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BACKGROUND I became interested in scanning half-hull models as an aside from my research on a particular ship, SS Meteor (1864). I have a long-standing interest in the fast screw cruisers of the 1860s, including the Delano/Isherwood and Lenthall/Isherwood designs, and the privately-designed competitors: the USS Idaho by Steers/Dickerson, and Dennison Lawlor's SS Meteor. My interest also extends to British and French commerce-raiding and pursuit cruisers of that era: HMS Inconstant and related classes, and the four French-built Confederate raiders that became BAP América, BAP Unión, SMS Augusta, and SMS Victoria. I recently obtained a scan of the HMS Inconstant plan from The National Maritime Museum. The screw clipper Meteor (1864) was a smaller version of USS Idaho, but she had Scotish engines that delivered her promised speed. She was built by a Boston consortium to pursue Confederate commerce raiders, but was delivered too late for that purpose. The ship's trials showed her to be the fastest screw steamer in America, until the Navy tested its Isherwood-engined cruisers two years later. Despite attempts to use her in a commercial venture, the ship was really only suitable as a commerce raider, or for pursuing them. RESULTS OF TESTING THE TWO GENERATIONS OF SENSE HAND-HELD SCANNERS I have recently been successful in scanning a private half-hull of the USS Wampanoag, and the model of SS Meteor at the Portsmouth (NH) Athenaeum. In late September I will scan the larger Meteor model at the Smithsonian Institution. From these scans I will prepare traditional body, half-breadth, and sheer plans using SolidWorks. Below are my recommendations for anyone seeking to use a Sense scanner to scan half-hull models. TECH MEMO: To Recap: For best results in scanning half-hulls, I have settled upon the generation 1 Sense3D scanner, paired with a Surface Pro 2 tablet (with the faster i5-4300U processor, and 4 to 8 GB RAM) running Windows 8.1. Both these devices can now only be obtained used or refurbished, and often the Pro 2 requires an operating system reset to Win8.1 from Win10. However, the gen1 scanner has 3x3x3 meter capability and full user control of settings, vs. 2x2x2 meters and a too-friendly (impaired) interface with the generation 2 Sense2 scanner (retail: $360-400). Out of the box, you can distinguish the two generations of scanner thus: The second generation "Sense2" has and "Intel inside" logo on the base label; the original (prefered) "Sense3D" does not. The good news is that Cubify has become part of 3DSystems, and the formerly non-existent support for the Sense scanner has been replaced by exemplary 24-hour support. Software for both generations of Sense scanners (as well as the Apple variant) is found at: Www.3dsystems.com/shop/support/sense/videos [Apple users -- note that at $80 the retail price for the scanner for your OS is roughly 20 percent the cost of the Windows scanner. Go figure...] The older (gen1) scanner can be found for $200-350 on ebay -- usually in new condition, due to an initial frustration effect. The Surface Pro 2 with 4300U quad processor has a nominal speed of 1.9 GHz, but ranges up to 2.6 or 2.9 GHz. That is plenty to drive the scanner, which the box says requires 2 GHz and 4 GB. I CANNOT RECOMMEND the 4200U SP2 (1.6 GHz and up), so shop carefully. Expect to pay $300-350 for a 4300U SP2 on ebay (you may get a stylus included), or just go to Newegg and spend $330: https://www.neweggbusiness.com/product/product.aspx?item=9b-34-735-142 In either case, you will need a $35-50 Surface Pro 2 stylus, because the sensor software is MUCH easier to use with one. A mount to join the SP2 and scanner can be 3D-printed from the design at: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:237449 OR you can contact me for my redesign of that mount (as a print file, or an actual mount).
I'm trying to find a way of copying the plans of a ship accurately. The plans themselves are of Le Rochefort at 1/36 scale, and the hull is 560mm long. This means that they could be printed to an A2 sheet. My scanner is sized only for A4 so I have to copy in sections and then link them up in Photoshop. The problem I have found is that there are small distortions between one plan and the next so that when I overlay the plans using the layers function in Photoshop I find it impossible to make a totally accurate superimposition. Even if I use the distort function with which I can independently move each corner and side independently I find that whilst I can get some lines to match others will not. So the distortions are clearly complex and not just linear. The discrepancies are small, but enough to worry about which of the sections if any is accurate. The deviation of a straight line, for instance, is approximately 1.1mm over a 116mm distance. Has anyone else come across this problem? I have thought of taking the plans to a commercial firm that will scan and photocopy large plans, but am worried that the distortions are something inherent in scanners and photocopiers. Any thoughts and advice on how to obtain perfectly accurate reproductions so that I could use the prints to cut frames and pieces would be much appreciated. Thanks Tony