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

Hailing from Los Angeles and quick question about paperbacks

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OpenExpression
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Hailing from Los Angeles and quick question about paperbacks

Post by OpenExpression » 08 Mar 2015, 03:06

Hi all!

I'm glad I found this forum. I'm from LA, and I've been searching nonstop for the last week for an acceptable book scanner, and there is literally nothing good less than $1,000! That's why this site interested me so much, but I've been reading about the Archivist no longer having a paperback scan option? Almost all the books I want to scan are paperbacks (about normal printer paper size - 8.5 x 11 inches). Any solutions to scan paperbacks?

Thanks everyone!

duerig
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Re: Hailing from Los Angeles and quick question about paperb

Post by duerig » 08 Mar 2015, 22:12

None of the platen-based book scanners will work well with paperbacks or other small, normally-closed books. Even 'paperback mode' on the older version of Daniel's scanner looks very cumbersome. The Archivist sacrificed paperback mode entirely to improve the lighting for all non-paperback books.

To see whether your paperback book will work well on a platen scanner, open it halfway and lay it on a desk. If it is big enough to lay open, it will work fine. If it flips shut, then that is what will happen on every page as you lift the platen up. Using this test, you may find that many of your paperbacks will work fine. Paperbacks are usually only an issue when they are the size of mass market pocket paperbacks you see at the grocery store.

If you find that your paperbacks will likely be easily scanned by a standard scanner, then you can work on making your own Archivist from Daniel's Make Magazine article here: http://makezine.com/projects/make-41-ti ... k-scanner/

Or you might try to make yourself a hardware-store scanner as described here: http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/vie ... ?f=1&t=333

On the other hand, if the books that you want to scan will not scan well on a platen scanner, I have been working on an alternative design and postprocessing software based on lasers. The idea is to make the whole scanner simpler and cheaper by removing the need for a platen and its associated moving parts. When it is perfected, my new scanner design will be substantially less than $1000 while providing much of the quality of platen-based scanners. You can take a look at some of the results over the course of my development here: http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/vie ... =17&t=3079

If you want to be an early tester of a kit based on laser scanning, send me an email at duerig at jonathonduerig dot com.

OpenExpression
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Re: Hailing from Los Angeles and quick question about paperb

Post by OpenExpression » 09 Mar 2015, 03:37

The Archivist looks pretty perfect (though I don't know the cost). Most of my paperbacks will lie open by themselves, since they are normal printer paper size (8.5 x11 inches), so the Archivist would work right?

The hardware scanner looks a bit too DIY for my tastes. I'd like something a little more professional-looking, such as the Archivist. What exactly are the differences between the Archivist and the Hackerspace model?

The laser idea you have seems cool. Your scans look awesome, but what does the hardware look like? I'd be interested in it if it makes scanning my paperback books easy. I do have some paperbacks that are smaller and won't lie open on their own though. But if the book lies open on its own, why can't I just use something like the Futisju SnapScan V600? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRZU_e2Bivk The issue I saw with that device is that my books don't like perfectly flat when open, and making the book spread so wide breaks the spine. Hence, the V-shaped platen cradles appealed to me.

duerig
Posts: 358
Joined: 01 Jun 2014, 17:04
Number of books owned: 1000
Country: United States of America

Re: Hailing from Los Angeles and quick question about paperb

Post by duerig » 09 Mar 2015, 11:49

I have an Archivist and it is a very good device. The archivist would work well on those larger paperbacks that lie open by themselves. I've scanned similar books with it myself.

The Archivist is essentially the next generation of the 'hackerspace' design. It is an improvement in almost every way. It can scan all but the largest books, has much better lighting, and is simpler to put together. Unfortunately, I don't think kits for the Archivist or the 'hackerspace' scanner seem to be available at the moment. So either way, you would need to find a friend with a CNC router to cut out the plywood parts and then source the hardware and other parts yourself, using the Make article as a guide.

FYI, the framework + lights kit for the archivist had been selling at $1000 each. I think the hackerspace framework kit was a bit less. Both of these prices were without electronics/cameras.

I think you yourself have explained why you don't want to use the Fujitsu SnapScan. It is great for flat documents. To get a good scan of a book you must either flatten the pages physically (platen+cradle), or determine the shape of the pages and flatten them in software (laser-scan methods, stereo camera methods, etc.).

I'm finalizing the physical design of my laser camera rig right now. You can see a video of my Mk. IV prototype here: https://vimeo.com/110082516

What I have been doing is transforming that 'bridge' copy stand design from 2x4 boards to T-slot aluminum extrusion. Depending on how things go with the electronics, I will likely be looking for beta testers and posting more pictures in a few weeks time. I plan to offer an 'everything but the camera' style kit.

OpenExpression
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Country: USA

Re: Hailing from Los Angeles and quick question about paperb

Post by OpenExpression » 09 Mar 2015, 21:26

Thanks for the awesome detailed response!

Your rig looks very capable, but do you plan to smooth the aesthetics of it out, so it looks more like the build quality/neatness of the Archivist? I value aesthetics a lot, even though function is obviously of utmost importance.

Also, how would your rig work with the small paperbacks that won't lie open on their own, or even the large paperbacks? I hate having to bend the spine so much to get them to lie open on their own. That's why the V-cradle appealed to me - gentler on the spine.

And I'm not sure where the lasers portions comes into play, since I just seen a Canon DSLR? I have one of those, but refuse to use it for scanning books because that's a lot of wasted shutter counts. I heard the shutter life is only about 100,000 pictures before the camera breaks, so I would hate to waste a few thousand on a few books.

Alternatively, would you be willing to help me make an Archivist? Are you local to Los Angeles? I don't know anyone with a CNC, and I don't even know how to open the .dxf file (what software is needed?) in the Archivist tutorial. I also don't seem a parts list with all the nuts, bearings, screws, wood pieces, etc. so I wouldn't know what to buy.

duerig
Posts: 358
Joined: 01 Jun 2014, 17:04
Number of books owned: 1000
Country: United States of America

Re: Hailing from Los Angeles and quick question about paperb

Post by duerig » 10 Mar 2015, 11:12

Regarding aesthetics, you will have to judge for yourself when I post pictures of the final version. If you want to see how T-slot constructions in general look, take a look here: https://www.google.com/search?q=t-slot+ ... n&tbm=isch

My rig works very well with books that won't lie open on their own because you will be physically holding the book in your hands the whole time, just as if you were reading it. A footpedal triggers the actual capture. My rig will work best on fragile or other items that you don't want to smash against glass. So far, it works worst on glossy pages like magazines and the like. This is because lighting comes from the same direction as the camera is shot (from above). Something like the Archivist with cameras on the side and lighting from above would work better on glossy pages.

If you want to get a better sense of scanning on my rig, take a look at https://vimeo.com/110087112 to see how it works. It is a little bit different than the current setup because I have since switched from voice control to a foot pedal. I was also using one of my hands to hold the camera, so I was only cradling the book in one hand rather than using both hands as I would in a real scan.

Regarding camera choice, it is a dilemma. If you use a nice camera, you are wearing it out faster and you may have to pony up a couple hundred bucks at some point to replace the shutter. But a worse camera will yield worse scans. I very much want to try one of the new mirrorless cameras on this rig. That removes the only mechanical action and so should in theory be good for many more shots in this setup.

I'm happy to advise you in any way you need on making an Archivist of your own. If you look at the Make magazine link, there is a list of parts in the side bar. But the very first step is to carve the wood pieces out of plywood. You could try to find a makerspace in the LA area, look for a woodshop that would be willing to cut it for you, or if you have a jigsaw or scrollsaw of your own, you could print out the part diagram, trace it out, and cut it from of a 4'x8' piece of plywood yourself. DXF is just a 2d outline of all the parts. And a CNC Router operator would take that and turn it into instructions for the router to cut them out.

duerig
Posts: 358
Joined: 01 Jun 2014, 17:04
Number of books owned: 1000
Country: United States of America

Re: Hailing from Los Angeles and quick question about paperb

Post by duerig » 10 Mar 2015, 11:16

BTW, in another thread, Piotrus just linked to this review of the Fujitsu ScanSnap:

http://www.documentsnap.com/scansnap-sv600-review/

It includes a couple of samples that show how both the usefulness and limitations of unassisted software dewarping. Look closely at the scans and see if that will be sufficient for your own purposes. If so, it might be a lot easier to order it then it would be to build your own Archivist or pursue some other DIY plan.

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