Student creates affordable 3D scanner

From a robotic elephant to a full body scanner, Poppy Mosbacher’s inventions are attracting national recognition.

The 25-year-old, studying for her Masters in Sustainable Design at the University of Brighton, has already caught the eye of the nation’s media, including the BBC’s World Service.

Body scanners costs thousands of pounds but Poppy’s prototype was built using a £1,000 prize for winning a Santander Universities’ digital award last year. She set out to create an affordable and readily-available full-body 3D body scanner for community groups to replicate and use.

3D Scanner

She said: “The scanner will allow students to take 3D images of themselves – it’s great for game enthusiasts and for making 3D models for fun or to help fashion students make custom-fitting clothes. It can also be useful for architecture students to scan their models.”

Poppy, also a fashion designer, has used her scanner to create a custom cardboard dressmaker dummy to ensure her designs will fit. University departments, she said, might use the scanner to make 3D teaching materials such as immersive training videos for specialised equipment. She would like to see the University of Brighton become a leader in this field.

Earlier, during her Product Design Technology with Professional Experience BSc(Hons) course, Poppy created a robotic elephant and for the past four years she has been giving children elephant rides at Glastonbury Festival.

Poppy is a director of BuildBrighton makerspace, a not-for-profit community workshop, and members there collaborated with her on the scanner project. Arthur Guy, another director, wrote the code for the scanner and Poppy wrote the “Instructables”, or online instructions, as part of her Masters submission.


Her submission deadline was last Tuesday and by that afternoon her work had already been featured on the Instructables website and by Raspberry Pi Foundation which developed the single-board computers Poppy used in the scanner. The BBC World Service has since contacted Poppy for an interview on “girls in tech’”.

Poppy has provided all the instructions and code for the scanner on her Instructables page. She said: “There are numerous uses for 3D scanning – the only limit is your imagination.”

More information about MA Sustainable Design

More information about BSc(Hons) Product Design Technology with Professional Experience

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