I have written before about book scanners. You place a bound book into one of these behemoths, push a button, and walk away. You can return an hour or so later to find the entire book has been scanned and digitized. There is only one problem: these automated robotic scanners can cost thousands of dollars or more. A lot more.
Daniel Reetz dreamed of a book scanner that could crunch textbooks and spit out digital files he could then read on his PC. He had only one problem: he didn't have $100,000 to spare. So he did what any enterprising person would do: he built his own.
Over three days and for about $300, Reetz lashed together two lights, two Canon Powershot A590 cameras, a few pieces of acrylic, and some chunks of wood to create a book scanner that’s fast enough to scan a 400-page book in about 20 minutes. To use it, he simply loads in a book and presses a button, then turns the page and presses the button again. Each press of the button captures two pages, and when he’s done, software on Reetz’s computer converts the book into a PDF file. The Reetz DIY book scanner isn’t automated; you still need to stand by it to turn the pages. But it’s fast and inexpensive.
Reetz went on to upload a 79-step how-to guide for building a book scanner (at http://diybookscanner.org/PDF/DIY-High-Speed-Book-Scanner-from-Trash-and-Cheap-C.pdf). The guide has sparked more than 400 comments. It has also spawned a website, DIYbookscanner.org, where more than 50 independent book scanners spread across countries such as Indonesia, Russia and Britain have contributed hardware refinements and software programs.
You can read more at http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/12/diy-book-scanner/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29 and even watch a video at http://vimeo.com/4219953 or click on the image below: