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I want to scan various writing materials such as card, cloth, various grades and qualities of paper, wood, even hemp-based or other writing surfaces. The reason is I wish to write a GPU-accelerated font rendering library that would realistically mimic ink being deposited onto these surfaces.

So the first starting point I need is to identify the typical topology at the micron-level of these various writing media. I'm thinking a very small LIDAR sensor, or perhaps I could take a less small one and focus it somehow using a lens?

How would one go about this within "reasonable" cost (ie in the hundreds or early thousands of dollars, not tens of thousands).

Happy to think about non-LIDAR solutions too.

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    While this may not be IoT specific, it is a fascinating question ! Have you considered putting your materials on slides and using one of the 3D slide scanning services ? I just googled a couple minutes about this fascinating question and this youtube video looked interesting. youtube.com/watch?v=RRGgRTGLMZg – kalyanswaroop May 29 at 22:33
  • @kalyanswaroop Yes I suppose I could project a very small grid onto the material, and then record it from two different acute angles to the material in order to resolve the third dimension. Or similarly, simply project a dot and move either the material or the dot around or both. Now to find the small optics! – Thomas Browne May 30 at 7:28
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    why don't you use a microscope? – jsotola May 31 at 17:26
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    @jsotolaYes I've looked at that, but I need to project a grid or dot pattern of a few microns feature size, onto the area that I'm viewing with the microscope. How would I do that? Remember I need to calculate the 3d topology and the microscope alone doesn't give me that. – Thomas Browne Jun 3 at 4:35

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