In general, a Structured Light scanner is the best solution: It is faster, more comfortable, and more flexible because it can scan without calibration panels in the background.
But laser scanning is not bad either. It is preferable in the following cases:
We have tested many cameras, lasers, projectors, etc., and also we have received a lot of reports from our forum user community. Then we simply put the most suitable models into our shop.
Based on this experience, we have put together complete scanner packages that contain the best value-for-money hardware components which work perfectly together.
We are able to offer both packages at a price lower than the sum of their contents.
Low-cost: Logitech webcam Pro9000 or C615. Use the Pro9000 at 800*600, 15 FPS.
High-quality: We recommend our monochrome CCD cameras. Only if you need to capture color textures, you should choose the color camera. In any case, the camera must support DirectShow.
Low-cost: Red line laser.
General case, high quality: Green line laser with adjustable focus. Usually 5 mW are sufficient.
Small object, finest surface details: Blue line laser with adjustable focus. Use it with a monochrome camera.
We (the DAVID team) have tested lots of cameras, trying to find the perfect model for SL scanning. Unfortunately we did not find a satisfying camera, so we developed our own together with our camera hardware supplier. The result is the DAVID-CAM-3.1-M (separately available soon). At this time it's the only camera model that we can recommend 100% for SL scanning.
The DAVID-CAM-3-M is also part of our complete SLS-2 scanner package.
The projector should fit to the scanned object size. Most projectors can be focused to large screen sizes only, starting at 1 meter. With these projectors you cannot focus on small objects.
On the other hand, a micro projector does not have enough power to illuminate a large object (also depends on the environment light).
Our SL projector Acer K132 PLUS (separately available soon) is most flexible and can be focussed to smallest objects (starting at 50 mm “screen size”) to “infinity”. It is also part of our SLS-2 scanner package.
The camera must be able to send live video feed to the computer. DAVID accesses it over DirectShow, so the camera (or grabber card) must have a DirectShow driver. Try with DAVID (e.g. Free Edition) whether your camera is listed in the “Video Source” menu, and whether you receive a live video.
Also it is important that all automatisms (auto-focus, auto-aperture, auto-exposure) can be switched OFF because DAVID requires constant conditions during scanning.
The projector must be connected to the PC via VGA or HDMI. It must be configured as 2nd screen (“extended desktop”).
The projector should fit to the scanned object size. Most projectors can be focussed to large screen sizes only, starting at 1 meter. With these projectors you cannot focus on small objects. On the other hand, a micro projector does not have enough power to illuminate a large object (also depends on the environment light).
LCD projectors are usually easy to use. Other types (DLP, LED) require long exposure times in the camera (usually 1/60s), so it's best to have a camera with a mechanic lens aperture.
It must be a line laser. The line must be straight and as thin as possible. Cheap line lasers (like below 10 EUR / 10 US$) often create a very thick or even slightly curved line (like a banana), which will cause imprecise scans.
Windows 7, 64 bit, modern dual-core or quad-core CPU, >4GB RAM, 3D graphics card from NVIDIA or AMD (middle-price gamer card).