How Does 3D Scanning Work Exactly?

If you have seen a 3D printer or a 3D scanner working, it might seem a bit like magic. However, it is actually science and not witchcraft at all. It is done with lasers and other pieces of technology that most of us don’t understand much about. If you are truly interested in how 3D scanning has come to be, the process is broken down in manageable steps below.

What Is 3D Scanning?

3D scanning involves lasers that capture the shape of physical objects. The lasers create “point clouds” of data from the surface of an object. To put it simply, 3D laser scanning can capture a physical object’s exact size, shape, and its dimensions and place them into a digital display in a 3D presentation.


The scan can capture even the finest details of the most complicated forms. After all, it can scan a person without a problem and create a 3D image of him or her. This is something that can’t really be measured and created with other traditional measurement methods.

The Data Points

The 3D technology basically creates millions of these point clouds as the lasers continually move around the object. It acquires 750,000 points per second during the scanning process. It takes these millions of data points and builds the image digitally in a three-dimensional way.

3D Scanners Do Not Have to Be Expensive

In fact, you may be carrying one around in your pocket right now. There are apps that have come out that allow your phone to make rough 3D models of smallish objects. Then the digital file can be used for various purposes on your phone when you want to augment the setting in a picture of some sort. This is just one example of how you might use this technology. Soon enough, 3D scan is going to be used more and more in all of our lives.


3D scanning is just one example of the 3D technology that is making its presence felt in our society. As mentioned earlier, there are 3D printers that can quickly make just about any small object. Of course, in the world of virtual reality, 3D images and goggles are revolutionizing the gaming industry. You can find yourself just about anywhere in the world (or out of this world) and in almost any situation as well. It certainly seems like the future is going to be full of 3D technology around every corner!



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