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Spanish tech firm BQ manufactures smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and 3D printers, but it’s their entry into the 3D scanner market that’s turning heads. The company’s new Ciclop 3D scanner uses laser triangulation technology and a rotating turntable, and it’s billed as “the first DIY 3D scanner.”

ciclop-675x379The parts kits for the Ciclop are available for download now, and the company says you should be able to build one cheap – for under $500.

horus-controlCiclop will also run their software, Horus, which has just been released via a free license. The Horus software is also open source in regard to its mechanical design, electronics, software, and algorithms, and BQ says the open source status of the software and the scanner means a community of developers will be free to make modifications, improvements, and additions to the development of their devices.

Horus is multi-platform software to control open source 3D scanners, and it includes “a graphical interface to manage communications, data capture and synchronization, image processing, calibration processes and the generation and visualization of point clouds.”

horus-scanning-video-470x324The developer, Jesús Arroyo, says Horus has been tested for Windows and Mac, and that the package was coded in Python. The source code has been published on GitHub and released under a GPL v2 license.

Supported by major projects in the open source community like GNU/Linux, Python, Reprap, and Arduino, the files to 3D print the main components of the scanner are also available online free of charge.

That’s right, anyone with a 3D printer — and a bit of mechanical skill — should be able to build their own Ciclop scanner within a few hours and by purchasing a few electronic components.

“Since our creation we have continued to grow both within and beyond Spain thanks to our focus on two basic principles: offering latest-generation devices at incredibly competitive prices, and ensuring total commitment to our users with the provision of integrated support services,” says Antonio Quirós, the Vice President of BQ.

printable-parts-570x475And it appears to be a very useful device which includes a scanner volume area of 205 x 205 mm, features precision scanning down to 0.5, 5 mm, a scanning speed of 3-4 minutes, and a high level of steps per rotation.

The scanner uses a sensor made ​​by Logitech, the C270 HD webcam, and a pair of Class 17 laser line modules on the sides driven by the ZUM BT-328 8 controller board. A Nema Bipolar stepper motor drives a turntable with a non-slip surface via threaded rods.

The latest free Horus software can output .ply and .stl files, and it’s compatible with Linux, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Windows 7 and 8 operating systems.

The entire structure of the Ciclop consists of 3D printed parts aside from some threaded rods, M8 bolts, M3 screws, nuts, and washers. The 20-centimeter-diameter methacrylate turntable is coated with a non-slip surface to prevent objects from moving during the scanning process.

Do you intend to check out this open source, 3D printable scanner and software from BQ? Let us know in the Open Source Horus Software Ciclop 3D Scanner forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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