3D Scanning

A 3D scanner is a device that analyses a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance (e.g. color). The collected data can then be used to construct digital 3D models. Scanning will not produce an exact copy, but a very close copy. If precision is necessary, then designing your object in a CAD program is highly recommended.

We currently use two types of of 3D scanners, depending on the object —

Hand-Held – Optimum for scanning larger objects, such as people, furniture, and buildings. Scanning time varies depending on lighting and the size of the object. Example: To scan a person’s head and shoulders (to make a bust) in a well-lit area, it can take up to 10 minutes for a full scan. This type of scanner is not optimum for objects under 10″.

Turntable Style – Optimum for scanning objects between 2″ x 2″ and 8″ x 8″ The object is placed on the scanner and is slowly rotated as a camera and two lasers record the surface information.This type of scanner is only accurate down to 0.2 (200 microns) mm of detail. A normal scan can take up to 30 minutes. A highly detailed scan can take over an hour.

3D Scanning is Perfect For

Objects with the following characteristics generally scan well: continuous surfaces with smooth curvature; varying color or texture; matte, non-shiny surfaces; opaque finishes.

3D scanning is great for 3D capture of the human form; fabrics; stone and masonry; wood carvings; sculptures; plants, flowers and other organic objects.

3D Scanning is NOT Perfect For

3D Objects with certain characteristics may not be suitable for scanning, or may require technical workarounds to capture scans successfully. Here’s some further guidance on where scanning might not be suitable:

  • Objects with cavities or protrusions: where the scanner can only image what it ‘sees’ from its view point and cannot capture part of an object that is hidden behind another;
  • Very dark objects: where the object will absorb light which lowers the amount of detail;
  • Mono-color objects: with no texture, which do not provide surface information for the scanner to work effectively;
  • Reflective or shiny objects: where light reflects off the surface to prevent accurate surface measurement;
  • Transparent objects: where light transmits through the surface to prevent accurate surface measurement;
  • Objects with sharp edges and corners: where the scanner will trend to smooth objects with geometric features with flat surface and sharp corners.
  • Precision Parts: where multiple pieces must fit or work together.

3D People Scans

We can do full body scans, bust scans (shoulders and  head), or  just scan your head and add to another object, such as a poseable action figure. Scans of people take 10-15 minutes to complete. Multiple scans may be necessary. Scans are in full-color, but if you are opting for us to 3D print the scan, the figure would be a single color, that could be hand-painted.

We can add a scanned head to male or female 3D printed poseable action figure. This figure at 12″ size fits most 1/6 scale clothes. The figure can be printed up to 24″ tall.