Since you’re here you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to scan an object. Well, the answer is far from easy as there are a couple of 3D scanning methods to choose from.
Cutting-edge technology allows us to create digital representations of physical objects and 3D scanning has numerous applications in various fields, including architecture, engineering, medicine, and entertainment. However, choosing the right 3D scanning technology can be tricky, especially if you need to learn more about the available types. This article will discuss the best 3D scanning technologies based on object size.
Before we delve into the different types of 3D scanning technologies, let’s first understand the basics of 3D Scanning.
What is 3D Scanning?
3D Scanning involves capturing an object’s physical dimensions, shape, and texture to create a 3D digital model. This technology can scan objects of all sizes, from small parts to entire buildings. The 3D scanner uses structured light, laser scanning, or photogrammetry techniques to capture the object’s data.
The best 3D scanning technology for an object depends on its size. Here are some of the best 3D scanning technologies based on the size of the thing being scanned:
Small objects: Structured Light 3D Scanning
Structured light 3D scanning technology uses a projector and a camera to accurately capture the object’s dimensions and shape. The projector emits a pattern of light onto the object while the camera captures the pattern’s distortion caused by the object’s surface. The structured light scanner then uses this data to create a 3D digital model of the object.
Structured light 3D Scanning is ideal for small objects because it is fast, accurate, and produces high-quality results. It is often used in the manufacturing industry to scan small parts, such as nuts and bolts, to ensure they meet the required specifications.
Medium-sized objects: Laser 3D Scanning
Laser 3D scanning technology uses a laser beam to scan the object’s surface and create a 3D digital model. The laser scanner measures the distance between the object and the scanner by bouncing laser beams off the object’s surface. This technology is ideal for medium-sized objects like car parts or furniture.
Laser 3D scanning is highly accurate and produces detailed results, making it an ideal choice for engineering and design applications. However, it is also relatively expensive, and the scanning process can take longer than structured light Scanning.
Large objects: Photogrammetry
Photogrammetry is a 3D scanning technology that uses photographs to create a 3D digital model of an object. This technology is ideal for scanning large objects, such as buildings and landscapes.
Photogrammetry works by taking multiple photographs of the object from different angles. The photographs are then processed using specialized software to create a 3D digital model. Photogrammetry is less expensive than laser scanning, making it an ideal choice for architects and construction companies. This technology is also widely used for creating 3D models of real people.
However, photogrammetry has some limitations. It requires the object to be stationary during scanning, which can be challenging for large objects such as buildings. Additionally, photogrammetry is less accurate than laser scanning, so it may not be the best choice for applications requiring precise measurements.
Irregular-shaped objects: CT Scanning
CT (Computed Tomography) scanning is a 3D scanning technology that uses X-rays to create a 3D digital model of an object. CT scanning is ideal for scanning irregular-shaped objects, such as bones, fossils, and artefacts.
CT scanning works by taking multiple X-rays of the object from different angles. The X-ray data is then processed using specialized software to create a 3D digital model. CT scanning produces highly detailed results, making it an ideal choice for medical and archaeological applications.
To summarise, structured light scanning is ideal for small objects, laser scanning for medium-sized objects, photogrammetry for large objects, and CT scanning for irregular-shaped objects. Each technology has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on the application.