I created an automated image collection system to enable 3D scanning of small objects. The result above is my first success. I also built the 3D printer that made this figure from scratch (not a kit). What I am doing for this first system is using Mach3, which is normally used for controlling machine tools like CNC mills and lathes to rotate a platform and open and close a relay. The relay controls a camera that collects digital images. I collect an image for every few degrees of rotation of the object. I also have a flat black background so that 123D catch does not become confused by other objects in the scene. I have found that this program works very well as long as the arrangement is PERFECT! Here is a video of the scan sequence. As you can see, I have a neutral background so that the program can not become confused. Only then does it work without manual intervention. See my previous blog for a manual scan using the same program. Here is an image gallery showing the arrangement of the equipment, the 123D Catch result, the exported mesh and rendered mesh in Blender, one example captured image of the figure, and the final, printed figure. Support material was required for the cowboy hat. I uploaded this object to Thingiverse.
Here is a video demonstrating the process.