The $3.47 3D Scanner

by datac, published

The $3.47 3D Scanner by datac Feb 10, 2018


Design Tools


Liked By

View All

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag

Thing Statistics

20742Views 2890Downloads Found in Gadgets


Tape your iPhone headphone controller to the carrier, adjust the carrier position with the knurled nut so the cam just hits the + button, set the turntable on top, aim your iPhone at the subject you place in the center and turn the crank. One complete rotation of the turntable equals 30 exposures- I use the free version of 3df Zephyr to build a 3d model from these.

I'm just starting out 3d scanning with photogrammetry, and I really, really wanted to like the $30 3D scanner (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1762299). Unfortunately, it has some problems, and after trying to fix one after another I decided to scrap it and start from scratch with my own design.

The turntable's weight is supported by four rollers, and the drive is by worm gear, so no more skipping teeth or rocking with lightweight subjects. The iPhone headphone control holder is easily exposed and has an adjustment nut, so you can fine-tune the cam pressure without tearing the whole thing down or making a bunch of shims. I didn't include an iPhone stand, since there's no shortage of excellent designs already out there. According to S3D, using $25/kg filament the whole thing cost $3.47 to print.

Update 2/11/2018: Just added one piece turntable and frame STLs for folks with large printers. For folks printing the two-piece versions, my dovetails are friction fit and shouldn't require glue, but they're directional- make certain you're snapping the small part down on the large part, not the other way around.

Update 2/22/2018: Per request, just added turntable and frame versions to allow printing on very small printers (110mm diameter). For the frame, print TinyFrameA, two of the existing FrameB, and one each TinyFrameC and TinyFrameD. For the turntable, print TinyTurntableA and six TinyTurntableB. As always, place the male dovetail over the female and press together, not the other way around.

Print Settings


QIDI Tech 1


Doesn't Matter







More from Gadgets

view more

File Name



All Apps

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Quickly Scale, Mirror or Cut your 3D Models

App Info Launch App
Comments deleted.

I can not print well the "worm" :(
part that is done with the supports?

I ask for help thanks

Hello, Hatchbox black wood - what kind of plastic? ABS, PLA, PETG ...?

It's a composite comprised of PLA and wood fiber. Hatchbox makes it in three colors, this is black.

I'm having trouble with the shaft connecting to the worm. My printer isn't printing at too great of a quality, so the worm gear comes out with very narrow space between each tooth. And then when I try to assemble the shaft to the worm, it acts like the shaft is too big, and the worm's hole is too small. I've tried heating the plastic with a lighter to let the shaft "melt" into the worm's threads, but then it doesn't stay, so I used a hot glue gun which temporarily helped until the turntable is pushed all the way down on the frame, at which the turntable sticks. I'm thinking I'm going to have to edit this print, and instead of threads, make it a square joint, much like you did with the cam on the shaft.

It sounds like you're suffering from a bit of overextrusion. If you do something like a square joint, you'll need to glue the pieces. I'd used a threaded connection to make it possible to swap different cams- altering the number of lobes would allow different multiples of 30 exposures.

depending on how it turns out, I may post the stl files I edited as a remix

How do you dovetail joint that big round piece ?! Please help

Female side (usually the bigger piece) goes flat on the table, male piece snaps down from the top. There's a taper, so if you try it backwards you're in trouble. It's a friction fit, so you likely won't need any glue, etc.

So I've printed this but have no idea how my iPhone headphone volume switch is supposed to fit securely under the cam. Does anyone have a photo of this set up as it is supposed to function with the headphones?

I've got quite a few "picture sets" from this scanner now, printed at 65% scale. My problem is using them and I figured the people in this comments thread might have some suggestions. I've tried 3DF ZEPHYR FREE, but it only supports Nvidia graphics cards, so it runs off the CPU and after 6 hours of "working" on my model I forced closed it. The Scann3d app for Android wants me to sign up for a subscription to import my picture sets. Any other software out there to test out these picture sets?

That's very odd- I don't have an Nvidia card, just el cheapo Intel integrated graphics in an old G620, and 3df Zephyr Free works fine for me- maybe takes 5-10 minutes, nothing excessive. You mentioned earlier that you weren't using a phone- if you're shooting in a much higher resolution, that could absolutely account for the difference.

Can you show any examples of the models produced with this thing?

Hopefully this is my last question. I did get a beautiful worm gear finally by printing 2 of them at once very far apart on the build plate allowing for super long cool times between layers.

How the whole "headphone button" part works I'm still a little lost on since I don't have an iphone...I do plan on utilizing the cam action in a different way though. Anyways...I can't quite tell from the shadows on the pictures which way is up for the carrier..the part with the groove, or the does the groove face down. 2nd, should the bolt head (square) fit tight into the carrier so it doesn't move...or loosely so it slides easily. If anyone has gotten that part of the design to run smoothly, I'd appreciate their thoughts on those questions...thanks!

** On a side note to the designer: I was easily able to drill some holes, but it might be nice to have some holes print in the arms of the frame for bolting or screwing the whole thing to something solid. It's so light that turning the handle almost always moves the whole model and since my phone mount is a whole separate item it causes the pictures to be off a little. Drilling holes and screwing it to a piece of plywood along with my phone mount worked perfect...but some holes thrown into the design might help out.

Thanks for publishing your work and answering questions...I know it takes up a lot of time to do so.

Good idea with the holes, I'll throw them in. I normally keep one hand on the frame, but I could have made it easier by including a handle or something similar.

Fantastic job on this one. There's this really small problem: Worm and crank's screw threads do not match. Worm's thread is way bigger and thus the crank won't contact the worm

I assume you're talking about the threaded connection between the crankshaft and the worm? That's very odd- I've printed a number of them, and they fit just fine. I assume you're not doing any scaling or anything similar...

I finally got to fix it. I glued them together , probably my printer's settings messed up the thread. I remixed the carrier and cam to fit bigger headphone buttons.

My recommendation: Print the Worm gear 1st to see if your printer will give you a usable part. I did that last...and can't get a usable gear...so I'm stuck with an "almost" printed model for now. Will probably have to have it professionally printed which isn't a huge deal I suppose.

I assume the worm is falling over before the print is complete? For skinny prints with small footprints, sometimes it's helpful to use a raft, or even supports (not necessary to hold up the layers, just to enlarge the footprint and give it a more stable base while printing).

Yeah, I had the 1st attempt fall over, then I've tried with a raft several times also. It's just the fact that the worm gear itself has the overhangs which even with good even cooling curl up ever so slightly. Generally with a solid part the nozzle's heat will just push it back down with the next layer....but because it's so tall and thin...the "tower" tends to bend back and forth instead and I end up with slightly misshapen worm gear that just won't work. I might give it a few more tries the next time I switch filament to something that doesn't curl up as much with the overhangs....or an external fan to help with even more air-flow. I haven't given up yet. :) And I've scaled everything down a little to fit on my print bed...so I'm sure I would be having better luck with 100% scale. Had I printed the worm first instead of last...I probably would have chosen to use your 2 piece models instead of scaling down.

Can someone post a picture of the entire setup with a phone and subject... Im trying to visualise how this will work without yet having printed out the model. Downloaded it now and it is in the queue for printing. Just curious to see one setup - and not sure how the taking of the picture is triggered, or whether that is a manual process. IE, turn-click-turn-click-turn-click 30 times?

No, as it says in the description, the cam automatically triggers your phone's camera through the headphone controls thirty times for each rotation of the turntable as you turn the crank. That's pretty much the whole point of the thing.

How are you routing the headphones? Mine is very loose.

Very nice print ! Which filament did you use ?

Heh, Hatchbox black wood. I love this stuff.

This is the setting that I use to print a one piece turntable on maker select v2 since it barely fit 200mm x 200mm
Using Cura I changed the machine setting of the bed X: 205 mm & Y: 210mm.

then to place the turntable, put it flat then set X: -1.84 mm and Y: 4.34 mm.
its printing right now and wont be finish until tomorrow and looks like the edge where the further right and the top got shaved about ~1mm which is better than printing them in 2 pieces

Could the table be removed and a dinner plate or some such placed on top for simplicity/speed for those with small beds?

No, the gear and locating geometry is an integral part of the turntable. It's only 2mm thich (4mm at the edge), so it doesn't take much to print.

thank you, looking forward to making a copy this week

What software are you using to scan with?

Just the phone's camera. The resulting images are then imported into 3df Zephyr.

Thank you i will try it out.

do you mind designing a phone mount if possible, thanks

good adaptation and design.
practical and functional.
little time of printing.

Thank you very much for the design, everything fits perfectly, takes up little space and works very well.

3 Questions:
Is this usable with an android phone?
How does the phone needs to be placed in order to work?
Do you need a specific phone stand for this to work?

I'll be trying it latter with SCANN3D app for Android. I'm using both a Note5 and an S8+ for scanning. I'll report back with updates.

Any updates? Interested how much this helps SCANN3D do it thing...as I've gotten mediocre results at best with that app.

Is it possible that you create one file from Turntable A and Turntable B? My Bed is big enough and i do not have to glue something

Just added one piece versions of both the turntable and frame.

Thank you as well. I was just about to do this.

Thanks. many times!

Hey there, are there supposed to be files for the rollers in here? I don't see them in the files for this model.

Not certain how that got left out- it's in there now.

Perfect! Thank you so much! I’m printing this as we speak, so I’ll set up another gcode file with four of the rollers. :)

Glad to hear it! I did use supports on the rollers, only place in the whole project.

Heck, I opted to do the entire thing with supports, let alone the rollers. I always like to be sure. :)

First batch done. Printing up the second batch of parts now!

That's a big print bed! I should throw up the non-pieced together version, save you some hassle.

Oh yeah, the Prusa i3 MK2S’s 210x250mm bed has been absolutely liberating for me.

But no worries - it’s already complete!

Would it even be possible to make a version of this that could print on a 110 circle x 120 height bed? I know construction would be a lot more work printing it that way but unfortunately that's the sizes I'm working with for now.

Hmm, that's pretty small, but let me see what I can do to shake something out in the next few days.

Awesome, thanks! And yeah I hope to have a bigger one around this time next year.

I just put up a version of the turntable and frame that should print on a 110mm circular bed- let me know how it goes!

Thanks again. I've got the first part printing right now. It's going to take me a few days to get it all printed and put together but I'll update you soon.

Have you already made scans with it? What SW did you use for it and if possible, could you share a photo or file of the scan-result? Thanks in advance.

Yep, works well. As I mentioned, I use the free version of 3df Zephyr. I'll add a shot of a scan.

Did you post the results anywhere?