Improvement of appearance and properties of various types of scanners

Improvement of appearance and properties of various types of scanners

23. 02. 2015

Employees and students of the Institute of Machine and Industrial Design at Brno University of Technology made a new design for two types of scanners. They also improved some of their properties.

The design of a 3D laser scanner was their focus, however, the minimalistic concept and pure lines had no effect on utility comfort. Emphasis was placed on easy handling of the device, convenient handling in operation and easy access to the used technology in the case of maintenance and repair. The whole device was fed with current from the network. Its design and ergonomic properties were significantly improved whereas the assumption of cost remains in the area of low-end products.

 IMG 1696 mensi

  Figure No. 1: 3D laser scanner  

Employees and students of the Institute of Machine and Industrial Design of BUT, namely Doc. Ing. David Paloušek, Ph.D., Ing. Tomáš Koutecký, Ing. Matúš Ranuša and Bc. Jan Vítek participated in development (particularly in the field of design). The device's appearance is protected by industrial design (details are available here).

Ing. Koutecký and Doc. Paloušek worked on the second project, this time along with students Ing. Ondřej Koukal (who is also an employee of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering) and Ing. Richard Sovják. Their aim was the improvement of utility properties and easier operation of a three-dimensional facial scanner. Here, a structure with several cameras is normally used, which are synchronized and scan the subject’s head from several angles simultaneously. The team selected another method and used one scanning device only, which moves around the person being scanned. 

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Figure No. 2: Facial 3D scanner 

The scanning element is Microsoft Kinect (details in Wikipedia). The design of the whole device is adapted to its appearance so that the parts do not give an incongruous image. The whole unit is covered and all technology is hidden inside; however, the technical requirements are fulfilled (access to single parts, etc.). Only the peripheries are visible – scanning head, control elements and sockets for feeding and connection to a computer. Everything is fitted on a standard camera tripod to increase its mobility. 

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Figure No. 3: Facial 3D scanner 

The authors managed, in addition to considerable improvement in design and compactness, to achieve increased mobility of the device, easier operation (one person suffices) and better technical properties (e.g. scanning of colour texture of the face). Assumption of cost of the whole equipment ranges around the lower limit of other currently used devices. The whole range of improved properties is slightly compensated by the only limitation being comfort of use – for trouble-free use it is necessary that the scanned subject remains immobile for approx. 10 seconds. Details on its protection by industrial design are available here.

(Source of the images: the archives of the Industrial Designs authors)

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