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

Footsie Bookscanner

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.
duerig
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Number of books owned: 1000
Country: United States of America

Footsie Bookscanner

Post by duerig » 22 May 2015, 10:54

wmalcolmk has an instructable up for a new scanner design:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Book-Scanners/

It is called the 'Footsie Bookscanner' because the cradle is raised and lowered using a foot pedal. This is similar to videos of the Internet Archive Scribe, and in theory the Archivist could be operated with a foot pedal as well although I don't think anybody has actually done it. From the pictures, I see that camera triggering is also done via foot-power which I think is unique. This leaves both hands entirely free to turn pages. Foot-powered operation is a big advantage because our legs are much stronger than our arms.

I've got a lot of questions for wmalcomk about this interesting design which I will be posting in this thread.

-D

wmalcolmk
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Number of books owned: 500
Country: England

Re: Footsie Bookscanner

Post by wmalcolmk » 22 May 2015, 13:09

duerig asked me to put an overall picture of my scanner on this site. Unfortunately I didn't take a full picture. The prototype shown on the Instructables web site was completed over a year ago and has been cannibalised for my latest version, which is much prettier, better, and easier to make. The best way of getting an idea of how it works is to view the video on the Instructables site.
I have a picture of the top half of the scanner, and one of the bottom, but at the moment can't find out how to upload them (any hints? I suspect that I am blocked from uploading).
The really interesting part of the design is the book cradle, which adjusts more or less automaticaly to the sideways movement needed as the pages are turned. This happens because the cradle can slide along the support rope.
I have dropped the foot operated camera triggering since I found it easier to press a hand button. This follows the natural hand sequence of operation.
Malcolm

duerig
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Country: United States of America

Re: Footsie Bookscanner

Post by duerig » 22 May 2015, 13:36

The cradle is one of the most interesting parts to me. How stable is it? Do you have to steady it with your hands while going up and down?

On the Archivist (and many other scanners), large books work well but small paperbacks or other books can snap shut every time the cradle moves which makes them hard to scan. Does your design make it easier or harder to keep your place in the book?

On the cradle, you have two outrigger arms. Why not a notch in the cradles sides instead? Or a hole that the rope goes through? Does that improve the stability of the cradle? Would a slightly more complicated rigging setup with ropes to the corners improve stability? Or is stability a non-issue?

Having some kind of counterweight still seems like a win, especially for heavy books. How thick are the two sides of the cradle? It looks like they are 6mm plywood. Is that right?

I would be interested to know your approach to making it easier to build. So far, the most complicated assembly part seems to be gluing up the platen assembly. Attaching the platen assembly to the frame also seemed a bit tricky because it involved metal brackets that looked like they needed to be bent in a non-standard way.

When using the foot pedal, is there any difficulty in keeping it balanced? I notice that it offset from the center. Does it cause the ropes and cradle to one side or the other when you push it? Or is there something I am not seeing that keeps it straight?

BTW, your three-column structural arrangement is similar to what I have in my latest laser scanner prototype. After experimenting with a few different setups, this is the one that seemed to minimize vibration while keeping things mostly open. So it looks like we both came to the same great idea independently. :)

The obvious improvement that I can see for your design is to use custom-ground glass at the 50 degree angle for the platen and so minimize the gap between them. And you may also be able make lighting more even by tweaking your LEDs, though it is hard to tell exactly what your lighting setup is from the pictures.

-D

wmalcolmk
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Number of books owned: 500
Country: England

Re: Footsie Bookscanner

Post by wmalcolmk » 22 May 2015, 16:00

In answer to the queries from duerig....

The centre of gravity of the book is well below the pivot point, which is at the top edge of the cradle. This means that there can be some swing fore and aft as the book is raised from the floor of the scanner. However, when the pages come into contact with the glass, there is little opportunity for movement, since the cradle is held in position by the rope, which is at the pulley. I do tend to use my hands to guide the cradle, since they have nothing else to do at this time.
If small paperbacks tend to snap shut, you can keep your place in the book as it comes down from the glass using your left thumb, which helps when you turn the page with your right hand.
My latest design doesn't use outrigger arms. The cradle extends further, and the rope runs through a metal guide loop. It is important that the guide loop and pulley nearly touch at the top (see above). I don't find stability a problem.
If you can lift a book up with your arms, I don't believe the complication of counterweights is justified, when you have the use of your legs.
The cradle is of thin plywood. I think of their function as the same as your hands, when you are reading the book.
I agree that the platen is a bit tricky to make. I have spent a number of years making picture frames as a hobby.
My new design at the moment has simpler metal support brackets (I could eliminate them from the design, but need to minimise stress loads into the glass for safety reasons).
My new design has a better foot pedal, with more pulleys used to route the rope down to the pedal.

Malcolm

wmalcolmk
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Re: Footsie Bookscanner

Post by wmalcolmk » 24 May 2015, 10:18

I've now worked out how to upload photos to the site. So here are two that best explain how it is possible to design a scanner that keeps the platen in a fixed position, and move the book upto the glass of the platen. The prototype was produced over a year ago, and is documented on the Instructables web site. I am now nearing the end of an update to the design. I will make postings on the tips and tricks I have learned in the process of solving problems thrown up by the novel arrangement.
Proto1.JPG
This shows the upper half of the scanner, with camera mounts that can be steered into an accurate position, so that tombstone correction and excess cropping is avoided later on. The glass platen is held in silicone rubber to avoid stress being introduced into the glass.
Proto2.JPG
The lower half of the scanner is shown in this photo. I will explain the advantages of a pulley, rope and foot pedal arrangement later. By freeing the hands, it becomes easy to control the book as it approaches the platen.

Malcolm

wmalcolmk
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Joined: 12 May 2015, 04:39
Number of books owned: 500
Country: England

Re: Footsie Bookscanner

Post by wmalcolmk » 28 May 2015, 10:22

Cradle, Pulleys, and Rope

I will try to explain how raising the book with a rope around the cradle
gives an easy way to compensate for thick books. The cradle should be
thought of as a help in raising the book by hand. The hand guides the book
onto the platen, and the cradle does the hard lifting work, driven by a foot pedal.
The book that I am using for testing is 60mm thick.

Here it is, pressed against the glass.
Thick book.JPG
Thick book.JPG (52.7 KiB) Viewed 3327 times
The cradle has a segmented centre that allows it to follow the contours of
the spine, and if necessary, lets the book slide from side to side.
Cradle1.JPG
Cradle1.JPG (53.44 KiB) Viewed 3327 times
The rope is guided onto the pulleys with outrigger arms that ensure that the
book is balanced below the pulleys. The cradle is free to slide along the rope in order to centre the book onto the vee of the platen.

This photo shows the rope position at the start of scanning.
Pulley1.JPG
Pulley1.JPG (49.31 KiB) Viewed 3327 times
This photo shows the rope when the last pages are scanned
Pulley2.JPG
Pulley2.JPG (46.23 KiB) Viewed 3327 times

ndavidow
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Re: Footsie Bookscanner

Post by ndavidow » 29 May 2015, 16:07

Very interesting design, I like the simplicity and improved functionality compared to older conventional builds. Being able to handle paperbacks is key, I'm definitely considering building one of these because of my paperbacks. I was thinking of using a Book Liberator suspended by a pulley and counterweight, but the foot pedal is pretty radical and I think I like it more. Can you show more detail of the foot pedal?

wmalcolmk
Posts: 24
Joined: 12 May 2015, 04:39
Number of books owned: 500
Country: England

Re: Footsie Bookscanner

Post by wmalcolmk » 30 May 2015, 06:13

Foot Pedal and more Pulleys

ndavidow asked for more information on the foot pedal.

This design has two ropes which run downwards on either side of the platen.
They need to be pulled downwards in order to raise the cradle holding the
book. The latest configuration uses further pulleys underneath the platform that
supports the cradle before it is raised.

This next photo shows the arrangement which allows a single rope to be
pulled downwards by the foot pedal. The rope is clipped onto the two rings
shown in the photo. I'm very pleased with the way this works, since it has a
sensitive action and is quick to operate.
Pulley3.JPG
Pulley3.JPG (43.98 KiB) Viewed 3295 times
The foot pedal shown in the next two photos was quickly built in order to
get on with the interesting bits. I am considering modifying a drummers bass
drum foot pedal in order to make it look more elegant.
Foot pedal1.JPG
Foot pedal1.JPG (55.51 KiB) Viewed 3295 times
Foot pedal2.JPG
Foot pedal2.JPG (51.08 KiB) Viewed 3295 times
I hope this answers the question - Malcolm

ndavidow
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Re: Footsie Bookscanner

Post by ndavidow » 31 May 2015, 08:10

Very nice, thank you!

wmalcolmk
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Joined: 12 May 2015, 04:39
Number of books owned: 500
Country: England

Re: Footsie Bookscanner

Post by wmalcolmk » 03 Jun 2015, 09:14

Footsie Photos

Here are a few photos of my latest version of Footsie -
the one legged/sitting down/foot operated/book scanner.
As you can see from this first shot, it is designed to be clamped to a table
at the rear of the scanner. In this case I used a workmate, (that's the name
in England. I'm not sure about the US).
The front is supported by a removeable leg that also holds the foot pedal in position.
For transportation and storage, the whole scanner can be fitted into a 550mm square cube (22 inches - whatever they are!).
Scanner2-1.JPG
Scanner2-1.JPG (46.78 KiB) Viewed 3206 times
Here are a few more photos.
Scanner2-2.JPG
Scanner2-2.JPG (63.37 KiB) Viewed 3206 times
Scanner2-3.JPG
Scanner2-3.JPG (41.39 KiB) Viewed 3206 times
Scanner2-4.JPG
Scanner2-4.JPG (49.92 KiB) Viewed 3206 times
Scanner2-5.JPG
Scanner2-5.JPG (55.93 KiB) Viewed 3206 times

The missing bit, of course, is the lighting system. This is nearing completion, and photos will be posted shortly.
I have a major concern with most designs of bookscanner. I cannot see how they avoid reflections from the room, unless it is kept dark. This scanner will have a hood, in the form of an inverted V, sitting between the cameras and the platen. The cameras look through holes in the hood. At the apex of the inverted V is a line of 12 volt light emitting diodes. Watch this space.
(Note - it still all fits into a 550mm cube.)

Malcolm

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