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About OpenScan

I got my first 3d Printer (Anet A8) in mid 2017 and at this time I had no experience nor any idea of what I could do with it. I quickly realized that I do not want to print existing 3d models only and thus would need either CAD-skills or a 3d scanner... At this time I had neither of the two, so I opted for the "lazy" way: scanning...

Being constraint by the lack of money, I invested my time in some research and came to the point, that photogrammetry is one of the very few scanning techniques, that has a very low entry level. So I took my phone and made my first scans, or at least I've tried... It took my roughly 30k manual photos to get a feeling, what to do and what to avoid. With an average of 200+ photos per object, I had a lot of time thinking about automation. So in the end, I had to learn CAD to create my first "3d scanner": 

evolution of openscan.jpg

Prior to 2017, I did not know much about the Maker Community and the idea of open-source. I was absolutely amazed by the sheer amount of available and free knowledge, that people have already created. By consuming hundreds of hours of Youtube-tutorials, I really fell in love with the idea of open and free knowledge as this can be so empowering. I have had quite a "good" education (High School + university), but what I've learned through the online community surpasses the quality and quantity of my formal education by several magnitudes.


So it became clear to me, that, if possible, I would love to give something back.

​In 2017 I've re-entered the German educational system, but this time as a teacher for mathematics. I hoped, that I would be able to share my curiosity there, but the system is very restrictive and out-dated. Since the OpenScan project has been evolving constantly, I decided to go "full-time" maker at the beginning of 2020 and hope to be able to develop the project for a bit longer :)

Since 2018, I am regularly attending Maker Faires, making video content, moderate several online groups and the most important part:

keep learning and creating new things :)



  • There have been several scientific projects using/investigating the OpenScan device, but unfortunately they are not openly available...

Exhibitions/Maker Faires

  • 2019 Maker Faire Rome

  • 2019 Maker Faire Hannover

  • 2019 Make Munich

  • 2018 Maker Faire Hannover

  • 2018 Mini Maker Faire Halle (Saale)


Please share your makes, so that I can link those too :)

And there is so much more, I would love to try out:

  • automate the photogrammetry workflow (one-click-solution)

  • automate image-quality-assessment via OpenCV

  • try super-resolution + photogrammetry with machine learning

  • create a multi-camera-scanning rig

  • travel and share the project :)

  • ...

About me


​As you are still reading those texts, I will also add some of my background:

Thomas Megel

  •  born 1987 in Bautzen, Germany

  •  2006 - 2011 studied Physics and Economy in Leipzig, Germany

  •  2011 - 2012 "world trip" - Australia, India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao, China, Mongolia, Russia

  •  2012 - 2014 co-founder Kosmos Bouldering Gym in Leipzig, Germany

  •  2015 - 2016 construction worker, Europe

  •  2017 - 2019 high school mathematics teacher, Halle, Germany

  •  2020 - ...      OpenScan :)

Even a couple of years ago, I've described myself as an all thumbs-theorist, but I am super-happy that this changed ;) Since the beginning of the OpenScan project I have learnt/am learning (without prior experience and basically all through youtube + online community):

  • 3d scanning (photogrammetry + structured light)

  • photography

  • soldering

  • CAD design

  • PCB layouting

  • Arduino, Esp32, Raspberry Pi

  • 3D printing, laser cutting, three-axis CNC-cutting

  • production and logistics

  • programming (Linux, Node-red, Python)

  • running a website + shop

  • running several social media channels

  • creating video content

  • staying focused ;)

  • ...

I hope that this list continues growing :) 

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