What Is A 3D Scanner?
What Is It And Why It’s Important
You may know by now what a 3D Printer is. If you don’t, a 3D Printer is simply a Printer that uses materials such as plastics or metals to mold
3-dimensional objects. You can find out more about 3D Printers here. A regular 2-dimensional (2D) scanner has been used for years to allow people to copy text and pictures into a computer or used together with a standard printer to simply make a copy of the document or picture. A 3D Scanner works on the same principle but instead allows you to not only scan something flat, like a sheet of paper, but also scan something with multiple sides, like a ball, so that it can be recreated/3D Printed or the model of that object imported into a computer to be modified.
The concept of a 3D Scanner is very similar to using a digital camera to take pictures of multiple sides of an object. The difference is that a 3D Scanner would allow you to obtain more accurate dimensions of the object, allowing you to 3D Print the object in the highest resolution possible or import the model into your computer at once without having to try and “stitch” the object back together again. If you are currently using a digital camera, you can make 3D models of objects with the Catch software offered by Autodesk. The smallest unit that your 3D Scanner can understand is called a Pixel. The greater the amount of Pixels your 3D Scanner can recognize, the higher the Resolution/detail your object will be when imported to your computer or 3D Printed.
Similar to high quality digital cameras (usually DSLR Cameras), most 3D Scanners use a CMOS Sensor. This sensor detects and interprets light, including color, brightness, and other factors. The cameras that most 3D Scanners use are High Definition cameras. Most 3D Scanners also use a turn-table that rotates as the Scanner captures images of your object; each increment of rotation is called a Step. CMOS Sensors by themselves are very good at capturing accurate detail but some 3D Scanners also incorporate Lasers. The Lasers help the 3D Scanner measure the exact dimensions of the object and also improve the Scanners ability to reproduce subtle details on an object. An example of a 3D Scanner that uses lasers is the Matterform 3D Scanner. 3D Scanners will generally be portable or not portable. There are
3D Scanners that we consider ultra-portable such as the handheld 3D Scanner from Fuel 3D. The Fuel 3D is also a Point-and-Shoot device, it works similar to taking a picture with a digital camera with everything set to automatic. You can also go here for more technical information about 3D Scanners.
3D Scanning In Action With The Photon 3D Scanner