3D Scanning

Why use a 3D Scanner?

Why use a 3D Scanner?

  1. To make an exact copy of an existing item with a 3D printer
  2. To iterate (slightly modify) an existing design
  3. To add the scanned item into a digital artwork, animated film, video game, or virtual reality environment 
  4. To create virtual copies of items for preservation purposes

How do 3D scanners work?

They use one of these: 

  • Photogrammetry: measurements calculated from 20-250+ photographs
  • Structured Light: triangulates dimensions using small camera &  projector
  • LASER Triangulation: LIDAR, determines time it takes for laser to return 
  • Contact Based: probes the item using physical touch

How does photogrammetry work and why do you need it?

Photogrammetry vs Structured Light (Source)


What type of scanner does the Maker Lab have?

POP 2 Scanner


POP 2 Scanner

  • Structured light 3D scanning technology
  • .05mm precision, can scan in color 
  • 20 mm ×20 mm × 20 mm minimum scan volume
  • Uses Revopoint software
  • Outputs in PLY, OBJ, & STL

Scanning Tips

  • Small scans should generally be the size of your fist
  • POP 2 has an easier time scanning lighter objects
  • You can scan people, animals, and plants using the scanner
  • It is very difficult for the scanner to scan flat objects