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Picture of Photogrammetry HID Tool

Update 5/2/19 - I’ve uploaded the initial application Screen Captures, from Recap, using the turntable tool. The added info is displayed in a new step added to the end of this Instructable.

This Instructable / Design Concept, is meant to assist the translation between 2D images and 3D modeling algorithms by upgrading a turntable into more of a HID (Human Interface Device) scanning tool.

My motivation to design a tool that will increase a modeling algorithm’s ability of translating images with a high degree of accuracy, is to decrease the amount of human image alignment. Accurate models of non-geometric shapes are hard to achieve by pushing and pulling polygons. With the right tools, DIY Photogrammetry allows the import of accurately modeled, complex organic meshes into my CAD program.

Table Features

- A graduated rotating scale around the turntable’s perimeter has been incorporated to assist with uniform manual rotation.

- The turntable’s deck plates and bearing, are made to accommodate heavy model loads.

- Three aluminum legs radiate from the lower deck plate to stabilize bulky scan models. Each leg is equipped with a leveling foot bolt.

- The top deck plate features a column and large transition coupling to support heavy models.

- The transition coupling permits attachment of custom built, user defined, mechanical devices to support different types of modeling subjects.

- A model support column is 11.5” tall is included to permit photography from beneath without re-positioning the model.

The graduated scale is a Tailor’s Soft Measurement Tape glued to the 36” circumference of the top deck plate. Using the 1/8” marks, 288 revolve graduations of 1.25-degrees each are achievable.

Weight capacity is dramatically increased using ¾” (23/32”) BC plywood turntable decks, sandwiching a 12” diameter turntable bearing rated at several hundred pounds.

The ½” coupling nut attached to the top deck plate can transfer significant weight and side loads to the hefty supporting structure beneath.

Bulky and offset center of gravity stability is achieved using three out-rigger legs of 1” aluminum square tubing. On the end of each leg is a ¼” rivet nut and ¼” bolt used to level the turntable assembly. For very heavy loads, a round PVC cap fits between the three legs. Load force is transmitted to the cap through direct contact with the lower plywood plate. The leg bolts are adjusted to level the suspended load.

Rubber feet have also been attached to the aluminum legs, under the deck plate, to provide skid protection.

The threaded coupling nut serves as a mechanical transition for attachment of specialized hardware (designed by user) to secure different types of scan models. Examples would include a metal spike, alligator clip, a metal crossbeam, a flat plate, glue stub or whatever type of securing device is needed by a modeling practitioner.

I’m going to assume that people interested in 3D printing and CAD might not have a router table or drill press. For their sake, I’m going to present an Instructable using techniques that require only an electric hand drill, jig saw and basic hand tools. For those of you that are equipped to construct the next generation of a Mar's Lander, just gloss over the features and concept. You already know how to do this.

I’ve included many features with this turntable design, for the purpose of letting you choose what features you need. So, leave off anything you don’t need and add feature ideas of your own. For the first time in my life, I’ve broken "Big Al’s" number one rule of design, by making this Instructable an excessive conglomeration of possible features.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complex…It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” – Albert Einstein

Materials and Hardware

12” x 24” x ¾” (23/32”) BC or Lauan Plywood ( item# 6654)

12” Diameter Turntable Bearing ( – item# 383405).

Three = 1” x 1” x 16” x .125” wall thickness, Aluminum Square Tubing ( – 48” of item# 18014).

Three = ¼” – 20 Steel Rivet Nuts (I would suggest an assortment pack (for future projects) from Grip range isn’t important since the nuts won’t have pull out forces applied).

Soft Tape Measure (

Three = ¼” – 20 x 2.5” Zinc Plated, Carriage Bolts ( item# 63334)

One = 12” length of ½”-13 All-Thread

One = ½”-13 Coupling Nut ( item# 142075))

One = ½”-13 Hex Nut ( item# 63304)

One = ½”-13 Nylon Insert Locking Hex Nut ( item#63406)

Two = ½” Flat Washers ( item# 63309)

One = ½” Fender Washer 1/8” thick or two ½” fender Washers 1/16” thick.

Six = ¼”-20 x 1.5” Long Hex Head Bolts ( item# 63312)

Six = ¼”-20 Hex Head Nuts (

Six = ¼” Flat Washers (

Six = ¼” Flat Washers ( item# 63306)

Three = ¼” – 20 x 2.5” Grade 8, Hex Head Bolts (

Three = ¼” – 20 Grade 8, Hex Head Nuts (

Five = 2 ½” Long Deck Screws Hex Head Bolts (

Eight = #8 x 5/8” Phillips Pan Head Sheet Metal Screws (

Eight = #8 Flat Washers (

One = 9.5” length of ½” PVC Pipe (

One = 2” PVC Cap ( item# 23920)

New Paper Envelope

Card Board or Heavy Paper 7” x 1”

Spray Can of Grey Primer ( item# 1026826)

Spray Can of Matte White Paint and Primer ( item# 1026724)

3/4” x 4” x 12” Any Scrap Wooden Board or Plywood Section (for sanding only)

Can of Spray -or- Brush On, Contact Adhesive ( item# 275900)

Three = Self Adhesive Rubber Feet

Coarse Sand Paper ( item# 470333)

Fine Sand Paper (

Masking Tape (


Work Table

Electric Drill

1/8” Drill Bit

¼” Drill Bit

½” Paddle Bit

½” drill Bit (optional)

Jig Saw

Sanding Block

Yard Stick


Black Marker

Sharp Nail or Awl


7/16” Wrench

7/16” Socket Wrench

¾” Wrench

¾” Socket Wrench

Adjustable Crescent Wrench

Razor Knife


Metal File

Staple Gun (optional)

Carpenter Square

#2 Phillips Screwdriver

1” Wide Putty Knife

Large Flat Tip Common Screwdriver

Step 1:

Picture of

Using the yard stick and pencil, draw a single line across the exact middle of the 12” x 24” piece of BC Plywood. This will create two 6” x 24” segments (1).

wilwrk4tls3 months ago
I made a similar something but it looks like yours had a lot more planning... : )
Texas_Mike (author)  wilwrk4tls3 months ago
Hi, I just checked it out, Looks Good. I did a brief search and it didn't come up when I was doing my planning. I probably used the wrong tag ques. I especially like the camera mounting arc. You and I have similar thoughts on the subject. Instead of creating a travel arc I was thinking about a "Y" shaped camera mount arm with the two Upper Y arms attached on opposing sides of the model mount out of the cameras field of view. The fixed arc guide has less spatially intrusion but limits the size of models, as the arc curvature must change as you pull back from the model.
I also like your use of plywood. 10 years ago, I created a single seat, enclosed aircraft cockpit simulator that moved 60 degrees in both pitch (Y) and roll (X) made of plywood resting on wheels. It worked great. Plywood, when applied with proper planning, can produce extremely strong and rigid curved structures that are relatively lite weight. Before you ask, I didn't take any photos, but I still have the CAD drawings.
My use of Photogrammetry (besides being novel and fun) was to easily create meshes for a throttle, joystick and chair to include in the 3D model of a home MMO gaming flight simulator I'm building. I can get a little anal too, when it comes to exactness and so I had to build a turntable. I need to find a 12 step recovery program for that anal condition :)
Have a Great Weekend - Happy Making

clivebagley5 months ago
Looks like you have a good setup - what software do you use for reconstruction?
Texas_Mike (author)  clivebagley5 months ago
Hi, I'm still a noob. I'm working with Autodesk Recap but I want to try Photoscan too. I'm presently constructing a MMO flight simulator device for a contest entry. It's taking all my time so I haven't uploaded a completed application using this tool. I will upload an update in a few weeks.
Talking about Photogrammetry, it looks like someone would actually attach a digital encoder to a turntable and an encoder to a camera mount arm that could be adjusted to pivot at the model's center. Which would keep a fixed lens camera at a fixed distance from model center. Then the encoded XYZ position could be linked to each camera shot and dramatically improve the Autonomous ability of software. The software could even identify areas that it can't map and suggest XYZ camera positions to capture these.
The same principal could be applied to drones by adding two tripod mounted, low watt transceivers to the acreage being scanned or accessing existing VORTAC stations. These could triangulate Drone XYZ position with altimeter, and encode that info with the drone's on-board camera pitch / azimuth encode info. Add an AI flight control positioning system and Google Earth goes HD. Just a thought from a noob. They might be doing it already, and I'm still behind the power curve.
Thanks again for the comment - have a great day.
weish5 months ago
in jewelry terminology, the tip you call the "glubber" is called a dop, usually used for gem cutting, it's a stick with jewelers pitch on the end that you warm up and stick the stone onto to hold it stable while cutting facets.
loskop100. weish5 months ago
Dop wax will hold better than hot glue and is also more rigid if the model centre is not on the centre of balance and can be adusted with a little heat from a heat gun. Removal can be either placing it in the freezer for a few minute, heating it or if the model and attachment it too large then a blast from a CO2 fire extinguisher works well. Well thought out documented job, thanks.
Texas_Mike (author)  weish5 months ago
Thank you. I always like learning new things.
Is jewelers pitch a lot stronger than hot glue? Does cutting facets produce much heat or torque on the stone during the cutting process?
Thanks ahead of time.