When you need to scan an image, you use a regular scanner, but what do you do when you need to scan a 3D object? Apparently you use a webcam, a laser pointer and some free software.The above video comes from great DIYer Tinkernut, who has put together a simple 3D scanner with the aforementioned materials and two important (and free) software titles: David-laserscanner, used for the scanning part, and Blender, used for the 3D-rendering part. While this project isn't as simple as just shining a laser on an object and pressing "scan", the extra work you have to do isn't all that challenging. Essentially you just print out a dot grid, tape it to some foam core, and fold it at a 90-degree angle. Then you calibrate the board with your laser pointer using David-laserscanner and scan the object. You'll then be able to import that scan into Blender and add any detail you want. Pretty cool!
For the full instructions, watch the video above or head on over to Tinkernut for more information.
How to make a 3D scanner [Tinkernut]