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Archive for category Photography & Images

3D Foot Scanning

The Poughkeepsie Library makes a 3DSystems Sense scanner (V1) available to patrons and, after a bit of to-and-fro, I managed to get a not-awful scan of Mary’s right leg:

Mary - R foot - complete
Mary – R foot – complete

This was accomplished under field conditions in a cramped room hosting a Spanish-language “introduction to computers” class. We propped her leg across the edge of a table with her sock as a cushion.

The depth image resolution seems to be 1 mm and the software attempts to stitch multiple views from different angles into a consistent 3D model. The scanner requires a steady hand and a steady model to successfully glue new data onto the existing model; what seem small misalignments derail the matching.

The software has several presets, of which “Head” produces the best results. I have no idea what the algorithm thinks of her foot; maybe it’s been trained on some truly ugly faces.

Exporting the solid model as either STL or PLY allows import into (Windows-only) Meshmixer, wherein I sawed off the pieces we won’t need:

Mary R foot trimmed
Mary R foot trimmed

If only I had a foot fetish …

The 3DSystems software requires a fairly specific Windows 8 (or 10, which is so not happening) + Intel hardware configuration, which recently arrived as a $250 off-lease Dell Latitude 7250 laptop. It works fine through VNC, so I can use it from the Comfy Desk.

However, using a 3D scanner in your own home isn’t actually private:

3DSystems Sense Scanner - EULA
3DSystems Sense Scanner – EULA

All your data are belong to them:

3D Systems may also automatically collect and report back to 3D Systems information about the Software and Licensee’s usage along with limited information about the Device, 3D Printer, and/or other third-party applications. If 3D Systems implements automated data collection practices then Licensee may opt out of providing such data if Licensee has a license that authorizes Commercial Use.

Oh, and then you must activate the software before using it. The library IT folks tell me I can install & activate the scanner on my system without derailing their setup. I have my doubts, but we’ll see how it goes.

I must get into photogrammetry, ideally from the sofware libre branch as described there. The openMVG repo seems promising.

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Monthly Image: Spider vs. Marmorated Stink Bug

Fortunately, Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs haven’t been as catastrophic as predicted when they arrived a few years ago, perhaps because native critters have learned to deal with them:

Spider vs. Marmorated Stink Bug
Spider vs. Marmorated Stink Bug

Looks like a week’s worth of spider chow!

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Makergear M2: Octopi Camera Mount

Octopirint / Octopi works wonderfully well as a controller / G-Code feeder for my Makergear M2. After putting up with an ungainly mass of tape for far too long, I printed Toddman’s Pi Camera Mount:

Pi Camera - M2 Mount - Slic3r
Pi Camera – M2 Mount – Slic3r

Which snapped together exactly like it should:

Makergear M2 - Pi Camera Mount
Makergear M2 – Pi Camera Mount

A strip of double-sided foam tape attaches it to the Pi’s case, which is Velcro-ed to the M2’s frame. The cable may be too long, but avoids sharp bends on the way out of the case.

The whole lashup works fine:

Pi Camera - M2 Mount - Octopi timelapse
Pi Camera – M2 Mount – Octopi timelapse

That’s a second set intended for the CNC 3018-Pro, but it didn’t fit quite as well. The B brackets are slightly too long (or their pivots are slightly too close to their base) to allow the C plates to turn 90° to the mount:

Pi Camera - M2 Mount - Config 2 diagram
Pi Camera – M2 Mount – Config 2 diagram

Nothing one can’t fix with nibbling & filing, but I long for parametric designs …

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Monthly Image: Praying Mantis vs. Monarch Butterfly

The Butterfly Bush in front of the house attracts all kinds of insects, including Monarch Butterflies (shown here on the Goldenrod planted in the garden):

Monarch on Goldenrod - left
Monarch on Goldenrod – left

This year, the bush also attracted a Praying Mantis:

Praying Mantis in Butterfly Bush - 2019-09-05
Praying Mantis in Butterfly Bush – 2019-09-05

Then lunchtime happened:

Praying Mantis vs Monarch - 2019-09-11
Praying Mantis vs Monarch – 2019-09-11

A closer look:

Praying Mantis vs Monarch - detail - 2019-09-11
Praying Mantis vs Monarch – detail – 2019-09-11

Now, if that isn’t enough nightmare fuel for you, find some in your own neighborhood.

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CNC 3018-Pro: Probe Camera Case for Anonymous USB Camera

The anonymous USB camera I used with the stereo zoom microscope not only works with VLC, but also with bCNC, and it has a round PCB with ears:

CNC 3018-Pro - Probe Camera - PCB
CNC 3018-Pro – Probe Camera – PCB

Which suggested putting it in a ball mount for E-Z aiming:

CNC 3018-Pro - Probe Camera - ball mount
CNC 3018-Pro – Probe Camera – ball mount

Black filament snippets serve as alignment pins to hold the ball halves together while they’re getting clamped. They’re epoxied into the upper half of the ball, because who knows when I’ll need to harvest the camera.

The clamp mount descends from the Tour Easy Daytime Running Lights, with more screws and less fancy shaping:

USB Camera - Round PCB Mount - solid model - build
USB Camera – Round PCB Mount – solid model – build

The clamp pieces fit around the ball with four M3 screws providing the clamping force:

USB Camera - Round PCB Mount - solid model sectioned
USB Camera – Round PCB Mount – solid model sectioned

The whole affair sticks onto the Z axis carrier with double-sided foam tape:

CNC 3018-Pro - Probe Camera - alignment
CNC 3018-Pro – Probe Camera – alignment

It barely clears the strut on the -X side of the carriage, although it does stick out over the edge of the chassis.

After the fact, I tucked a closed-cell foam ring between the lens threads and the ball housing to stabilize the lens; the original camera glued the thing in place, but some fiddly alignment & focusing lies ahead:

Alignment mirror - collimation
Alignment mirror – collimation

It’s worth noting that the optical axis of these cheap cameras rarely coincides with the physical central axis of the lens. This one requires a jaunty tilt, although it’s not noticeable in any of the pictures I tried to take.

All in all, this one works just like the probe camera on the MPCNC.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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CNC 3018-Pro: Probe Camera Case for Logitch QuickCam Pro 5000

The ball-shaped Logitch QuickCam Pro 5000 has a rectangular PCB, so conjuring a case wasn’t too challenging:

Probe Camera Case - Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000 - bottom
Probe Camera Case – Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000 – bottom

That’s more-or-less matte black duct tape to cut down reflections.

The top side has a cover made from scuffed acrylic scrap:

Probe Camera Case - Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000 - top
Probe Camera Case – Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000 – top

The corners are slightly rounded to fit under the screw heads holding it in place.

The solid model shows off the internal ledge positioning the PCB so the camera lens housing rests on the floor:

3018 Probe Camera Mount - solid model
3018 Probe Camera Mount – solid model

The notch lets the cable out, while keeping it in one place and providing some strain relief.

I though if a camera was recognized by V4L2 and worked with VLC, it was good to go:

Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000 - short focus
Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000 – short focus

Regrettably, it turns out the camera has a pixel format incompatible with the Python opencv interface used by bCNC. This may have something to do with running the code on a Raspberry Pi, rather than an x86 box.

The camera will surely come in handy for something else, especially with such a cute case.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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City of Poughkeepsie Police Armor

Returning from a long ride, we spotted an unusual sign at the Vassar Farm entrance (clicky for more dots):

Vassar Farm - Poughkeepsie Police Training sign - 2019-08-12
Vassar Farm – Poughkeepsie Police Training sign – 2019-08-12

Even more unusual was the sight of a matte black MRAP jouncing across the field:

Vassar Farm - Poughkeepsie Police MRAP - 2019-08-12
Vassar Farm – Poughkeepsie Police MRAP – 2019-08-12

I hadn’t noticed an uptick of the insurgency around here, but I suppose it could happen.

It looks like a Cougar HE 6×6 MRAP on loan from the DLA 1033 Program to the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department. The flat top suggests they dismounted the CROWS gun, which seems a definite step down in no-knock capability.

Some poking around showed the Poughkeepsie Police Department acquired a 107 mm Mortar Carrier some years ago:

Marshall Project - Poughkeepsie 107 mm Mortar Carrier
Marshall Project – Poughkeepsie 107 mm Mortar Carrier

The M106 is an impressive hunk of tracked armor, although it seems unsuited for urban warfare and would certainly scuff up the streets pretty badly. I don’t know if they scrapped the M106 in favor of the MRAP.

I’m hoping they don’t collaborate with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Department to patrol the Rail Trail, even within the City limits.

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