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

Bargain-Price Book Scanner From A Cardboard Box

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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daniel_reetz
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Bargain-Price Book Scanner From A Cardboard Box

Post by daniel_reetz » 09 Jan 2010, 16:49

Matti and I were playing around with low-end scanner ideas the other day, and we decided to make an Instructable out of it.

PDF here.
INTRO2.jpg
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Matti wrote up some sweet little open source executables to rotate and handle images from one camera systems.

We also included a brief Scan Tailor tutorial, and discovered that of all things, Windows Picture and Fax Viewer + PDFCreator make a really nice PDF-making system for Scan Tailor's output!
BBS.gif
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StevePoling
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Re: Bargain-Price Book Scanner From A Cardboard Box

Post by StevePoling » 09 Jan 2010, 19:33

Some suggestions:

1) I discovered earlier this week that if you exit a mall through one of those less-than-obvious ways, you'll find a treasure trove of cardboard. Every shopping mall has huge well-marked entrances, but if you walk the mall with a sharp eye, you can spot a little gap between stores with a sign "Exit" marking an unobtrusive door. This will issue into a corridor running behind several stores. Each store with cardboard waste places it there until the trash guy comes for it.

2) Gaffer's tape is better than duck tape. If you have any friends who are theater majors, or if you volunteer backstage, you can score some cast-off end rolls. Gaffer's tape is has as aggressive adhesive as duck tape, but it is flat black. You can also buy black duck tape at a department store, but it tends to be shiny. An aerosol can of flat black paint moots this point.

Speculative musings:

1) Would it make sense to mark the glass plate for the benefit of post-processing? Consider a green pinstripe running along the edge of the glass plate to be inserted into the book's gutter. Suppose further a bit of software that seeks that green pinstripe and upon finding it, rotates the image until it's on the left edge of the image. And vertical.

2) I have wished that page images were cropped. Supposing the green pinstripe has been detected and rotated, it can be used to crop the left edge. It remains to detect a square-U-shaped region constituting the margins of the remaining edges. If successful, then use it to crop the image.

Does this sound interesting enough to follow up?

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Re: Bargain-Price Book Scanner From A Cardboard Box

Post by daniel_reetz » 09 Jan 2010, 19:54

I, too, keep thinking about the use of fiducial marks or green strips or other coded cropping methods. I think a smart way to implement it would be some kind of stop/blocker thing for the cradle. It could be a compressible black foam strip, like weatherstripping, with a velcro bottom. It would velcro into the platen and provide a positioning stop for the top edge of the book. Then whatever magical software would detect this strip and crop inside it.

Since I'm unfortunately strapped for time for the next month or so and a totally skill-free programmer, I don't have much to say on whether or not it is worth doing. I can say that I don't mind setting a crop box manually, a couple times per book. That was one of the virtues of Page Builder, Aaron's post-processor. You set a crop for the beginning, middle, and end, IIRC, and Page Builder interpolated between them to accoutn for any drift. To me, this seemed like a good-enough solution for the vast majority of cases.

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Re: Bargain-Price Book Scanner From A Cardboard Box

Post by StevePoling » 10 Jan 2010, 00:14

i debated with myself about putting something green on the book cradle. I think we're better off with just a green pinstripe in the gutter. That tells the software page orientation.

aku
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Re: Bargain-Price Book Scanner From A Cardboard Box

Post by aku » 10 Jan 2010, 13:57

daniel_reetz wrote:Matti and I were playing around with low-end scanner ideas the other day ...
Now that looks really nice, and even in the realm of my own abilites.

For background: While I have semi-tracked book scanning stuff since relatively shortly after your (daniel) famous original instructable (I think), it is only in the last month that I started looking deeper into possible designs with an eye towards my current abilities (1). The setup I used here at my parents house consists of
  • Their Tripod
  • My Canon SX 10
  • A halogen desk light
  • A foam pillow covered in white cloth as flat cradle.
Essentially the DecaPod thing without the special stuff to handle two cameras, and no real cradle, no platen either.
Shot the even pages first, then the odd. For after I am back in Vancouver the plan was to go with a similar setup first, except for the lamp. There I wanted to check if one or more IKEA Jansjö http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/50128713 provide enough light (clamped to the tripod). Mainly because I have a few of them already. Right now I cannot say if that would be a good lighting setup.

Now this cardboard cradle plus glass, that is within range of that I can do easily. Before I saw that I was thinking about doing a styrofoam cradle like ... a moment ... Wels scanner per the pictures on the frontpage.


(Ad 1) Never soldered before, and highpoint of mechanical stuff was putting some IKEA furniture together. Not much regarding tools.

aku
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Re: Bargain-Price Book Scanner From A Cardboard Box

Post by aku » 10 Jan 2010, 14:19

Following up on myself, now that I have actually read the instructable and seen the list of related ones at the end, I am reminded of two others I had seen in recent weeks:

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Re: Bargain-Price Book Scanner From A Cardboard Box

Post by daniel_reetz » 10 Jan 2010, 14:39

dhagen's "Page Press" seems to approach the ideal platenless scanner design (as far as portable scanners go). I didn't know he'd taken it a step further.

The only thing to watch out for with this setup that I described is that since the book doesn't slide/self-center, the apparent page size will change a little across the final images. For many purposes, this probably doesn't matter at all.

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