UPDATE – 23 Jan 2011

Please see the IonBookSaver, which uses basically the same design as the BookLiberator but will be available at a cheaper price and sooner. You can read more about it in Ion's press release.

We have no affiliation with Ion and receive no compensation for mentioning their product — we just want affordable book digitizers to be in the hands of as many book owners as possible, and Ion's product now looks like the best way to achieve that. We have suspended work on production of the BookLiberator, while we wait to see how Ion's BookSaver is received in the market.

The rest of our old site is left here for reference.


Front view Focusing Angled view

This is the home page of the BookLiberator project. BookLiberator is a set of free software and hardware to digitize books: it lets you photograph all the pages in a book without harming the book. The resulting images can be processed with free, open source software to make user-friendly files in a variety of formats.

Lifting Turning a page About to lift


Other Efforts


Manufacturing Prospectus

Below are detailed photographs of a BookLiberator prototype from finished state to complete disassembly.

A finished BookLiberator consists of two parts, both made of wood, painted black in model used for these photos. The top part is a liftable cube, with cameras attached and plexiglass across the two downward faces, and underneath is a cradle that holds the book.

Sometimes we call the bottom the "cradle", sometimes we call it the "base". Also, note that the "cube" is not actually perfectly cubical, as you'll see in the measurements below.

Contents:


Overview

Top view, from above the cube. The straight bar running across the top from foreground to background is called the handle. The cameras are mounted on threaded metal camera posts rising out of wooden pieces called the camera bars. All the faces are open except the bottom two, where you can see the reflection of the plexiglass panes:

00-top-assembled

This is what the cube alone looks like (before the handle is attached across the top front, and without the plexiglass panes and the clamps that hold them):

01-cube-alone-without-handle

This is what the cradle looks like from above (underneath it are the base standing pieces to hold it up — you can't see that here, but they will be in later photographs):

02-base-from-above-assembled


All parts, unassembled:

All the parts of a BookLiberator, laid out:

03-all-parts-laid-out

All the parts for the cube, laid out:

04-cube-all-parts-laid-out

All the parts for the base, laid out:

05-base-all-parts-laid-out


Cube face:

This is one face of the cube, seen from the outside. The two recessed screw holes on the lower right are for the handle — since the cube sits diagonally on the base, the screw holes have to be diagonal in order for the handle to be straight, i.e., parallel to the floor. The recessed screw holes in the lower left and upper right are for the camera bars (there are also some other smaller, non-recessed screw holes for the clamps that hold the plexiglass panes, which we'll get to a bit later):

06-cube-face-outside-whole

A detail of part of that same outside cube face:

07-cube-face-outside-partial


Clamp holes:

Unlike the recessed screw holes, the clamp holes do not go all the way through the wood; therefore you do not see any holes in the lower right corner above :-):

08-cube-inside-clamp-holes-on-other-side

On the other side, though, you do see the clamp holes:

09-cube-face-clamp-holes

Detail on clamp hole positioning:

10-cube-empty-corner-clamp-hole-detail

More detail on clamp hole positioning:

11-cube-camera-bar-corner-clamp-screw-distance-detail


Camera post and mount:

Cameras are supported in the top diagonal open faces of the cube by metal posts that extend upward from a slot in the corresponding edge pieces of the cube. The posts have the right size screw thread to fit a standard camera mount, and two round nuts (one on each side of the wood) hold the post in place. The nuts are round, not hexagonal, because they are meant to be turned by hand; the post height can be adjusted up and down, and its position can be moved right and left in the wooden slot, just by manually adjusting the nuts and post:

12-cube-camera-post-with-camera-top-assembled

Detail of the bottom of a camera post, showing round nut (the separate wooden cradle can be seen beyond the bottom part of the metal post):

13-cube-camera-post-detail-assembled

A camera with a post attached, ready to be placed in the cube's edge slot. One nut is alread on the post, but the other is off because the post still needs to be put through the slot:

14-camera-post-with-camera

Detail of the post and the two nuts:

15-camera-post-and-textured-rings-detail


Camera post slot bar:

A cube edge with one of the camera slots (the cube is upside down here — normally the edge slot would be off the table):

16-cube-camera-bar-orientation-but-not-inserted

Before cube assembly, this is the wooden edge piece, with a ruler for measurements:

17-cube-camera-bar-whole

Close-up of the edge-piece, from one end to the middle of the camera-post slot:

18-cube-camera-bar-left

Close-up of camera-post slot dimensions:

19-cube-camera-bar-hump-detail-1

Another close-up view of camera-post slot dimensions:

20-cube-camera-bar-hump-detail-2


Top handle:

The top handle, seen from below:

21-cube-handle-bevel-underside-assembled

The screws by which the top handle is attached (the top handle is visible at the top of the photo, stretching away toward the back. Note that the lighting makes it look like the top handle is turned (rolled) slightly; that is an illusion — it is actually flat and level with the ground:

22-cube-handle-screws-in-bevel-detail-assembled

Screwing the top handle across the top corners of the cube:

23-cube-corner-handle-attachment-stage-2

Another view of the same:

24-cube-corner-handle-attachment-stage-1

Close-up of the screws in their holes, with measurement:

25-cube-corner-handle-partially-screwed

The screw holes by themselves, with measurement:

26-cube-corner-handle-holes

Detail of the screw holes on the inside face of the cube top corner, with measurement:

27-cube-holes-for-handle-inside-4F


Clamps (L-brackets):

Clamps on one side of a plexiglass pane, holding it to the cube frame (note that the camera is slightly angled — the corner right below the bottom clamp, where the plexiglass pane sticks out slightly beyond the cradle, is down):

28-cube-plexi-clamp-wood-screw-both-sides-assembled

Close up of an L-bracket clamp holding one of the plexiglass panes in place. Note that the screw is only on one side of the clamp; the other side just holds the plexi in place with pressure, with a piece of rubber between the metal and the plexiglass:

29-clamp-holding-plexi-angled-view-showing-nonskid-pad

The bottom clamps holding two plexiglass panes:

30-cube-bevel-assembled-flash

Another view of same:

31-cube-bevel-assembled-no-flash

Measurement of one of the L-bracket clamps (note the rubber affixed to the inside of the clamp):

32-cube-clamp-top-edge

The vertical slot in the clamp is for the screw that affixes the clamp to the cube, so the clamp's position can be adjusted for the thickness of the plexiglass pane:

33-cube-clamp-outside-corner

Another view of a clamp, with measurement:

34-cube-clamp-inside-corner

The clamp, with the rubber peeled away to show the bare metal (we don't have any use for the small, circular screw hole, it's just that we can't get L-brackets without that hole):

35-cube-clamp-inside-corner-nonskid-pad-application

One of the clamp screws:

36-cube-clamp-screw


Plexiglass panes:

Measurement for the short edge of the plexiglass pane:

37-cube-plexi-length

Measurement for the long edge of the plexiglass pane:

38-cube-plexi-width

The plexiglass panes meeting at the bottom of the cube. Note that this photo is now slightly inaccurate! Instead, the plexiglass panes now each have a 45-degree bevel along one edge, so the the edges that meet at the bottom of the cube form a single sharp edge (to settle easily along the inside spine between the pages of the book being scanned):

39-cube-plexi-corner-joint-side-detail

One of the plexiglass panes attached to the bottom of the cube, resting on one of the diagonal base face plates (i.e., one half of the "cradle"):

40-cube-on-base-underside-showing-clamp


Camera bars:

Screwing in one of the camera post bars:

41-cube-corner-camera-bar-partially-screwed-overview

The edge of the cube frame, showing the attachment of one of the camera bars to the left corner, with measurement:

42-cube-plexi-edge-showing-part-of-camera-bar

The camera bar screws go next to the clamp screw:

43-cube-wood-screw-plexi-clamp-detail-assembled

Measurement for the screw holes on the cube frame where the camera post bar attaches, next to the clamp screw hole:

44-cube-corner-holes-detail

Detail of camera post bar screw holes:

45-cube-corner-holes-recess-detail

A single camera post bar screw:

46-cube-wood-screw-detail

The camera post bar screws going in:

47-cube-corner-wood-screw-partially-screwed-detail

The camera post bar screws, all the way in:

48-cube-camera-bar-corner-screws-detail

The screw holes on the inside of the cube frame, where the camera post bar attaches:

49-cube-holes-for-camera-bar-inside-4A

The screw holes on end of the camera post bar itself, where it would attach to the cube frame:

50-cube-camera-bar-edge-holes-4B

Close-up of the other end of the camera post bar — they are symmetrical:

51-cube-camera-bar-edge-holes-4E


Base tongues, overview:

The two halves of the base, slid far apart (as though to hold a very very thick book), so you can so how the two tongues on one half go around the single central tongue on the other half:

52-base-tongues-fit-together-assembled

The two halves of the base slid as closely together as they can go, such that the single central tongue from one half actually protrudes a bit out beyond the end of the slot on the other half:

53-base-double-onto-single-from-back-assembled

The other half of the same base — you can see the two tongues from the far side wrapping around (and slightly gripping) the standing pieces that support the near side (the near side being the one that holds the central tongue, which is pointing toward the back of the photo):

54-base-single-into-double-from-back-assembled

Close-up view of those two tongues wrapping around the base standing pieces (the ones that go around the central tongue):

55-base-single-into-double-from-back-detail-assembled

The half of the base that has the two tongues, by itself:

56-base-double-tongue-from-back-assembled


Base, single-tongue half:

The half of the base that has the single central tongue, by itself:

57-base-single-tongue-from-back-assembled

A diagonal base face, being screwed into the diagonal edges of the standing pieces beneath it (you can't see them, of course, but they're the ones that surround the single central tongue):

58-base-single-tongue-partially-screwed-overview

Detail of the base face screw positions, with measurements:

59-base-single-tongue-partially-screwed-detailed

One half of the base, before the diagonal face has been screwed on to the standing support pieces:

60-base-single-tongue-face-beside-assembled-wings

The back (bottom) of a base face:

61-base-single-tongue-face-overview

Close-up vertical measurements of the base face screw holes:

62-base-single-tongue-face-holes-vertical-detail

Close-up horizontal measurements of the base face screw holes:

63-base-single-tongue-face-holes-horizontal-detail

Measurements for the corresponding screw holes in the diagonal tops of the standing pieces that support the base face (note that the black area at the bottom of the photo is just the base face lying on the table — it's not part of the standing support):

64-base-single-tongue-wings-holes-face-off

Close-up measurements of a standing diagonal top piece's screw holes (in inches):

65-base-single-tongue-left-wing-holes-detail

Close-up measurements of a standing diagonal top piece's screw holes (in centimeters):

66-base-single-tongue-right-wing-holes-detail

How the standing pieces screw onto the bottom tongue:

67-base-single-tongue-assembled-partially-screwed-overview

Lining up the standing piece bottom screw holes with ones in the side of the tongue:

68-base-single-tongue-partially-assembled-overview

More of the same:

69-base-single-tongue-and-wings-laid-out-overview

Still more of the same, closer:

70-base-single-tongue-and-wings-laid-out-detail

Really close view of the same:

71-base-single-tongue-and-wings-laid-out-holes-detail


Base, double-tongue half:

The standing pieces that attached to the two tongues of the double-tongue half. Everything has been laid flat in this picture, both the standing pieces and the tongues to which they attach, so you can see how the screw holes correspond:

72-base-double-tongue-and-wings-laid-out-overview

Close-up of same:

73-base-double-tongue-and-wings-laid-out-detail

How the standing pieces attach to the two tongues (later, the thing that will hold the two sides in place is the base face, which is not shown here, although you can see the screw holes it will screw into):

74-base-double-tongue-wings-partially-screwed

The corresponding base face, laid face down, so you can see where its back (bottom) screw holes will meet the standing piece front (top) screw holes:

75-base-double-tongue-wings-assembled-face-off-and-down

Measurement of the base face (still in face down position):

76-base-double-face-angled-edge-detail

Close-up of the base-face screw hole vertical measurements:

77-base-double-tongue-face-holes-vertical-detail

Close-up of the base-face screw hole horizontal measurements:

78-base-double-tongue-face-holes-horizontal-detail

Screwing the base face onto the standing pieces of the double-tongue half:

79-base-double-tongue-partially-screwed-overview

Another view of same:

80-base-double-tongue-partially-screwed-detail

(Moving slightly backward in time now, sorry.) Some measurements of one side of double-tongue half of the base:

81-base-double-tongue-left-wing-holes-4L

Close-up of the two tongues on that side (I'm not sure how this measurement particularly helps — but hey, we had the photo, so let's use it!):

82-base-double-tongue-beveled-ends


Base bottoms:

Bottom view of the single-tongue half of the base:

83-base-single-tongue-assembled-underside

Close-up of the same screws:

84-base-single-tongue-wing-side-detail-showing-nonskid-pad

Bottom view of the double-tongued half of the base:

85-base-double-tongue-assembled-underside

Close-up view of some inside screws (from between the two tongues) on that half of the based:

86-base-double-tongue-assembled-detail-showing-nonskip-pad

We attach flat rubber strips to the bottom of the base, so its halves don't slide around when a book is placed in the cradle the and the cube is being lifted and lowered:

87-base-nonskid-pad-application