RWB/Hand Scanner

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Hand Scanner

Release status: concept

a handheld laser scanner for suitable for medical use -- scanning amputated stumps for prosthetic fitting, etc.
CAD Models
External Link

World Editable Notes

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Handheld medical scanner (laser digitalizer) Project Proposal

Formal Definition

We need a handheld laser scanner for suitable for medical use. This includes intra-oral use, along with digitizing the stumps of amputated legs for prosthetic fitting, etc.

Materials Cost is unknown. Highmegapixel cell phone cameras are cheap, as are led laser light modules. Optics costs are unknown.

Software Development path is unknown. We need to ask Andrew Lewis if SplineScan can do this.


It is technically feasible for a RepRap-type design team to do this, and release it under the GPL. There is demand. Assume a machine that costs $200 in materials and 10 hours to fabricate. 50,000 doctors might use it?

EDIT: Elaborate here.  Short paragraph, and we need media friendly photos of rural dentistry patients.


This has two parts, the appratus or hand scanner, and a laptop.

Hand Scanner


Vitamins are things we can't RepRap yet.

optical components, a laser-line module, camera module, generic electronics, usb cable.

Physically this will Then we can take a defined set of vitamins optical components, a laser-line module, camera module, generic electronics, usb cable, a laptop, etc. And we RepRap the other parts: A large plastic block/handle, or "Housing".


The RepRap-made Housing precisely contains the optical components

CNC Mill

It may be that we can't RepRap the plastic optical path holder yet. Shape Deposition Manufacturing (SDM) is promising, but is still a research topic.

In which case we'll need to make it out of metal, for now. Luckily, there's a lot of CNC stations and jobshops out there.



Can Splinescan work with a hand scanner?

David Project

Can we re-use software originally developed for the David Project, and can they re-use software developed for this hand scanner?

User Interface

User needs: a rural medical technician, bush doctor, or generic developed world doctor etc. Very intelligent, highly driven, assume poor English skills. Assume the doctor doesn't want to learn a complicated (or ugly) UI.

Medical Applications

  • A person with prosthetic foot would prefer Below-The-Knee Prosthetic with a good fit to his remaining leg.
  • If the scan has a high enough accuracy, comparing today's scan of a mouth full of teeth to yesterday's scan of the same mouth can be used to measure how fast the teeth are moving, so that it's obvious whether braces need to be adjusted or not.
  • In principle, precision measurements of the lens of the eye can be used to directly find the appropriate corrective glasses lens, without having to sit through an hour of "Does that look better? Or this?". (Wikipedia: Autorefractor).
  • In principle, sufficiently accurate measurements of the volume of the torso can tell you what volume of air goes in and out with each breath.
  • ...
  • other medical applications
  • ...



Funding Model

The RRRF doesn't have much cash right now. We've got RepRap machine time, and oodles of volunteer time.

This is where the extra-RepRap community, aka the rest of the world comes in. Ideally, we need what NGOs call "an angel", someone who will parachute in, be purseholder, and maybe work on organizational and motivational matters, freeing up pure-developer types to work on technical matters.

Also, there are community-based funding models driven by websites where people pledge.

This is where agitprop "marketing" comes in.

Hardware brainstorming


Camera Module

The inexpensive modern cell-phone camera is at the end of the optical path.

Software brainstorming


Geek Media Campaign Brainstorming Agitprop

Remember, we only have one chance to make a first impression so we have to have things well set up on our end, and look good, before we alert the media and blog.

Make Magazine

Do a good writeup, broadcast the idea in the next Make magazine maybe?

Medical Applications



Funding Model


Camera Module

Presumably we can use the inexpensive modern cell-phone camera at the end of the optical path.


Some people discuss scanners at RepRap forum: "3D Scanners, Book Scanners, and Optics".

Agitprop Brainstorming

Broadcast the idea in the next Make magazine maybe?

Does the RepRap community care?

They will want this stuff badly.