Frequently Asked Questions

When considering a 3d scanner you need to consider the size of your parts, the details/features of the parts, and your tolerances you are trying to adhere to. For example, the Artec Ray is the best scanner in it’s class and the best value for scanning large objects like planes or boats with submillimeter accuracy, but the Artec Micro is the best value scanner for scanning parts less than 3 inches when you need to achieve 10 micron accuracy.  If you need 0.001” accuracy on machined parts larger than 3 inches, then the Scantech Kscan scanners are probably your best value, but if you don’t need that tight of tolerance then the Artec Scanners would be your best bet.

The Artec 3D scanner was designed to deliver industrial-quality scans with just one click. Perfect for reverse engineering small objects, quality control, inspection, dentistry, jewelry, design, and more

The Artec Leo and Artec Space Spider 3D Scanners are the most popular scanners currently for the 3D Scanning objects, people, props, products, etc to create CGI and AR/VR ready game assets

It completely depends on your application. There are some very good free inspection software programs that are compatible with most 3D scanners. If you are looking for a more robust solution Control X from Geomagic or Polyworks Inspector are two of the most popular, and Geomagic Control X essentials is the best value if you don’t need some of the extra features.

This depends on the object, but if an object is difficult to measure with a caliper, then 3D Scanning typically will make your 3D modeling workflow much more efficient and accurate.

Can you? Yes. Should you? Probably not. 

Professional scanners use extremely high resolutions and have exceptional accuracy because of that high resolution. Unfortunately, as good as the iPad and iPhone are, they simply cannot meet the standards required for most 3D scan uses. The LIDAR modules on such devices do take the type of measurements you need, but they seem to be intended to be used for depth-aware photography and video – allowing for better editing control later – not as 3D scans.

No. Not at all. 3D Scanning uses multiple cameras and a projected light source (a light pattern or laser with a known and calibrated measurement) to take numerous direct and precise measurements using triangulated data. The precise measurements are all important when it comes to having a scan you can print from.

Photogrammetry, on the other hand, is taking many photographs of a scene and using them to extract the geometry of what that scene would be in 3D – but no measurements. It’s sort of the inverse of photography, which uses light reflected off of a 3D scene to produce a 2D image.

Yes, if certain criteria are met. The mesh created from the 3D scan must be watertight (a closed volume). You will lose some resolution by scanning a 3D printed part since every printer and scanner have their own unique max resolution – which can cause you to end up with a resolution stack up. 

Added side note, it is common practice to 3D scan a 3D printed part to ensure that the part printed is within tolerances and hasn’t warped.

Structured Light 3D Scanning is what happens when a structured light pattern is projected onto a surface and one or more cameras read the known grid pattern and triangulate very accurate 3D measurements that can then be used to 3D print a near-perfect copy of the original surface. The most common types of these scanners are white light scanners and blue light scanners, and the colors are important since blue light scanners tend to do a better job than white light scanners on dark and shiny surfaces.

While they function in much the same way, each type of scanning has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Laser 3D Scanning uses one or more lasers to create lines on a surface and then one or more cameras are used to read the lines to create 3D measurements. Lasers usually have a lower resolution, but they are much more tolerant of dark or shiny surfaces.

Structured Light 3D scanning uses a light source, typically an LED, to project a grid pattern onto a surface, then the camera reads the grid and turns that information into 3D measurements. These types of scanners often have a much higher resolution – resulting in more accurate measurements – but have a very hard time with dark or shiny surfaces.

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