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

A new scanner design using plastic tubing

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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davidlandin
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A new scanner design using plastic tubing

Post by davidlandin » 15 Sep 2013, 09:58

This is a brand new design for a scanner using several innovative features.

Image
The scanner has a counter-balance to support the cameras and platen. It's very cheap for you to make, and it uses simple plastic plumbing materials and a few locally available hardware items. There are three YouTube videos.

The first video gives an overview of the scanner and has some "how to" info on making your own.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns3jGFbJvXI

The second video shows the framework of the scanner, and how to construct it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s97wZ5mzLSc


The third video looks at lighting, the cameras and the cover
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufiWeIKkxmc


The scanner uses a framework of plastic tubing. This framework supports the working parts of the scanner - the cameras, lighting and the platen. It has a counterbalance rocking mechanism to raise and lower the platen and cameras.

The cradle is a unattached to the framework, and also has some new ideas for adjusting the sides of the cradle.

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daniel_reetz
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Re: A new scanner design using plastic tubing

Post by daniel_reetz » 15 Sep 2013, 12:33

This is a really cool design. I really like the way you maintain the relationship between the cameras and the platen surface. Thank you for sharing the design here!

Your cradle adjuster using terminal blocks is really cool, as well. I really liked your hint about using a piece of foam to make the book more compliant to the platen. (http://youtu.be/1W4M7StTjss). Most of the solutions here do not focus on inserting anything into a book or touching the book at all if possible, but it seems like a really good way to handle stubborn hardcovers.

How long have you been working on this design? How many revisions did you go through? Nice work.

hphistorical
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Re: A new scanner design using plastic tubing

Post by hphistorical » 15 Sep 2013, 15:28

I like this design, as it's not dependent on a lot of cutting work. I wonder what I'd have to do in order to get this type of scan setup to reproduce pages from newspapers. From the videos, I see that maybe gauging the size of the platen to the size of the largest book would be a beginning to get what size of base i'd be looking at.

Only problem for me would be getting the camera to move farther out, to get the entire page scanned at one shot. I'm probably going with a A2400 camera, (and probably only one), so I'll need a way to possibly move the camera up and down.

I'm new at this sort of thing, and trying to get some ideas as to how I could get things to work for my purposes.

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Re: A new scanner design using plastic tubing

Post by victoriaaustralia » 15 Sep 2013, 17:20

Great scanner! Thanks for sharing. As Daniel states a very smart solution to keeping the cameras orientated to the platen.
Freeware Windows workflow: 40Mb 400pg OCR'd A4 book pdfs
http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/vie ... =19&t=2835

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Re: A new scanner design using plastic tubing

Post by davidlandin » 15 Sep 2013, 17:30

daniel_reetz wrote:This is a really cool design. I really like the way you maintain the relationship between the cameras and the platen surface. Thank you for sharing the design here!

Your cradle adjuster using terminal blocks is really cool, as well. I really liked your hint about using a piece of foam to make the book more compliant to the platen. (http://youtu.be/1W4M7StTjss). Most of the solutions here do not focus on inserting anything into a book or touching the book at all if possible, but it seems like a really good way to handle stubborn hardcovers.

How long have you been working on this design? How many revisions did you go through? Nice work.
Thanks for these very encouraging words Daniel. I've read a huge number of posts on the site, and have gleaned many ideas from you and from other contributors. Many thanks! :D

I've been working on this for a couple of months. The design has gone though a series of iterations. I was thinking at first of raising/lowering the platen with weights and pulleys, possibly springs. But then I saw a very short video clip showing the Internet Archive "scribe" scanner http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUbeWM4K ... detailpage which showed a counterbalanced platen, and thought this would be an idea that could be utilized.

The framework on the Easy Book Scanner was originally cube shaped, but when I made the un-glued structure, I realized that it only needed one vertical side, (to support the rocker arm and light) and the structure could be simplified and reduced considerably. The cameras were originally going to be on the upper left and right sides of the cube shape, but I realized that they could be attached to the rocker arm instead, thereby providing a fixed spacial relationship with the platen. This resulted in a much cleaner structure, and also had the benefit of placing the cameras in a much better position.

In my original version the cradle was going to be a suspended, with each side suspended at the outer edge, and both sides joined by a piece of flexible fabric in the middle. However this cradle model (which I've written about elsewhere on this site) didn't give adequate support for the book - in other words there was too much movement to get accurate focusing. I realized that the spacing of the two sides of the cradle was not critical, so looked for something that would allow movements without being complicated. The trimmed terminal blocks provided a cheap and satisfactory answer.

The whole structure including the cover (but not including the platen or the cover poles) now folds down and can be packed in a carrying bag measuring 60cm x 50cm x 20cm. I need a way of safely transporting the platen to avoiding stresses and scratches in transport, and I am looking for a suitable carrying box.

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Re: A new scanner design using plastic tubing

Post by rkomar » 15 Sep 2013, 18:14

hphistorical wrote:I like this design, as it's not dependent on a lot of cutting work. I wonder what I'd have to do in order to get this type of scan setup to reproduce pages from newspapers. From the videos, I see that maybe gauging the size of the platen to the size of the largest book would be a beginning to get what size of base i'd be looking at.

Only problem for me would be getting the camera to move farther out, to get the entire page scanned at one shot. I'm probably going with a A2400 camera, (and probably only one), so I'll need a way to possibly move the camera up and down.

I'm new at this sort of thing, and trying to get some ideas as to how I could get things to work for my purposes.
Before constructing anything that large, you should do a simple test to see if your cameras can actually photograph something that large with good enough resolution. In my case, my newspaper is 22" tall, and my 16MP A4000 takes photos 4624 pixels tall, so I would be getting about 210 pixels per inch. That's a bit low in my mind.

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Re: A new scanner design using plastic tubing

Post by hphistorical » 15 Sep 2013, 19:30

rkomar wrote:
hphistorical wrote:I like this design, as it's not dependent on a lot of cutting work. I wonder what I'd have to do in order to get this type of scan setup to reproduce pages from newspapers. From the videos, I see that maybe gauging the size of the platen to the size of the largest book would be a beginning to get what size of base i'd be looking at.

Only problem for me would be getting the camera to move farther out, to get the entire page scanned at one shot. I'm probably going with a A2400 camera, (and probably only one), so I'll need a way to possibly move the camera up and down.

I'm new at this sort of thing, and trying to get some ideas as to how I could get things to work for my purposes.
Before constructing anything that large, you should do a simple test to see if your cameras can actually photograph something that large with good enough resolution. In my case, my newspaper is 22" tall, and my 16MP A4000 takes photos 4624 pixels tall, so I would be getting about 210 pixels per inch. That's a bit low in my mind.
I'll give you a look at what we got when we paid someone to scan pages for us. I'm wondering what DPI this was done at. Granted, this is the smaller versions of the newspapers we have, the others may be 22 inches tall. like yours.
https://skydrive.live.com/view.aspx?res ... GXWfJMpOcc

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Re: A new scanner design using plastic tubing

Post by dtic » 16 Sep 2013, 18:12

Amazing work David! I really like how you're consistently using inexpensive and widely available materials and tools. The whole device looks very lightweight and portable. The videos are very clearly presented. I'll try to reproduce your device when I have the time.

A few friendly questions and ideas after watching the three clips:
1. It may help me and others if you added a BOM (bill of materials) in a post here that summarizes components and quantities.
2. Doesn't the way you position the bright lamp cause a strain on the eyes of the operator?
3. "T plate repair connectors" are used in the platen/frame joint. They look a bit bent in the video. 45 degrees I presume. Did you bend them manually or using some tool?
4. Have you had any problems with blur in images due to camera shake?
5. are the drawer slides really needed for the tray base if a smooth table/bench is underneath it? Wouldn't the MDF base itself slide to the sides to adjust its position when the platen presses down on the tray.
6. have you tried attaching a handle to the front of the platen?

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Re: A new scanner design using plastic tubing

Post by davidlandin » 16 Sep 2013, 20:19

dtic wrote:Amazing work David! I really like how you're consistently using inexpensive and widely available materials and tools. The whole device looks very lightweight and portable. The videos are very clearly presented. I'll try to reproduce your device when I have the time.

A few friendly questions and ideas after watching the three clips:
Thanks for your kind comments dtic! Much appreciated

1. It may help me and others if you added a BOM (bill of materials) in a post here that summarizes components and quantities.

There is a list of components at the end of video 3, but here it is again

Main pipe structure
Metres of 21.5mm diameter pipe 10 metres
elbows/bends 10
Ts 4
strengthening steel tube 2
PVC tube weld cement 1

Pivot
5 mm steel rod length approx 45cm 1

Platen
3mm Acrylic pieces 2
Plastic weld glue
nuts bolts and washers to attach to pipes 2 1
Metal T connectors 80mm x 80mm 2
nuts bolts and washers to attach steel T-connectors to platen 4

Cradle and base
angle brackets (right angle, 10cm each side) 4
screws to fasten angle brackets 8
drawer runners (30cm) 2
Choc blocks electrical terminal 1
bits of lego or other material to stop excessive movement 8
8mm MDF book support 2
8mm MDF base board 1
Matt Black spray on paint

Lighting
30 watt energy saving lamp 1
clip on lamp holder 1
aluminium meat tin reflector 1

Cameras & support
Pentax or other cameras with infra- red shutter control 2
remote control 1
Bike handlebar camera holders 2
non slip drawer liner plastic pieces 2

Cover
Canvas covered wardrobe 1

Tools
Glue Gun
Electric drill
Pipe cutting tool or saw
Screwdriver

2. Doesn't the way you position the bright lamp cause a strain on the eyes of the operator?

I don't think it is a problem. However, the user could use some of the spare black cover material to make a small curtain to hide the light, while still seeing the platen and book.

3. "T plate repair connectors" are used in the platen/frame joint. They look a bit bent in the video. 45 degrees I presume. Did you bend them manually or using some tool?

Yes they are bent to about 45 degrees as you said. I did this using a small vice and a hammer, but you could use a vice grip and just lean on them! Yeah and my name is not superman! :lol:

4. Have you had any problems with blur in images due to camera shake?

No - there is not much room for vibration - the tubes don't vibrate, the movement is smooth, and the cameras are mounted on that drawer liner stuff that dampens movement

5. are the drawer slides really needed for the tray base if a smooth table/bench is underneath it? Wouldn't the MDF base itself slide to the sides to adjust its position when the platen presses down on the tray.

It might well be OK to just let the base slide on the table, but the runners are very cheap - I paid about $4 for two, and they do run nicely which gives the base free left/right movement within the limits imposed by the lego blocks!

6. have you tried attaching a handle to the front of the platen?

Yes I did think about it, but it would mean extra drilling into the platen, with the risk of damage. But the counterbalance is so smooooth it just takes the lightest touch to bring the platen into a snug position in the book.

I'll be interested to know if you make one like this.

One helpful hint - when you are joining a bend to a T or a bend to a bend, cut a short length of tube and push it into both parts (the bend and the T). Also it is important to get all the corners square and true. I use a table corner to get the 90 degree bends right, and the table top to make sure the tubes were leaving the bends at the same angle, just by pushing a square of tubes or U-shape of tubes flat against the table before the glue dried.

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Re: A new scanner design using plastic tubing

Post by hphistorical » 16 Sep 2013, 22:42

One thing that I am curious about, is proportions of the components. In the video, what is the size of the book holder? The individual pipe cuts? Platen? Can these be expanded for a large book?

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