time…But a refresh of the idea was to build the platform you see in the image out of foamboard in a couple of days from pattern to reality, and taking the laser system and placing it in a fixed holder.


The laser and collimator are from a $12 green pointer that you can buy from Amazon, I used the seller Hottest Deals Ever they were great! even the 5mw laser appears to be a 20mW diode cranked down but was probably a factory defect, so full power might kill it, and blind me at the same time. So overall it is a good deal, I also used the spinning mirror of a laser printer, and the motor of a cd drive. Of course I was lucky to have those parts already, and I placed them in a hand cut aluminum mount as shown below. I thought that would be enough of a heatsink, oh how wrong I was, later I added a larger multifin heatsink.


I did not want to post about this project until I was sure that progress was reaching a point where the end was visible, and I believe that since I was able to integrate ffMPEG into the tracking application, now is a good time. As you can see in the picture below, the example video showing is supposed to be a blue sky so there are bugs, but nothing that I feel can not be overcome. So keep checking back for updates. :)


8 Comments since June 18th, 2009.

  1. Katy

    Pretty good post. I just found your site and wanted to say
    that I’ve really liked reading your posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon!

  2. Nipuna

    I came here from the blender nation link you posted.
    This is really nice.
    Are you planing to sell these by any chance?

  3. @Nipuna: I do not have any commercial ambitions with the project itself, when finished specs will be available to anyone to build a scanning stage out of cheap foamboard, (the turntable is an old method, I have something simpler now) and will be able to use commercial line lasers like that from a laser level (spinning mirror not necessary). The software will be open source and Windows builds, but since its using ffMPEG and wxWidgets, I see no reason building it on other platforms would be a problem.

  4. Nipuna


    Thanks for the reply.
    But i think you should make some units while keeping the source open.
    Everyone at the blender community will love it for sure.
    But it is easy for us to tell you and much harder for you to actually do.

    So thank you very much for the time and effort you are putting in to this project and we hope to hear more about this project.

  5. tzucu

    Nice, really nice job. Maybe I can help you a little.
    It could be interesting.

  6. jitup

    hello, I found your website via blendernation link, and think this is great what you are doing. I have a couple of questions tho. I just bought the foam board and printed out the papers to make the Davids scanner, then I became aware that the free version is low quality. Before I go to the home depot to buy my laser and find a webcam else where, will these things still be useable with your format? Also, do you have an idea of when you will be ready to release your software? Thanks a bundle and I, as well as many others, appreciate your efforts. If you could make a sign up for a mailing list to make people aware of updates to your experiment, I think it would be very helpful.

  7. I cannot wait to study more of this fine topic. So much today Ive never even regarded. You sure did put a whole new twist on something that Ive heard a huge amount of about. I dont believe Ive actually read anything that does this subject as good justice as you simply just did.

  8. Cadaviz

    what happened to the project daser?

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