New 3D Printed Heads


When using the SCiO we discovered the limitations of the regular head that comes with it. We put ourselves up with the task to design heads that provide solutions to these limitations. We came up with a couple of designs and tested these designs to see if they work and improve the performance.

Regular head IRegular head II

The above pictures show the regular head of the SCiO Device.

The limitations of the regular head are:
– The size of the head is quite small
– When scanning rounded surfaces the head doesn’t provide a stable stand
– The surface the sample lies upon makes a lot of difference
– There is no possibility to scan liquids

We started with drawing different types of heads and deciding which one to make. After choosing which ones to make, we modeled the heads on a computer using the Solidworks software. We used the 3D printers at the IO PMB to produce the heads.

head sketches





The pictures above shows the initial sketches and 3D computer models


The heads were 3D printed in the Ultimaker at the IO PMB.


Below are the new heads we printed. We made different heads for the limitations of the regular SCiO head. For each limitation we made a different head:

new heads with numbers


Head 1 is for scanning rounded surfaces.

Heads with 2 are also made for scanning round surfaces.

Head 3 is made for scanning with the same underlay every time.

Head 4 made for scanning liquids.

Head 5 is a bigger version of the regular head.

Head number 6 is the regular sized head.

Spray painted matte black

Testing the Heads
For testing the heads we compared the test results from the scan of the polymer PI we did before. We chose PI because it is a transparent material. For every scan we scanned it a minimum of three times.

When scanning with the new heads we got wrong results, the results where almost all exactly the same. After scanning the material the heads were made from, we realized the SCiO scan results got influenced by the material of the heads. The reason for that is that the light reflects from the sample to the head and then back to the SCiO device. The reflection of the head was stronger than the reflection of the sample.

When we scanned the regular head we found out that it gave a weak reflection. This is because the regular head is matte black. We decided to paint our heads matte black as well. We conducted the same test with the matte black heads, the results where more like the scan with the regular head.

Spray painted matte black

Spray painted matte black

head 3 with refelectivehead 3 in use

The above pictures show the head that provides the same underlay with each sample. Its idea is that the metal like rectangle is reflective like the calibration head, so that it will be excluded from the results. This way you only scan the sample. A disadvantage of this head is that the surrounding light will influence the results.

When we tested this head we found out that the reflective material we used influenced the result too much. That was we expected because the reflective material has to be exactly the same as the inside of the calibration head. This is just to show our idea.

rounded head

The above picture shows the head that will provide a stable scanning platform for rounded surfaces

failed rounded head

Above is another head for rounded surfaces but it didn’t work

head for liquids

Above here you can see the head where you can put liquid in. We couldn’t test this head properly because we didn’t have a reference yet. What we do know is that just like the other head with reflective material, the reflective material influences the result.

Overall Conclusion on the New Heads
We found out that it is harder then we thought to make new heads because of the reflection of the material the head is made of. Even with the matte black paint we didn’t get the same results as the regular head. Probably the surface also has a great influence on the performance of the head. Some heads couldn’t be thoroughly tested because we didn’t have the materials available.

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