By Andrew Liszewski
Wow! I am totally impressed by this LEGO NXT 3D scanner created by Philippe Hurbain, but what would you expect from one of the co-authors of Extreme NXT? The scanner was built to get models of irregular shaped LEGO pieces (like the small frog seen here) into the LDraw 3D software, and besides the sewing machine needle used as the probe, it’s entirely made from LEGO Technic and Mindstorms. The key to the scanner is apparently the new and highly-accurate linear actuator that’s included with the more recent version of LEGO Mindstorms, but there’s also quite a bit of clever coding done by Philippe that deserves mention.
As you can see in the video I’ve included after the jump, the scanning process is very slow and noisy thanks to the Mindstorm’s motors, but having to leave it running in your garage over night like Philippe does is a small price to pay, particularly when you consider what a real 3D scanner would set you back.