3D Scanners, Digitizers, and Software for making 3D Models and 3D Measurements
Simple 3D is a site about technologies (3d scanners, digitizers) used to create 3D
models, measure 3D dimensions, and track objects in 3D spaces.
Over the past few years a number of 3D Scanner / measurement / tracking
devices and techniques have been developed.
3D Models can be used in a large range of exciting applications areas:
Education, Fashion and Textiles,
and Web Design.
Hopefully these pages will help you determine the best products for your
(Frequently Asked Questions)
Table of Contents:
Acoustic Position Trackers
Close Range Photogrammetry
CNC Milling Machines and 3D Printers
Coordinate Measurement Machines
Dense Stereo Matching
Laser Radar Scanners
Magnetic Position Trackers
Measurement Service Companies
Optical Position Trackers
Time of Flight Laser Scanners
Total Stations and Theodolites
3D Digital (now own rights to
RealScan 3D... which was previously owned by Intel, and before that Lockheed
Martin). The Model 100 portable scanner has a USB interface for easy
interfacing but no color texture. The Model 200 has color texture.
3D Scanner has two different
products. ModelMaker is a hand-held line scanner that fits on the end of an
articulated arm (such as Faro). It comes in several different sensor
configurations. The user can choose where to spend more time gathering dense
data. The weight of the head and the rigidness of the articulated arm can make
scanning a bit tiring. Replica/Reversa is a complete Computer Numerically
Controlled (CNC) Machine.
3Shape 3D scanners for hearing aid
and footwear applications
has sensors for CMMs, robot based inspection, and manufacturing in-line
Axila G-scan is an
integrated articulated arm and laser line scanner.
Canadian National Research Council
C-Map Systems LazrLyne
projects a bright red vertical stripe into the video camera field
of view. This allows an operator to measure areas, distances, and angles on
the screen. The device is typically used for remote controlled crawlers,
undersea ROV's, borescopes, and video microscopes.
pioneered laser and
video-based scanning technology. Their head and body scanners have been
heavily used in the movie industry. The have scanners to address a full range
of applications and they build custom scanners for special applications. The
scanners color texture inaddition to geometry data.
DCS incubator project
uses projection of multiple laser lines to create 3D
Diff Scan handheld 3D scanner
uses a laser, camera, and diffraction to obtain range information
has several different
size models that use a single laser dot to scan an entire object. The systems
automatically scan an entire object in an intelligent fashion. Because of the
order it scans the object, the point cloud is very easy to convert to a NURB
model usings tools like Surfacer. The scanning is some what slow, but
Hamar laser alignment systems
Hymarc Hyscan 45C laser digitizer is
designed to fit to any Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM), Computer
Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machine, or other translation device.
Research Institute has a 4-axis scanner, a portable 3D scanner, and a body
4DI (bought by Brooks Automation)
system projects multiple laser
lines to scan an object. It has two video cameras to calculate the 3D points
and one camera to keep track of the multiple lines.
has a line
of high speed 3D laser profiling sensors
high speed 3D machine vision sensor
calculates range information directly in the camera (10,000 profiles / sec).
Combined with the Ranger software, it makes creating 3D profiling applications
Kreon3D has two different models.
The laser line is projected from the center of the sensor. Two cameras are
used on either side of the line projector. This allows data capture even if
one of the cameras is obscured.
- Laser Design makes both portable
and CMM based scanners for large and small applications.
- LMI Technologies Inc. has single
point, multi-point, single-line and multi-line laser sensors
- Mensi offers two different models, one
for long distances (2.5 - 25 Meters), and one for shorter distances (0.8 - 10
has several CMM non-contact scanners.
- Metron Systems MSG2 3D Scanning
System is for reverse engineering, rapid prototyping, first article
inspection, quality and process control or simply scanning services
- Konica Minolta Vivid (USA) (Europe) (Japan) has three
models (Vivid 330, 700, 900) to provide different accuracies and working
volumes. These systems operate like a conventional camera and are portable,
fast, and reliable. The systems product color texture and geometry data.
- Nagoya Institute
of Technology Handy 3-D Cam
- Nextec has the Wiz laser point
probe that can be mounted on a CMM or they have the Hawk integrated scanning
- New Features
Measurement sells the M2D line of laser line scanner
Desktop 3D Scanner uses multi-stripe laser triangulation and sells for around
laser line scanner for measuring rough diamonds for use in diamond
planning and cutting.
- Origin Technology captures a
two-dimensional digital profile of a surface.
provides laser line scanner and software for integrating with articulated arms
- Polhemus has come out
with a new model of the FastScan handheld laser scanner. The FastScan Cobra is
a single camera laser line scanner. It is much lighter and easier to handle
than the original FastScan. The user "paints" the object of interest. The
point cloud is displayed on the screen as the scan is being done. It uses a
built-in magnetic tracker to obtain the position and orientation of the
scanner. This puts the scanned points in the same coordinate system. The
overlapping scans are processed into a single surface model. Optional software
provides automatic hole filling and generates water tight meshes. The list
price is around $20K and the accuracy is around 0.5mm. This product is not
suited for working around metal because of the tracker. The scanner and
FastRBF software are developed by Applied
Research Associates NZ Ltd. and FarField Technology
- Roland Model LPX-250 Laser Scanner
is a $10K laser dot scanner that has rotation and linear stages. The operating
volume is 10" diameter, 16" height. The scanning resolution can be as small as
0.008". The unit is very nicely package, but large complex parts can take
quite a bit of time to scan.
- Scantech produces 3D laser scanners
and CAD/CAM for efficient and fast copy milling. They have a portable scanner
and stationary 3D laser scanners for mounting on any CNC-controlled milling
machine or CNC-turning lathe.
- ScanWorks from Perceptron can be mounted on an
- Shapegrabber has tabletop,
portable, and gantry scanning platforms.
- Steinbichler Comet T-scan
hand-held laser scanner for 3D-digitizing of freeform surfaces
- Scantech portable or CNC mounted
scanner for stone, wood, and metal industry
- Surphaser 3D Laser Scanner ($30k)
scans 200,000/sec with an operating volume of 6' x 6' x 6' with 0.05mm RMS
- Wolf & Beck Optical Scanning
sensors for CMMs
- Z+F UK Ltd LARA scanners and Light
Form Modeller Software
- 3D Metrics
3D Shape GmbH
models commercial patterns to a person's measurements within 1/16".
Make a variety of scanners
- C 3D Imaging
- CalTech 3D
acquires 360 degree trunk and limbs with +/- 1mm accuracy.
- Dimensional Photonics
is back (new incarnation?). The have a nicely packaged accordian fringe system.
Minolta now sells their system for high-end applications. The technology
promises to be more tolerant of lighting and shinely parts.
- EOIS makes the mini-moire non-contact
probe for portable measurement arms. They also have 'The Handy' handheld
digitizer that uses a digital camera for data capture and storage. EOIS
technology sold to Opton Co Ltd of Japan in 2001.
- Eyetronics sells the ShapeCam and
the SnapeSnatcher Suite Software. ShapeCam consists of a digital camera and a
specially designed flash device mounted on a lightweight frame. Photos
captured with the portable ShapeCam are processed and assembled in 3D with the
SnapeSnatcher Suite. The suite handles alignment and stitching of scans,
polygon reduction, texturemapping, and surface extrusion.
- Genextech Rainbow
- GOM Atos working
volume is 100 x 80 x 80 mm up to 350 x 280 x 280 mm, scan time is 8 seconds.
- Inspeck 3D Capturor ($13K) can be
used alone or combined into large object scanners
- Intelligent Quality
Systems moire system
- Minolta 3D1500 Camera
- Opton Moire System
- RSI Digiscan 2000 use a
combination of a standard LCD projector, video camera, and software to objects
- Steinbichler Comet
- VXTechnologies (formerly VX Optronics) StarCam
Uses a pair of cameras to triangulate the dot pattern projected by an inexpensive LCD projector.
The system is available with an internal optical reference to help with thermal calibration
- Wicks and Wilson Triform
have several different body scanners (full body, torso, head).
- Optimet point probe uses Conoscopic
- Coherix uses a tunable
laser with multiple wavelengths and phase shifting to make measurements in a
12x12x16" working volume. The measurement time is 2-3 minutes. Works well on
flat reflective surfaces. Applications have primarily been in the automotive (brake pads, pumps, engine blocks)
and semiconductor areas (silicon wafers). Systems are high-end
- 3D Reshaper
VRML plugin can be used to view VRML files in your web browser
- CosmoPlayer VRML
plugin can be used to view VRML files in your web browser
- Delcam provides a free translator
that converts Unigraphics, SolidWorks, Pro/E 2000i, Parasolid and CATIA files
- Deskproto Converts STL files into
machining paths for CNC machines
- Easy3DScan is a package for
automating the scan process using Minolta VIVID scanners and a turntable
- FarField Technology
provides advanced techniques for modeling scattered 2D and 3D data.
- Imageware Surfacer
allows you to manipulate point clouds and convert them into useful objects
such as points, lines, planes
- Innovmetric Polyworks accepts
scan data from most scanner manufacturers and aligns them into one model. It
is very good at handling the extremely large datasets. It processes both the
points and the texture. The point clouds and models can be exported or
compared against CAD models.
- MatchGraph integrates 3d scan
data processing technology in one package. It handles the creation and
modification of triangulated meshes, NURB curves, and surfaces with inspection
- MayaMetrix Real-time inspection
and tool building help Link Digital CAD Models to Manufacturing
- Metris provides data preparation,
registration, comparison, and reporting software for dimensional inspection.
- Okino Polytrans does a
great job of converting 3D models between formats.
- Paraform surface reconstruction
PRISM 3D Software
software for managing, sharing, and extracting information from as-built
laser scan point clouds.
- Raindrop Geomagic has a product
that converts point clouds into polygonal and NURB models. The Qualify product
aligns point cloud data to CAD models and inspects it.
can create parametric models from point clouds. They also have software for inspecting
products against their CAD definitions.
- Rhino3D Nurb modeling for Windows.
SpatialAnalyzer can simultaneously acquire data from any combination of
metrology instruments - Theodolites, Total Station Theodolites, Laser
Trackers, Laser Scanner, Coordinate Measurement Machines.
- UZR 3D Professional creates a 3D model
from a series of object images.
- Visualization Toolkit (VTK)
is an open source, freely available software system for 3D computer graphics,
image processing, and visualization.
Laser Radar Scanners
- Metricvision technology is
based on Frequency Modulated Coherent Laser Radar, which gives it great
precision (repeatability is in the sub-10 micron range at over 10m). Since it
is a focused system is has good spatial resolution ( absolute precision in the
range of 100 microns at 10 meters). The technology is very good at capturing
reflective surfaces and can be used with mirrors to reduce line-of-sight
Time-of-flight Laser Scanners
- 3rdTech DeltaSphere
3000 Laser 3D Scene Digitizer
- Cyra Cyrax 2500 scanner is suited for
capturing large "as-built" structures and turning them into CAD
representations. They have been used in applications from retrofitting power
plants to digitizing movie sets. The accuracy is +/-6mm at 1.5m to 50m 1
sigma. The operating volume is approximately 20,000M^3. Approximate system
pricing is $150K.
- Quantapoint measures 125,000
points per second and covers a 70 degree by 360 degree field of view
- Riegl Laser Measurement Systems for
3D imaging of buildings and structures
- Automated Precision sells the
Laser Tracker II system which is a lightweight, precise, compact and portable
CMM tool designed for industrial applications.
- Faro (formerly SMX) produces a portable
CMM system that precisely measure objects in the 0-100' range.
Geosystems sells a range of industrial measurements systems including
- Axila claims to have invented the
first six-axis portable CMM in 1986. The ORBITAL is their eight-axis arm.
- Faro Three families of digitizers
(sterling, silver, and gold). Working volumes from 4-12', accuracies of 0.001"
to 0.007" 2 sigma.
Microscribe Several different models with varying working volumes (50" -
66" sphere) and accuracy (0.009 - 0.015").
- Roland makes several small volume
piezo scanners. The low price makes them great for scanning coins, jewelry,
and other small parts.
- Romer Six axis articulation, 6 - 12'
diameter measuring, accuracy to +/- 0.008"
- ZettMess Portable 6 Axes
- 3rdTech HiBall-3100 Based
on the UNC Wide-Area Tracking Research Project
- ArcSecond sells what they call an
indoor GPS system. The system consist of 2-4 transmitters that are similar to
rotating construction laser levels. Receivers are connected to wireless PDAs
and display x,y,z location. The interesting part about this product is that
you can many independent receivers. The systems are fairly accurate over a
large working volume.
- Image Guided Technologies
- Krypton is a precalibrated
mobile metrology system. There are no mechanical arms and the setup is fast
and straight forward.
- Northern Digital
makes the Polaris and Optotrak system. They track active and passive
markers. ND focuses on the medical areas, and is common in image guided
Real-Time 3D Motion Capture for research, biomechanics, VR, and gaming.
- Ascension Technology
developed the technology and sells the FasTrak and Liberty systems.
- Mednetix AG
has a new Aurora system that uses small sensors. It has a measurement
volume approximately 500mm x 500mm x500mm. The 1 sigma accuracies are
1-3mm and 1-2 degrees orientation. This product will help ND in the
image guide surgery arena where optical systems can have their views
- Geometrix FaceVision uses multiple
low-cost digital cameras to create textured face models from ear to ear.
- CamSys ShadowBox has
16" diameter, 16" high cylindrical working volume. Two models with different
accuracy. Scan times range from 15 - 120 seconds.
Development LaserScan is a 3D profilometer for laser measurement and
analysis of surfaces
- Apollo Photo3D creates 3D
textured models from photographs
- Australis is from
the University of Melbourne. Professor Clive Fraser has written many papers
about using photogrammetry on industrial applications.
- DPA-Pro is from AICON 3D Systems. The
software has a heritage from the older Rollei DPA-WIN software. Coded targets
and automatic camera calibration greatly improve your productivity.
- Brunson Instrument Company sells
Invar components and accessories useful for creating photogrammetry scale
- Cognitens 3D vision measurement
systems is targeted at the automotive and the aerospace applications.
- GSI Inca2 camera and V-Stars are
top-of-the-line cameras and software. They are geared towards automatically
measuring coded, circular retro-reflective targets, and scale bars. This is a
true metric camera, not just a professional grade digital camera.
- Hubbs Machine and Manufacturing
produce photogrammetry targets and tooling.
- Imetric produces very high
resolution cameras (6 and 28 Megapixel). Their software can read coded targets
and can integrate their structured light sensor.
sells several professional digital cameras that are good for medium to high
accuracy photogrammetry projects. The cameras are available in monochrome
versions which are typically better for photogrammetry. The current model is
760M, past models have been the DCS
420M and DCS
Geosystems also sells the V-Stars videogrammetry system produced by GSI.
- LensDoc is a
Photoshop plugin to correct lens distortion
Microsoft Live Labs
finds autocorrespondences and camera positions from a set of images
Photometrix has the
suite for automated close-range phototgrammetric measurements and
system for accident reconstruction and forensic photogrammetry.
- PhotoModeler is a great package
for calibrating cameras, making measurements from photos, and creating 3D
models from photos. It has a lot of functionality for the price (<$1000).
- Renoir for
3D reconstruction from photos
- ShapeQuest ShapeCapture works
with projected targets
- SPG Data 3D
uses a projected pattern and multiple cameras to inspect large objects.
- TCTI (3DMD) uses random light patterns
with up to 144 synchronized digital cameras to geometry and texture of human
- TriTop is a photogrammetry package
from Capture3D. It is usually sold and integrated with the ATOS structured
light sensor that they sell. It allows the point cloud scans to be
automatically placed using coded and uncoded retroreflective targets.
- Visual Interface
- Vexcel FotoG Automatic edge
detection for targeting helps this software create as-built models of plants.
- W.N.B.C. in L.A. produces
retroreflective targets for use in photogrammetry applications.
Total Stations /
Geosystems sells a range of industrial measurement systems include
theodolites and total stations
CNC Milling Machines and
- 3D Systems has SLA
Stereolithography systems and solid imaging printers
makes rotary micromachines attachments for the Roland CNC machines. It converts them
into rotary mills for jewelry applications
- MultiCam makes CNC routers, laser
cutters and plasma cutters
CNC Milling Machines
- Zcorp has two different model 3D
printers. The Z406 ($67.5K) uses a plaster-based powder. The Z400 ($49K) uses
a starch-based powder. The loose powder acts as a supporting structure which
can be removed and reused.
Measurement Service Companies
DeChant Consulting Services sells the
iWitness accident reconstruction software.
They provide training and consulting services.
Provides laser cleaning and scanning technology combined
with traditional conversation skills to provide a range of conservation
- Direct Dimensions provides 3D
scanning, reverse engineering and inspection services utilizing a variety of
tools from portable CMM's to laser scanners and laser trackers
Development rent their equipment
- Automated Precision
- ATT Metrology
- Archaeoptics Specialize in
high-accuracy, low-cost 3D laser scanning most commonly in the fields of
heritage management and archaeology.
- Streamline Automation
- 3Shape Consulting and Services
3DScanCo sell Konica Minolta range cameras, Faro equipment,
and several software packages (Geomagic, rapidform, and Metris). They provide
3D scanning , reverse engineering, and quality inspection services.
CMM Dimensional Measurement, Reverse Engineering, First Article Inspection
Computer Graphics and
Vision : Three-Dimensional Data from Images by Reinhard Klette, Karsten
Schluns, Andreas Koschan This is a great practical book for people that
want to learn about creating 3D data from images.
Vision: A Modern Approach by David Forsyth, Jean Ponce
View Geometry in Computer Vision by Richard Hartley, Andrew Zisserman
Techniques for 3-D Computer Vision by Emanuele Trucco, Alessandro Verri
Good classroom book for introduction to computer vision.
Geometry of Multiple Images: The Laws That Govern the Formation of Multiple
Images of a Scene and Some of Their Applications by Olivier Faugeras,
Quang-Tuan Luong, T. Papadopoulo
Structures from Images - Smile 2000
Vision by Linda G. Shapiro, George C. Stockman, George Stockman
Vision and Fuzzy Neural Systems (With CD-ROM) by Arun D. Kulkarni
Contours : The Application of Techniques from Graphics, Vision, Control Theory
and Statistics to Visual Tracking of Shapes in Motion by Andrew Blake, Michael
of Computer Vision Algorithms in Image Algebra by Gerhard X. Ritter, Joseph N.
and 3D Reconstruction for Multicamera Marker Based Motion Measurement by J.C.
Vision and Image Processing: A Practical Approach Using CVIPTools (BK/CD-ROM)
by Scott E. Umbaugh
Image Processing Handbook, Third Edition by John C. Russ
for Image Processing and Computer Vision by James R. Parker
Algorithms for Image Analysis: Descriptions, Examples, and Code by Michael
Seul, Lawrence O'Gorman, Michael J. Sammon
Extraction in Computer Vision and Image Processing by Mark S. Nixon, Alberto
Optical Image Processing With Matlab by Ting-Chung Poon, Partha P. Banerjee
Image Processing Algorithms by I. Pitas, Nikos Nikolaidis
Algorithms for Image Analysis: Descriptions, Examples, and Code by Michael
Seul, Lawrence O'Gorman, Michael J. Sammon
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