As 3D Printing has grown over the past few years, the need to scan objects and recreate them as 3D models has as well. The combination of these two technologies has brought the world of rapid prototyping to life and made it available to the average consumer, but there are some things you should know and ask yourself before you start scanning your objects and making prototypes. In this guide, we will go over a few of the important questions, and how they should apply to your process.
What are your scans for?
Determining what your 3D scans are for seems like a no-brainer, but it plays a huge role in choosing the right scanner for you. What are you going to use the scans for? Or they for rapid prototyping? are you going to create and edit 3D models of what you scan?
Know what you are scanning
The type and size of the object have a huge impact on the 3D scanner you will need for your project. For instance, if you are scanning people or animals you can not use a laser scanner since it might damage eyes. If you are scanning large buildings or larger room sized objects, a laser scanner is exactly what you need. Photogrammetry is probably best for people but it can be quirky. For starters, the individual being scanned has to stand perfectly still which can sometimes make difficult.
Important Criteria to know
Dimensions/Distance from Object
Most 3D scanners available to the average consumer are designed to scan smaller objects and create a 3D model of them, but no matter the size of your object there are options available to you just be sure to check the specifications of each scanner to ensure your object is in within its desired range.
Surface of the Object
The surface of the object can have a significant bearing on your 3D scanning task. If the surface of your object is reflective or transparent you will have a difficult time getting satisfying results. Some individuals have taken to adding a thin layer of lacquer to the surface so the scan produces better results.
How detailed do your scans need to be? and does the scanner you are looking at have that kind of resolution? These are important questions that determine whether or not a scanner is a right fit for a project. The resolution has a significant effect on the price of your scanner as well. For better resolution, you usually have to pay more, and depending on your needs that can reach up into the thousands of dollars range.
We hope this has helped you narrow down your search for a 3D scanner. With the answer to these questions, you are sure to find the right 3D scanner for you and your project. Share and Tag your pictures on social media with the hashtag #AMTProject to show us what you are working on!