Create a custom manual turntable

This article was created using the EinScan-H software v1.0.4.4

Using a manual turntable has many benefits when scanning. Not only does it allow an easier and more ergonomic process, but also it is a simple yet effective solution to deal with hard-to-scan objects.

Moreover, it is a portable solution and flexible on terms of sizes and load capacity.

Different solutions for turntables can be found on the internet, meeting your different necessities.

In this article, we show you how to prepare your manual turntable and how to get it ready to keep it as a great ally.


1. Improve your scanning operation

The use of a turntable eases the operator work, making the process more ergonomic.

Place the object to be scanned on the turntable and just focus on maintaining the scanner within the proper distance for scanning while rotating the turntable with your other hand.

This setup allows a more comfortable process, with less room required to move around the object.

Make sure to turn the scanner to different orientations while scanning. This will help capturing more details from your object.

2. Add markers to your turntable

Adding markers to your turntable, will provide extra benefits to your setup.

When needed, you can count on a great tool to deal with small objects or objects poor in features, as shown below.

Take your markers, and stick them over the turntable. Please keep in mind they need to be placed in a random layout. So please avoid following patterns.

Moreover, remember that at least 4 markers need to be detected at each frame. Therefore ensure you use enough markers.

Please refer to the following picture as an example for the markers layout. Note that the markers are placed randomly, with enough density.

3. Use your turntable markers for alignment

At this point, you might count on a portable tool ready to set a flexible scanning station.

Since the turntable is equipped with a marker layout, it could be used now to deal with hard-to-scan objects, as in the situations described below.

Firstly, make sure you select "Markers" for the "Mode of Alignment" to squeeze the potential of your setup in the following cases:

3.1 Objects poor in features or with patterns

As you might already know, objects with poor geometric features or with repeating patterns, are difficult to scan. They lead to Tracking Lost and Misalignment.

Making use of a custom turntable with markers, definitely makes the scan possible, avoiding any problem with tracking and alignment. 

Moreover, since the markers are placed on the turntable, there is no need to attach new markers on the object. 

Not only no data from the object will be lost due to the markers usage, but also it results on a saving of both markers and time.

3.2 Small objects (< 200 mm)

Objects smaller than 200 mm can be difficult to scan using Feature Alignment.

Due to their reduced dimensions, either the software does not detect it or, at certain point, tracking is lost and it can not be recovered.

Again, the use of the turntable with markers, makes a difference.

Since the software uses the markers for alignment, tracking is not lost.

This solution is especially suitable for small objects, as placing markers on them would result on losing considerable information from these objects.

4. An extra tip to prevent misalignments when using markers

Some objects can slip on the turntable while it rotates. Or they might not have a flat surface, or they are flexible, and therefore they are likely to move or tremble while turning the turntable.

Since the software uses the markers for alignment, if the object moves while scanning, a misalignment will take place, as seen below:

To avoid such unpleasant situation, it is advisable to make use of adhesive putty to fix the object on the turntable.

5. Conclusion

Using a custom manual turntable has several benefits when scanning with handheld scanners.

It is a simple yet effective solution that makes the scanning process more comfortable and ergonomic for the operator.

Equipping the turntable with markers supposes:

  1. Counting on a flexible and portable setup
  2. A better dealing of poor featured-objects or patterned-objects.
  3. A better dealing of small objects.
  4. Sticking no markers on the object.
  5. A saving in markers.
  6. A saving in time.

Using adhesive putty to fix the objects on the turntable is advised, to avoid misalignments caused by the object moving.

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