DIY High-Speed Book Scanner From Trash and Cheap Cameras.
April 19, 2009 7:18 PM   Subscribe

DIY High-Speed Book Scanner From Trash and Cheap Cameras.
Wish you had all your books in digital form? Well, for a few hundred bucks and a lot of scrounging, you can do it. I just posted plans for a book scanner that uses cheap digital cameras and (with the help of friends) wrote free software to get all your books into the digital domain. There's a complete tutorial at the link above. Currently the software is a work-in-progress. Here's a sample if you're concerned about quality. We can do a lot more with software -- this is just the most basic treatment with alpha software.

If you like this Instructable and you have an account there, please vote for this project.
posted by fake (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

When I saw that there were 79 steps in the Instructable I got very scared.
posted by Alison at 9:55 AM on April 20, 2009

I did my best to be complete. ;) There are many steps because I am pretty verbose. The labor doesn't take long if you have all the parts -- I made the second one in one weekend.

It is a bit of a slog to read through the Instructables interface. Much better to use their "print PDF" option.
posted by fake at 1:36 PM on April 20, 2009

I thought this "related" one was kind of, um, underhwelming: Take an eBay photo without a camera. The trick is... use a scanner.
posted by delmoi at 4:22 PM on April 20, 2009

Yeah, I think that it's pretty easy to get down on some Instructables because many of the ideas can seem obvious. But I have observed that the big idea of Instructables doesn't seem to be to make original or mindblowing things every time, but rather to make really good instructions to help people make (what are perhaps) very easy or obvious things and simply to show people what's possible.

Personally, I like the comments on the Instructable that you linked. People share all kinds of interesting, wacky scanner ideas, and that is pretty cool.
posted by fake at 3:06 PM on April 21, 2009

This is much nicer than the fancy one in my university library -- there is no way to hold the pages open so your thumb always ends up in a shot or the page is not open far enough. Nice work.
posted by sararah at 8:22 PM on April 21, 2009

Thank you. Is the one your library has called a "planetary scanner"? I've always wanted to see one in person.
posted by fake at 8:48 PM on April 22, 2009

Posted on the blue with other DIY / FOSS book scanning/OCR/packaging tools.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:10 AM on April 23, 2009

Great thread. I really liked phearlez ideas, and bigmusic's title was just awesome.
posted by fake at 3:49 PM on April 23, 2009

Holy crap I posted this to without knowing it was yours. Yay!
posted by jessamyn at 3:23 PM on May 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

And it won the GRAND PRIZE!

Thanks for the mention, Jessamyn. Much appreciated.
posted by fake at 6:53 AM on May 20, 2009

Awesome! I have some free time coming up later this year. I think I'll definitely be attempting this then!
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:46 PM on May 23, 2009

Then definitely come hang with us at -- I hope to move most everybody interested over there so we can each have project logs, share ideas and software, and more.
posted by fake at 4:37 PM on June 6, 2009

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