I use a camera and a computer for 3D scanning. Its called Photogrammetry. Structure from motion. Photoscan from Agisoft is used to generate the scan. The 3D model is cut out of wood on a CNC router.
Laser scanning and Structured Light Scanning have proven to be too low in resolution and too complicated in execution to be useful for me.
For the images shown here a simple older 6 megapixel camera was used. I took a led ring light off my microscope and glued it onto my Canon Powershot S3.
78 pictures were taken of the pistol. The blue squares represent where the software thinks the position of the camera was for each shot used. A sparse scan point cloud was generated for a rough idea of how well the software has aligned the photos and identified the points.
Threw the texture map onto the model to show how much low quality modeling can be covered up with texture. Unfortunately CNC operations don’t care how it looks. Only thing that matters is the quality of the model.
The Photoscan model was OK to use for cleaning up. And no better modeling data was available. The hi poly mesh model was imported in Blender for cleanup.
For movies or video games the next step would be to generate a low poly mesh from this damaged hi poly model. And then use the texture map to display hi quality image on a low poly model.
But the CAM software I use, DeskProto 6.1 from Delft will take in a hi poly damaged mesh and use it to generate 3D toolpaths. They say that as long as any holes in the model are smaller than the cutting tool itself then everything will turn out fine.
This image represents the DeskProto simulation of the rough machining of one side of the pistol stock. It is generated from the G Code that will be used to guide the CNC router. For this part the 3D machining is accomplished by doing 2D machining on two different sides of the block the pistol stock will be machined from. Each side gets a rough cut then a finish cut.
A CNC router is under construction that will be used to route out the pistol stock.
The procedure above represents about as rough and poor a photogrammetry session that can yield anything acceptable as a result. The images were taken a a poorly lit garage under terrible conditions. Below is a higher quality session on a different item. Here only the wood of the pistol stock is imaged and conditions were a lot better.
The result of the session uses only Photoscan itself and no cleanup was performed on the model.