A really huge picture of a leaf (part 1)

A project log for LadyBug BEEFY: 3D printer motorized microscope

Got printer? Connect to the motors with a Pi, plonk in a cheap scope, and do 2D and 3D scans!

ahron-wayneAhron Wayne 04/22/2020 at 22:240 Comments

Over the last week, I took 165,675 pictures of a leaf.

It was a skeleton of a leaf. I found it in my backyard. I wet it, placed it in newspaper, and left it under a heavy weight for weeks to flatten it.

I removed it, placed it under some glass that I had carefully cleaned and blow dried, and clipped it onto a microscope stage to assure it would be stable.

I set the parameters of the scan. It said it would be 200,005 pictures. That was too much, so I scaled the scan back a bit.

I started the scan to run overnight. At four AM I came downstairs and noticed that the scan had stopped after a mere twenty thousand pictures. That was odd. What could it be? I started to troubleshoot the scan, then just restarted it around where it had left off. I came back in the morning to find it had failed, again. USB disconnects, still can't figure out why.

I reworked my program to rehome and restart whenever it encountered a disconnect. Not ideal, but good enough for now. I let it run. Ten restarts and 15 hours later, it was done: 165,675 pictures.

Then I had to remove the useless black (not over my leaf) pictures. And change the file structure for the stacking and stitching programs to handle. Then stack eleven thousand one hundred and fifteen sets of images before they could be stitched together. My computer can do about 20 a minute. 

That's where I am now. I wanted to tell you before I showed you the actual picture, because I am hoping it will be glorious, and complaining is not glorious. 

So sorry that there's no picture, but in the meantime, maybe you'll enjoy this video from my latest project, utilizing the same hardware as this one