Spring 1999 Project
(ADSL) Advanced Digital Systems Lab
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Type: 3D Profile Scanner
Body: Aluminum Frame
Power: 24 VDC
Control: PC Parallel Port to LMD18245 Stepper Motor Controllers

Year: 1999

This project was done during the Spring 1999 semester in the Advanced Digital Systems Laboratory in the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This laboratory is under the direction of Prof. Ricardo Uribe.
  The main purpose of this project was to develop a 3-D Profile Scanner at a reduced cost to the currently available scanners which can run for about $2000. This project avoided the use of overly complicated equipment and thus was very cost effective. The overall cost for equipment and machining amounted to about $200.
  The probe of this scanner is controlled via a stepper motor which translates the probe up or down (Z direction). When the tip of the probe touches an object a limit switch is activated and an interrupt is sent to the computer via the parallel port. The code running on the computer calculates the current probe position and displays it three-dimensionally on the screen. The motor is then able to move to the next position and probe again - it uses two more stepper motors to initiate the X and Y motion. Upon completion of the scan a three-dimensional wire-frame image is displayed on the screen and rotated about the Z-axis.

Click pictures on side

The control system for the 3D Scanner was written in C (including VGA Graphics). The controller was the PC Paralle Port and an awesome Parallel Port tutorial is included in PDF format: