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Raptor 3D Scanner Troubleshooting / FAQ

This section deals with many of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) and provides toubleshooting.


What is the difference between the Raptor 3D Scanner Frame Kit and Complete Kit?
The Complete Raptor 3D Scanner Kit contains all parts you need to build a fully functional Raptor 3D Scanner. The Raptor 3D Scanner Frame Kit only contains the basic frame hardware components without any electronics.

Why is ReprapUniverse offering a Frame Kit version of the Raptor 3D Scanner?
We are offering a Raptor 3D Scanner Frame Kit as many people already own a Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi Camera Module or the other electronical components. The Frame Kit provides an extremely low-cost entry (just €99) into building a Raptor 3D Scanner. When you plan on purchasing the Frame Kit, make sure to consult the Manual in advance to be sure you have the necessary skills and access to parts to turn the Frame Kit into a fully functional 3D scanner.

I am lacking any soldering skills. Will I be able to assemble the Raptor 3D Scanner?
Yes. There is no soldering required with the Complete Kit as we have already prepared all components for you. Just carefully follow the Manual for connecting the electronics.

Do I need any special tools while assembling the Raptor 3D Scanner?
You wil need standard hex keys (also called allen or inbus keys) and screwdrivers to assemble the Raptor 3D Scanner. To measure the Vref of the A4988 Stepper Motor Driver we recommend using a Multimeter. Make sure you set the reference voltage of the A4988 stepper motor driver to 0.5 - 0.6 V. If you purchase the Frame Kit, you will also need a PC or Laptop with SD Card reader/writer to write the Software image to an SD Card (minimum 8 GB). The complete Kit comes with a pre-configured image on SD Card.

Do I need to pay for software licences?
No. The Raspberry Pi is powered by the free Raspbian image (an operating system based on Debian). The software that runs the Raptor 3D Scanner, FreeLSS, is also Open-Source and freely available. There is a large and growing Community behind these software projects frequently updating and adding new features.

How is the Raptor 3D Scanner running the software? Do I need to have my PC connected all the time? Can I use Windows? What about my Mac?
The Raptor 3D Scanner does not need to be connected to a PC or Laptop while in operation. The Raptor 3D Scanner creates a Webinterface that can be accesed by entering its IP address from any standard Webbrowser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE, etc) on any operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux). The Scanner is fully operational over the Webinterface.


I have just received my Raptor 3D Scanner - but some parts are missing. I cannot continue.
We are preparing the Raptor 3D Scanner Kits with the utmost care. If we have missed to ship a part we apologize for that. Please contact us immediately and we will ship the missing parts to you a.s.a.p.

Do you have a Bill of Materials for the Raptor 3D Scanner available so I can check if I have received all parts?
Yes. On page 36 and 37 of the Manual you will find the Illustrated Bill of Materials for the Raptor 3D Scanner.

While assembling the Raptor 3D Scanner I have broken a part. How can you help me?
Please make pictures of the situation and send us an email. We are glad helping you out and finding a solution.

Do I simply put the rubber cover on the turn table or should I glue it?
No need to (but you of course can) glue the rubber cover to the turn table. The rubber cover is kept to its position by the top of the bolts that fix the turn table to the printed part.

Software Installation

I am a Raspberry Pi beginner. How hard is it to install the image and software?
The Raptor 3D-Scanner complete Kit comes with a pre-installed and pre-configured SD Card. Enter the SD Card into the card slot of the Raspberry Pi and you are ready to go. You do not need to install any Software manually. The Raptor 3D-Scanner Frame Kit does not come with the pre-installed and pre-configured SD Card. You can download the images from our Server and write it to an SD Card (minimum 8 GB).

Do I need to run the Raspbian image or can I also use different images on the Raspberry Pi?
All our instructions assume you have installed and are running the latest version of Raspbian. Other distros will likely require changes. We offer no support for other distros.

Do you have an image availabe with the Raspbian image and FreeLSS already pre-installed? Also the settings?
Yes. In our Raptor 3D Scanner Documentation Center you can download a file that has everything already pre-installed. Just download the file and write it to an SD Card.

How do I find out the IP address of the Raspberry Pi?
Look in your Router for the IP address of the Raspberry Pi in the connected devices list. Alternatively you can use a Network Scanner like Fing on your mobile phone or desktop to find the IP address.

There is no new device listed in my network. I cannot see the IP address?
Make sure the Raspberry Pi is powered and connected to the right network by an ethernet cable. You might need to perform a reboot.

I am not able to write to the SD Card. I think the SD Card is defective!
Not likely. Make sure that the SD Card is unlocked by sliding the tab on the left side of the SD card upwards.

FreeLSS Software

How do I operate the Raptor 3D Scanner?
Enter the IP address of the Raspberry Pi in your browser to access the Raptor 3D Scanner webinterface. Continue with the calibration on page 27 of the Manual.

The Lasers do not switch on and the turn table does not turn around.
Make sure you are using the correct settings. You can click here and here to view these settings. Especially the settings for Right Laser Pin, Left Laser Pin, Motor Enable Pin, Motor Step Pin & Motor Direction Pin are important to set right.

If you are still facing a problem verify that all cables are connected correctly. For the turn-table, make sure that you have set the Vref of the A4988 Stepper Motor Driver to 0.5 - 0.6 V.

FreeLSS is not starting when powering on the Raspberry Pi. Do I need to start it everytime manually?
No. The following command automatically starts FreeLSS everytime the Raspberry Pi is powered on.

$ make startup

After installation the UI of FreeLSS looks very different than in the Manual. How comes that?
We are not the creators of the FreeLSS software. FreeLSS is an open-source software project that is frequently updated to newer versions. The UI can change. We try to keep track to new versions with our manual. Just carefully read the sections in the Manual on calibration / settings and look for them in the updated UI.

Is there a serial number for my scanner, so I can auto-update the software?
Currently only the manual updating is working. Automatic updating is not supported.

I am getting errors messages after the Installation e.g. "Error opening camera"
First, please verify that all wires are connected properly. You might have a lose connection. Error messages in FreeLSS can also be caused by missing to install some vital libraries or dependencies during the installation. If you keep getting error messages we strongly recommend formatting your SD card and write a new image to your SD Card. Please make also sure you are using the right image (Raspberry Pi B+ and Raspberry Pi 2 Model B have separate images) !

My software question / issue is not listed in the manual or in this FAQ.
We strongly recommend visiting the FreeLSS Forum and specifically the Troubleshooting section. We are not the creators of the software and can only give limited support to its usage.

FreeLSS Settings

My scans look a bit messy. How can I improve this?
Very important is that you set the Right Laser Pin to 0 and the Left Laser Pin to 4. Furthermore make sure that you have calibrated the lasers correctly & that the object is placed on the center of the turn table.

Where can I find good FreeLSS settings for the Raptor 3D Scanner?
The settings in the manual provide a good starting point for a wide variety of objects. You can also click here and here to view these settings. For other objects you might have to change the settings to improve the results. If for example your object is reflecting the line of the laser strongly, you might have to increase the Treshold value for better results.

My scan is crowded by a large amount of unwanted point clouds. How can I get this improved?
You should try to increase the Laser Treshold value to improve your scans. Also lighting has an impact on the result of your scan. When you perform a scan it is recommended exposing the Raptor 3D Scanner not to bright lighting conditions. It is also advisable to use a black background as it will reduce the environmental point clouds and keep your scan cleaner. Using a little box will usually also improve your results.

Which file formats are generated by the Raptor 3D Scanner and which file type do you recommend?
The FreeLSS software can generate three file types: .PLY .STL and .XYZ. We strongly recommend generating .PLY files as they are the easiest for post-editing. By default most scans will have a certain amount of unwanted point clouds. It is easiest to remove them afterwards in a program like MeshLab when you export to .PLY.

Where can I get more information about FreeLSS settings in general? Tips & tricks maybe?
Best to visit the FreeLSS Forum. In the Forum you can find more information on FreeLSS and Community input on different modes & settings. Please also read the Tips & Tricks section in the Manual - page 31.

Raspberry Pi

Which Raspberry Pi models are supported?
The Raptor 3D Scanner either works with the Raspberry Pi B+ or the Raspberry Pi2 Model B. The standard Raptor 3D Scanner Complete Kit comes with the Raspberry Pi B+. Please notice that the software image is different for each type of Raspberry Pi. Make sure you use the correct Software for your Raspberry Pi.

The Raspberry Pi is getting extremely hot. Is that normal?
No. Shut down the power immediately. Check if you have connected everything in the right way. Consult the manual for a detailed overview of how to connect the components. (It is important that you connect everything to the right port on the interface board). Also take notice of the direction of the Raspberry Pi cable. Also verify if you have entered the correct settings.

Scannable Objects

How large can objects be to be scanned with the Raptor 3D Scanner?
With the Raptor 3D Scanner you can scan objects with max. dimensions of 15 x 20 cm.

Which objects are good to scan with the Raptor 3D Scanner
- Objects that weight less than 3 KG
- Objects smaller than 150 mm x 200 mm
- Objects larger than 50 x 50 mm
- Opaque objects
- Stationary objects / Simple Forms

Which objects are difficult to scan with the Raptor 3D Scanner
- Transparent objects
- Black / very dark objects
- Shiny / reflective objects
- Fuzzy objects
- Complex objects

Which objects are impossible to scan with the Raptor 3D Scanner
- Objects that weight more than 3 KG
- Objects larger than 150 mm x 200 mm
- Objects smaller than 50 x 50 mm
- Extremely Complex objects

Getting better scans - Tricks & Hacks

What can I get better scans?
Some objects that you scan with the Raptor 3D Scanner will give better results than other objects. It is important to understand how the 3D-Scanner works to get the best possible results. During a scan, the line laser shines beams on your object. The Raspberry Pi Camera captures images of these laser lines and the Raptor 3D Scanner translates those images into a point cloud. The better the Camera captures the laser lines, the better the final results of your scan.

You can cover transparent or too reflective objects with a white powder (e.g. corn starch or baby powder) to reduce the occurrence of reflections.

Paint on the object to reduce shininess, smooth up an extremely fuzzy texture, remove transparency or to turn a dark object white.

What is the effect of lighting on my scans?
Lighting is an extremely important aspect of getting good scans. To get the best possible results, scan objects in the same lighting conditions you calibrated in, or anything darker. Light sources should be placed outside the Raptor’s 3D-Scanner line of sight. Avoid windows or any other bright light sources. Bright light or reflective things shining in the camera can interfere with your scan, causing noise on the result.

What is the best background for getting good scans?
Usage of a dark background/surrounding will greatly reduce the background noise (e.g. black wall or mini photo studio).

Can I refocus the Raspberry Pi Camera lens?
Yes. You can improve the quality of your scans by refocusing the focus of the Raspberry Pi Camera. When you execute this hack you will void any warranty claims on the camera. Be extremely careful. This hack is not recommended for inexperienced users!