3D Scanner - Android based

by gigl, published

3D Scanner - Android based by gigl Mar 29, 2015
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NO, this is not Starship Enterprise even though It looks like.

It is my interpretation of a 3d Scanner. With a few additionally parts, an android phone has all the capabilities to help you
3D scanning an item of interest.
Just follow the instructions!
Highlights about this scanners are:

  • small printing time, only the disk takes little more time
  • No microcontroller and firmware needed, only laser and motor

The video of the owl can be found at
Another one of "Adolf the duck" is

I would really appreciate if you posted some fotos and some scan results!



  • All the STL Files above once but 3dscanner_base two times
  • An Android Phone or Tablet
  • A red line laser like http://www.ebay.de/itm/281562839777
  • A small rotating Motor (only 3RPM) like this http://www.ebay.de/itm/261549739071 . A Microwave motor like http://www.ebay.de/itm/261301609520 is probably also fine.
  • 2 Aluminium square profile rods 10mm square - about 200mm and 300 mm length should be sufficient.
  • 2 Aluminium round rods Diameter 8mm X 100 mm
  • 2 M3x10 screws +_ 2 M3 nuts for inserting into the base
  • A rubberband to mount the android phone


  • Print the parts
  • prepare the rods
  • insert the m3 screws and nuts into the base
  • mount the motor into the motor house
  • put everything together
  • connect the laser and the motor electrically. I used a 12V power adapter and an LM7805 to supplpy the laser
  • adjust the laser(1. adjust lens for minimal laser line thickness, 2 adjust laser to be exactly vertical, 3.) adjust laser to point exactly to center of dish)
  • Get Android app "scan3doid" from the Google Playstore (make sure to use at least 1.3, older versions are quite unstable)
  • Mount the Android Device to the phone holder
  • Finish with the instructions in the Android App

Some hints for succesful 3D scanning

  • First trial is not always the best. Retry with different settings to improve the result.
  • Care for a good setup. What the laser does not touch, and the camera does not see, will not be translated to the STL File

Happy 3D scanning

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since the link to that motor is dead as far as pictures go, can anyone tell me more of the specs on it so I get the right or close enough to right one?

Hi EasyEJL,

Of course there is a motor, but there is no link from the app to the motor. Therefore you need to turn it on/off manually. I used to have a switch there. Once you recorded long enough for a complete revolution, you just need to set the correct time to show the App the 0 Deg Time and the 360 Deg Time

Thank you for this. I'm in work to finish it...
Only printing the table is not really good. In a second try I rotate the table 180° with Cura before printing. Then it was easy with a perfekt print.
If I finish I will Post again ... :)

Hi I want to build it, but I need some more details on how to connect laser, and motors, and how the phone will controlled it.
Please would be helpful I'm waiting the aluminium parts already, just need to know if is a real thing or just theory.

Hey Mr. Nylon,

No this is not just theory, it actually works.
The owl shown above was achieved with such a construction.
Just follow the instructions very strictly and make sure the environment is dark when you scan, so just the laser is seen.

Thanks Gigl but where can I find d a complete instruction? I dont know if I need a controller for the laser and motor. Or they just need to be powered up?

Hi MyNylon,

Now I get your concerns. There is no "special" wiring needed.
The Motor i use can simply powered with 12V, the Laser simply with 5V
Make sure that the laser is as thin as possible, is vertical and points to the middle of the turntable
The construction just aids you with the physical abilities.
All the remaining instructions in the app are explained there.

thanks, ill get to it soon

interested projet i like it but the software scan3doid need to payd :-((

Yes this is true. But the used software is by far cheaper than what you would spend for the plastic, the motor and the rods.
For me its a fair price.

I didn't want to go to the hardware store so I made these:


Enjoy! Great design by the way.

Rods for 3D Scanner

Hey, After making the Table, I found it to be way too thin to keep stability, it warps after support removal, the Table Top could be a little thicker to combat the warping of thin material.

Hi 3dprintsolutions.

I printed that with ABS. To get even more stability an option could be PLA.
Why did you add support ? If you print the table top-side-down it will sit on its plane face. No need to
remove support and hence more stable.

My 1st print was already usable and well stable.

Rod lengths seem off, 150mm long? The square rods pictured are more than 150mm long.

Thank you for the hint. Instructions are corrrected now.

is it possible to make a new scanning with another object ?
I'm really interested by scan3doid.
thank you very much.

Yes, its possible. But you need some hardware in place
e.g. This "thing".
Scan3doid can then record the video and generate an 3d Model from it, then.

could i use more than one laser

Hi Darkcrow,

I dont think this will work. The software will not be able to distinguish the lasers currently, if there is more than one.

Scan3Doid is one option to create a 3D scan from your thing. It is basically taking a video from the turntable.
Android has perfect capabilities to taking videos :)
With the app you basically have to set some parameters manually, like start and stop time, lower in the video.
Other parameters are lower limit, upper limit, output dimensions.(There is no calibration)
Finally you press the "Process Video button"
Personally I can state, that I did have success with Scan3Doid. It was cheaper than the motor,
but maybe you find a better option.

After a bit of searching, I found Scan3doid at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gsohler.scan3droid&hl=en ($5.75 to buy). There's no mention at the Google store of how you connect the phone to the laser/turntable. Presumably there is no connection, and the app will just take lots of photos and somehow know when a revolution is complete... maybe it just knows the turntable turns at 3RPM, so it records for 20 seconds?

The author's website according to the App store is at http://www.guenther-sohler.net/ but doesn't mention 3D scanning. It's also in German.

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