plastics - rapid prototyping and 3d scanning

Bob Rosenbloom bobalan at
Fri Jan 23 20:58:32 CST 2009

Sridhar Ayengar wrote:
> Chuck Guzis wrote:
>>> Almost none of it is.  ABS is one of the most common plastics, but 
>>> you'll find others, including PVC, glass-filled nylon, 
>>> polypropylene, HDPE, and more.
>> There are some filled plastics used during the 90's (probably ABS) 
>> with what seems to be a too-high proportion of filler.  These tend to 
>> be almost fragile now, shattering into many small pieces when 
>> subjected to any force at all.   I've resorted to fiberglass mesh and 
>> polyester resin to repair and reinforce these, finishing up with a 
>> coat of paint.  Doesn't look bad, but is hardly original.
>> I played with the idea of making a mold from the old pieces and using 
>> acrylic resin to cast a duplicate, but there were too many details 
>> (mounting bosses, ribs, tabs, etc.)  on both sides to assure success.
> I have rapid-prototyping equipment here, which is capable of creating 
> small parts like those.  The only problem is that I currently have no 
> way of scanning anything in 3D.  I have to take measurements and 
> manually generate a CAD drawing.  It makes it less than convenient.
> Peace...  Sridhar

I have always wanted to try rapid prototyping to make replacement switch 
levers and possibly key caps. While searching around for RP services I found
this relatively inexpensive 3d scanner system:

It uses a camcorder and a turntable + software. Looks interesting.


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