low cost 3D scan project T1N 140

I am starting this thread to document progress. Step 1, the scan, is done. Cost $300. Here is an album with some random screenshots of different resolution:
https://imgur.com/a/IV2Rs


next steps:
-checking accuracy of the interior by comparison with manual measurements of importance
-if necessary, reducing file size by converting STL or point cloud data to simple geometric shapes using SpaceClaim or similar software. I have access to the software but need to learn how to use it. Then editing and adding components can be done in Solidworks.
- if necessary, making adjustments to dimensions. Once a window has real geometry, for example, and it's 1/4" too short in the model, I will be able to adjust it manually.
- using the model for something useful, such as printing out window cover templates at Staples, planning out where I can mount different furniture and camping gear, under chassis water tank design, etc.

If anyone has experience with this sort of thing and wants to help, I'd appreciate it and will share the files. I plan to give the results away for public use, but may charge a small fee if 1) they come out nice and 2) it ends up taking significant time to correct vs. just using as-is

Some more cool results of the Matterport scanner are images, like google maps street view:
Interior:
https://www.3dscansmith.com/mls-scan0f6

Undercarriage:
https://www.3dscansmith.com/mls-scan0h8

Exterior:
https://www.3dscansmith.com/mls-scan0g7

This technology is mainly used for real estate applications, and it's not super precise. But my hope is that it will be "good enough for my purposes" and save some time vs. doing everything by hand. I did get quotes for more precise options supposedly good to 1mm, but I was not impressed with the sample files I saw on a per dollar basis. Those ones ran $1500+
 
Last edited:

bcman

Member
Looks great! I don't think getting 1mm precision would be beneficial, since I'm sure the tolerances on the van body are much larger than that.

I have access to SolidWorks at work, so if you need any modeling help, just let me know. It would be a great resource for the community if we had a configurable file for all the body lengths and heights, and could export into Google Sketchup.
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
Yeah, plus or minus 3mm will be fine accuracy wise. The model can then be adjusted to line up with known flat surface dimensions, such as the wall width at the belt-line, standing height etc.

Very nice.
 
Update, I have started looking at the interior scan first. Here is the raw output file containing many xyz points:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kh41mktdy3zw1c8/cloud.xyz?dl=0


Anyone interested can import this file into Meshlab (free software) http://www.meshlab.net/ and play with it. The point cloud needs to be converted into a surface mesh to be opened more efficiently by any traditional CAD program. This is done by Meshlab through a process with about 5000 options that are somewhat described in youtube tutorials. Right now I'm trying to find the best settings to maintain as much geometry as possible but make the file size reasonable to work with. Here is the .stl I ended up with so far:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9smj5f2hvf3p86g/Van Scan 3.stl?dl=0


It's still too large to open with SpaceClaim, but I'm questioning if it's going to be worth it to parameterise it anyway, as it's not as accurate as I hoped (pending a better check to be done soon). The only dimension I checked (and I did it roughly) is the roof to floor, and it's off by about an inch. The windows did not come out clearly enough to make privacy covers directly from the scan, and there's a few things I would do differently if I scanned to produce better results. I may or may not make a 2nd attempt. This will be good enough for rough placement of things and I'll keep posting updates as I go.

What we really need is a group buy on a more expensive scan. If we could get 10+ people, it would be reasonable. Please post if interested in spending say $300 for something like this but within 1mm, maybe we can plan something.
 

cody

New member
Where did you get that wastebasket which is attached to the passenger seat pedestal?
Off topic, I know..

Cheers

Cody
 
I love that thing, and it looks original, came with the van. Sorry I can't be of more help. I have yet to figure out how to remove it, so not sure it is designed as a trash can so much as a pocket to hold stuff.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
Yes, the wastebasket/map-holder was a "standard option" (along with the fire extinguisher bracket and triangle holder) in US T1N Sprinters.

It can be easily removed (i forget how... i did it 12 years ago...) ((i'll go look at it for hints (never throw anything away)))

There's a single screw centered under the basket... poke a screwdriver under there and remove it.
Then the basket lifts straight up a half-inch, at which point you can pull the tabs out from the pedestal.

BasketPassSeat.jpg

MB part number A 901 846 00 69 (also A 901 846 02 69)

That 2nd part number corresponds to 05104496AA as a Dodge/Mopar number.
"Bin, Storage"

--dick
 
Last edited:

cody

New member
If anybody wants to sell their wastebasket, send me a note.. A nicely fitting wastebasket solution in that location is on my list of to-dos..
 

crashs

New member
Update, I have started looking at the interior scan first. Here is the raw output file containing many xyz points:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kh41mktdy3zw1c8/cloud.xyz?dl=0


Anyone interested can import this file into Meshlab (free software) http://www.meshlab.net/ and play with it. The point cloud needs to be converted into a surface mesh to be opened more efficiently by any traditional CAD program. This is done by Meshlab through a process with about 5000 options that are somewhat described in youtube tutorials. Right now I'm trying to find the best settings to maintain as much geometry as possible but make the file size reasonable to work with. Here is the .stl I ended up with so far:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9smj5f2hvf3p86g/Van Scan 3.stl?dl=0


It's still too large to open with SpaceClaim, but I'm questioning if it's going to be worth it to parameterise it anyway, as it's not as accurate as I hoped (pending a better check to be done soon). The only dimension I checked (and I did it roughly) is the roof to floor, and it's off by about an inch. The windows did not come out clearly enough to make privacy covers directly from the scan, and there's a few things I would do differently if I scanned to produce better results. I may or may not make a 2nd attempt. This will be good enough for rough placement of things and I'll keep posting updates as I go.

What we really need is a group buy on a more expensive scan. If we could get 10+ people, it would be reasonable. Please post if interested in spending say $300 for something like this but within 1mm, maybe we can plan something.

Hi Mark,

Did anything ever come of this effort and were any other scans made? I'm starting to go through our design process and looking to model it in Solidworks.

Thanks!
 

MN170

Member
If you have a drone, you could rotate it in your van and there is software (free and proprietary) out there that will take the pictures or video created and create a mesh cloud from it....and from there you could create surfaces.

I work in GIS and have used a drone to fly and capture mesh clouds of surface. I don't see why this would be different.
 
The scan I posted ended up being useful as a shell to move components around in during brainstorming and early design, but it was not accurate enough for my original goal, which was to use the data directly for manufacturing. I find it much easier to make a part from a CAD file than to do a bunch of back and forth with tape measures, take another 1/8" off here, guess and check etc. But that's what I had to do in the end. The SpaceClaim software also isn't good enough yet to parametize and adjust the point cloud. It works great for the demo cases on YouTube, but in this application was not a good time invested/results ratio. Overall I think this project would go more smoothly in 5 years when the scan, software, and computing power have increased.

I will post some images of my final CAD vs. pictures of what I built in the next few days. I'm happy with the result, been living and traveling in it for almost a year now with few changes vs. the original plan.
 

TSstudio

New member
Hey Mark, where you ever able to get a mesh out of the scan you took of the underside? I'm building a 1:5 scale model of a 118" T1N out of plywood and I'm having trouble finding any photos or diagrams of the entire undercarriage with details/parts to scale. Even something blocky showing all the big parts would be a huge help, if you don't mind posting it.

Thanks! Loved looking at the screenshots and the navigable VR images.

- Chris
 
Hi Chris,
I never did anything with the undercarriage, but I can upload the raw files in case you want to play with them. Unfortunately I'm away from the van for the next 2.5 weeks (laptop with files is in van)
 

Garandman

Member
I have two Artec scanners, and SolidWorks. But I hadn’t planned on much of any projects for the van as yet.
 

Top Bottom