Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Best project here??

Built a scanner? Started to build a scanner? Record your progress here. Doesn't need to be a whole scanner - triggers and other parts are fine. Commercial scanners are fine too.
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Best project here??

Post by builderstudent2 » 12 Dec 2009, 17:41

Hello all! This is my first post here so I guess I could introduce myself briefly before I ask my question. I'm a 2nd year agriculture student at the University of Hawai'i here on O'ahu. I also work as an interpreter when I have time. I came to this website because when I searched for book scanners I saw these site on Google.

So, what I want to do is the same as everyone else of course. build a book scanner. However when I first came to this site, I saw -> "Our community has developed a whole ecosystem of scanner designs ranging from crude and expedient to polished and highly sophisticated." So that really makes me wonder what is the best book scanner here? I'm asking this question generally and I know that everyone might think theirs is the best but I am curious to know which one Daniel, the founder here, feels is the best one? For me from my brief look around on this site, the portable scanner here seems to be really awesome:

But what I want to do is not simply build the best scanner, I would like to take the best parts/sections from each of the best scanners here and combine them into one very excellent affordable scanner. Also, I will not be building the scanner since I know nothing about building. I will go and buy all the material and I will pay a handyman to build it for me according to the design(s) that we agree on here. I have quite a number of language books that I would like to put online and donate the books to my local library since I don't have room for the books. But I have plenty of space on my hard drive. :mrgreen: Mahalo in advance!! I am excited to get my scanner built and start scanning some books.

Edit: I thought I should add the two cameras that I have. I think the cameras are the most important thing, right? because all the other equipment is just stuff you buy at Home Depot or wherever and build the scanner. Ok, so I have a Nikon D70 and I Sony Cybershot 8.1 megapixels.

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Re: Best project here??

Post by daniel_reetz » 13 Dec 2009, 10:52

Welcome to the forums!

I think you'll be-hard pressed to find anyone here who will claim their project, or anyone else's project, is "the best". I won't. What we have learned by building scanners is that for each situation, budget, and desired outcome, there are tradeoffs to be made. My suggestion to you is to browse the build threads listed on the wiki and see what suits your needs. When you start building, we have a sort of tradition of posting a "build thread" in the Hardware section where you post pictures and share your experiences and innovations.

Also, many of our members have learned a lot about building... by building their scanner. If you have any interest in learning to build stuff, this is a great place to start. The more people that build their own stuff, the better, IMO.

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Re: Best project here??

Post by rob » 13 Dec 2009, 11:29

I think the major design elements are:

* Cameras
* Pushbutton for cameras
* Cradle
* Platen
* Lights
* Camera positioning
* Monitor for cameras

Will you be able to hook up a single pushbutton to activate the the Nikon and Sony cameras? I think that's one design feature that is a must-have on any build. It makes things so much easier and faster.

I tend to think that the glass platen is better than the acrylic platen -- I've seen more scanners being built with glass than acrylic lately. I haven't done the substitution yet, I still have acrylic on mine.

I also like the drawer-slide platen lift rather than the hinge lift. Again, I'm going to do that conversion when I replace my platen.

I think with lights you can go in any direction.

I'm not entirely convinced that a non-adjustable camera position is best, so you're on your own there!
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Re: Best project here??

Post by builderstudent2 » 15 Jan 2010, 07:32


I have just hired a contractor to build your DIY scanner. I sent him the pdf of the second version of the scanner you originally posted on the instructables site AND I sent him the link to the wiki. I don't know how I missed it but I just recently saw your new portable scanner and I'm very interested in that. You didn't post a guide on how to build for whatever reason but I sent the link with high res pics of it to my contractor. I'm going to see if he can reduplicate what you've done if that's ok with you. :D

Also, like I said I know nothing about building and/or computers so that's why I'm having a contractor do it for me. After the contractor builds the scanner for me, he will ship it to me. I know that there is a section in the pdf on setting up the cameras and post processing software and whatnot. The contractor is only building the scanner for me. So, is the setting up of the required software, camera hacks for my D70 and Sony Cybershot, etc. easy enough for a computer stupid person to do alone without breaking my cameras and/or laptop??

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