The Ciclop 3D Scanner Review: Should You Buy It?

By | June 5, 2018

Typically, we focus on products that will take a digital file and transform it into a physical object. This time we are focusing on a piece of technology that will take a 3D physical object and turn it into a digital file.

The Ciclop 3D scanner from BQ is a DIY kit scanner. It allows users to scan any physical object that will fit on its rotating platform. You will be able to manipulate the 3D model of the completed scan. Once you have finished manipulating it, you can then print out your new model and create a new object.

The Ciclop 3D scanner is similar to past BQ DIY products. The scanner is a completely open source and truly belongs to the Technological Heritage of Humanity. Anyone can find all information about the Ciclop online.

Releasing all proprietary information about the Ciclop 3D scanner will allow the community and the technology to learn and grow simultaneously. Now anyone and study and understand all aspects of 3D scanning. This will lead to faster innovations as people improve on the current methods and develop their own. It may not be the most profitable in terms of monies. But it is very satisfying to see the industry changing and growing faster because of this open source information.

Now since we know so much about what makes the Ciclop 3D scanner, let’s dive into some of those details.

Cores Features of Ciclop 3D scanner.

  • Dual Laser Setup: The Ciclop has two lasers, each on a side of the platform. The lasers and class 1 line lasers with extremely high precision. The lasers and camera combine to be able to capture details up to 500 microns.
  • Open Source: The Ciclop 3D scanner is a scanner made for the masses. The all open source technology makes available to anyone who can get their hands on the files. All the files can be easily found online. Everything including the mechanical design, algorithms, mathematics, and experiments are available to anyone who wants them online. Once you have the hardware needed and the files, all that’s left is a 3D printer to create the structure. It is as easy as that. And how cool would it be to completely create your own 3D scanner?
  • BQ is taking full advantage of the open source technology to get their tools in the hands of thousands all across the world. Also, if there is something you wish were a little different, you can simply design your own parts to use on your 3D scanner to make sure it functions exactly how you want it to.
  • Horus Software: Another piece of the open source puzzle that is the Ciclop 3D scanner. Horus is a multi-platform software that controls 3D scanners. Horus handles communications between the computer and scanner, the capture and syncing of data, image processing and even calibration of the 3D scanner. It is one of the best 3D scanner software designed for complete functionality with open source 3D scanners. You can run the software on both PCs and Macs. The user’s face is sleek and easy to use. It comes loaded with many useful tools and even advanced calibration capabilities. If you know how to code and find something you want to improve, you can easily fine-tune the program through GitHub. Horus is the perfect software to pair with the Ciclop 3D scanner.
  • Logitech C270 HD Camera: This is a fairly popular webcam as it is inexpensive but still very high quality. The camera has the capability of video capture up 1280 x 720 pixels and still image capture up to 3.0MP. The camera is great for capturing the finer details of any object and translating into computer images for you to manipulate afterward. Also, it is equipped with a VGA image sensor and RightLight Technology. This technology enables the camera to capture clean, sharp images in low light areas.

Key Specifications

Here are the key specs of the Ciclop 3D scanner:

Scan Area  9.8” x 8.0” (circular) 
Max Supported Weight  6.6 lbs 
Scan Precision  100 – 300 microns 
Number of Lasers  2 
Camera  Logitech C270 HD 
Open/Closed System  Open 
Price  $199.99 (Check out the latest prices here!)

More Features of the Ciclop 3D Scanner

Now we can look at some things I love about this printer.

  • Design: The Ciclop scanner is a rather simple design so that many people can duplicate it on their own. The main structure features 3D printed parts. Most users will print with PLA; however, you can use any filament you want depending on which you prefer. The rest of the hardware is a few M8 threaded rods and screws, with a few M3 screws, nuts, and washers. The objects sit on a 9.8” non-slip methacrylate platform.
  • Dual Laser: The rotational triangulation setup of the Ciclop 3D scanner consists of the Logitech camera in the middle and a laser to either side. This setup is great for capturing all the details of an object. It is a major factor in the overall quality of the scans this machine produces.

Cons of the Ciclop 3D Scanner

I must be honest with you, I do love the Anet A6 but it isn’t perfect.

  • Faulty Parts and Lack of Consistency: As many inexpensive, open source, knock-offs that come from China not all the parts are high quality. Of course, this is avoidable if you design to build the scanner yourself. However, if you decide to purchase one from online you may find so faulty parts. There are reports of missing screws, nuts, and bolts, some pieces are not threaded, or parts are warped. Again, this can be expected when you are purchasing a cheaper item rather than spending more money and it is avoidable if you build your own.

Final Take – A Basic 3D Scanner

The Ciclop 3D scanner is exactly what it appears to be. It is a simple design. It works well enough to get the job done. And it is very budget friendly. It is not groundbreaking technology and it will not blow you away. It has just enough to make its self-useful, but it doesn’t have any extras. All though it is all open source so you can tweak it and upgrade it pretty much any way you would like. If you want a 3D scanner to play around with and get comfortable with the newer technology this could be a great starting point for you.

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