FAQ

What is the TablePi?

The TablePi is an automated stand alone system for use in photogrammetric scanning of objects.  It is  essentially an electronic turntable that is capable of piloting a wide range of DSLR cameras.  If in doubt please contact us before buying and we can advise you on the most optimal set up, we are more than happy to help you.

What camera makes will work?

Our turntable works really well with most modern Nikon and Canon DSLRs, but we have also produced experimental builds of the software for customers to work with Sony DSLRs and other makes of camera.  The full list of cameras supported by the camera tethering libraries used by our software is listed here: http://gphoto.org/proj/libgphoto2/support.php and we highly recommend that you contact us about this before buying a TablePi.

Does the TablePi support the use of multiple cameras?

Yes.  The TablePi currently supports either 1 camera or 3 cameras at a time.  Future updates aim to expand the ranges of camera models that we support.  We can produce experimental builds of the software to improve support for a particular brand of camera.

What is included with the TablePi?

The TablePi kit includes a computational module with touch screen, a plug-in and play turntable with a detachable magnetised scanning surface, a 5v power supply, a 12v power supply, a USB mass storage device and a carry case.

The standard support package (one year) comes with up to four hours of contact time that can be used for additional software/hardware configuration, method development and or training in photogrammetry workflows.

How can buying a TablePi save you time and money in the long run?

Traditionally for turntable photogrammetry a person would have to move the turntable by themselves or trigger the camera whilst an electronic “dolly” moved an object.  The TablePi can automatically capture the hundreds of photos needed for photogrammetric processing of 3D models  and free you up to work on other things whilst it is scanning an object.

It is also portable meaning that you can take it with you on sampling trips to museums or archives, and because it can capture 240 – 24 megapixel RAW photos from 3 DSLRS in 5-10 minutes it means you can sample more data with fewer people in less time.

With consistent configurable steps between your overlapping photos, this means photo alignment during post processing in your selected SfM software fails less often.

There is also the option to relabel and download your photos in a standardised way using whatever identifiers you wish if you are willing to allow capture to take slightly longer.

All of the above translates to making huge savings on your project costs, and allows you to get on with your research.

How heavy can an object to be scanned be?

The current model of TablePi as it is purchase directly from the shop is rated for weights of up to 2kg with it’s standard magnetised scanning surface.  However, customers can opt to buy a machine that comes with a set of out rigger legs and a bolt secured scanning surface that can take loads of up to 10kg.

Do you have larger scanning surfaces available?

The default scanning surface that comes with the TablePi is 20cm in diameter.  However, upon request we can make this larger, up to 30cm in diameter magnetised, and 50cm with a special bolted spindle and legs for stability.

Does the TablePi create 3D models?

No.  The TablePi simply helps a person capture a sequence of images of an object for use in photogrammetric software at a later time.

Does the TablePi need a separate computer to operate?

No.  The TablePi comes with it’s own computer with a touch screen.

What happened to the MK I & MKII TablePi?

The MKI was an experimental build made out of LEGO pieces and 3D printed parts which we no longer support.  The MKII was an experimental model similar to the MKIII that existed prior to the spinning out of PalaeoPi Ltd.  Only one was ever made.

My machine isn’t working like expected, what can I do?

There are a few options available, all depending on the level of service agreement you have with us.  In the first instance you can either check out the documentation that came with your machine, or contact us here.

I bought a one off machine with no service agreement, what level of support can I expect?

Customers who own a machine outright with no service agreement may contact us here.  We will aim to respond within 48 hours.  If your machine breaks unexpectedly under normal use and it is still under warranty, you may send it back to us for repair.  If you change your mind about the level of service you would like for your machine, you can always purchase a new service agreement with us by emailing us for a quotation.

I have lost or broken some of the components of machine, what can I do?

There are a few options available, all depending on the level of service agreement you have with us and if you have a one off or a rental machine.  In the first instance you can contact us here.  If you have a service agreement or the machine is still under warranty, you might be able to send it back to us for repair or replacement.  All of our machines are modular and designed to be repaired for as long as manufacturers are producing the parts for them.  If at some point a part is no longer available, we shall endeavour to find suitable replacements.  We aim to provide long term support for our products and respect customers right to repair.

How do I renew my service contract?

To renew a service contract, contact us here for a quote!

I no longer want my machine, what do I do with it?

We offer a retro fitting service if you would like to upgrade to the latest model at a reduced cost.  We are also happy to take back all of our machines when customers no longer wish to use them, we are able to use them for spares or we will donate the Raspberry Pi inside to local maker or coding groups who need them.