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The isokinetic structure is based on the Hoberman Sphere. (Image credit The People’s Industrial Design Office)


Taking a 3D image of yourself can be a difficult endeavor to undertake unless you have access to expensive equipment such as full-body scanners or handheld imaging devices. You could also go the DIY route, but that takes time, money and talent. Or perhaps you could take advantage of the People’s Industrial Design Office’s (PIDO) option- take over 100 DSLR cameras and fit them to mounts inside a geodesic, illuminated dome, to capture your entire body in high-resolution detail.


The Beijing-based company designed the 3D Copypod around the Hoberman sphere- an isokinetic dome capable of expanding and contracting through the scissor-like action of its joints. With this design, users can scan both large and small objects using minimal effort and without the need for intensive reconstruction/repositioning efforts.



The panels attached to the frame are lit from within, eliminating shadows. (Image credit the People’s Industrial Design Office)


According to PIDO, “With minimal adjustment, the 3D Copypod can contract to scan small objects and expand large enough to scan a group of people.” They go on to state, “With minimal adjustment, the 3D Copypod can contract to scan small objects and expand large enough to scan a group of people.” Keeping the design simple is what makes the scanner unique, outfitting it with over 100 DSLR cameras is what makes it effective- “with the snap of a camera, even subjects in motion can be captured in high quality and full color.”


What’s more, each light panel is illuminated from within, effectively eliminating any shadow on the subject or object, making for clear and precise images. Each DSLR camera mounted to the dome takes a high-resolution image, which is then stitched together to create a 3D model, however PIDO doesn’t specify what software they’re using to do so.



External view of the 3D Copypod, complete with lighting connections. (Image credit the People’s Industrial Design Office)


PIDO’s design is truly ingenious and fairly easy to construct using six interlocking ‘great circles’ or geodesic panels, which are interconnected to one other using scissor joints to form an icosidodecahedron shape. On the other hand, getting your hands on a hundred DSLR cameras might set you back some serious money.



Have a story tip? Message me at: cabe(at)element14(dot)com

Previous blog e14 adventures in 3D: #1 New Toy in the e14 Office 


Last time, I confessed my schoolboy error of running 240v through my printers PSU while it was set to receive 110v.

This poor little guy got the shock of its life!


Now time for some trouble shooting, First item on the replacement list was the PSU which went pop.


PSU has been switched out, next job is to power on the printer after carefully checking the voltage!


Power on,


No movement.... not recognized on a Windows PC, a Mac, or Raspbian linux distro.

LED light on the board is illuminated, so it is getting power but not talking via USB.






Checking out the schematics found on the Reprap wiki:  cstanton identified that there could be two components could have taken a beating... one easy job, one not so easy.


ESD Protection Diode:






Atmel: Datasheet for AT90USB1286, AT90USB1287, AT90USB646, AT90USB647


Firstly we had hoped the protection diode had stepped up and taken one for the team, stopping the brains from a nasty shock.


Luckily both items are in stock with Farnell and we were able to get hold of them next day delivery.



Soldering of the (not very good at) protection diode:


First Job is to check the schematic for placement and orientation:




Desoldering the Protection diode did not go as well as wanted, some of you eagle eyed reader will notice the lifted pad. Some of you SUPER eagle eyed readers will have also noticed that LUCKILY it was on the one pin that is not used!




Replacement of the diode .... it is a bit messy but mechanically and physically connected.




Before attempting to solder the Microcontoller with its 483 pins (I counted) we thought it would be a good idea to believe in the little Protection Diode, We plugged it all back in to no avail. LED still illuminated, no communication via usb. Not even coming up as an unknown device.


Next on the proverbial heatgun and flux chopping block is the Atmel MCU, again soldered by cstanton



Bit of flux here and there and some of the connectors are a little toasty but.... SHES A LIVE!



Using a Raspberry Pi 3 we followed the device logs:

tail -f user/log/messages

We let the Pi boot, Follow the logs, power on the board,  nothing... nothing... nothing....THERE IT IS, the ATMEL bootloader listed as a USB device.


Massive thanks to cstanton for the diagnosis and soldering.


Next step is to change a few of the jumps and attempt to flash the firmware!


More updates to follow soon!

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