The fury of the 3D printers shows us how easy and convenient it can be to take a 3D (virtual object) to life, model, but what if you want to replicate an object of reality? Model it can be very difficult, so the 3D scanners are the ideal solution. A 3D scanner is a device that takes data from any object and makes a 3D model then can print or use for whatever you want. Normally the object divided into many small dots and storing location data of each 3D object created.

How do they work?

There are different techniques, although in home scanners would typically use a combination of laser and camera . The 3D scanner projects a laser that scans the object and the camera detects the reflected laser light, knowing the distance to that point is. Then using a bit of geometry (triangulation) scanner knows the exact location of the point. This process is very fast, so a scanner in minutes detects thousands of points and creates a 3D object.


For a complete 3D model scanner must examine the object from different angles. The Maker bot Digitizer for example place the object on a surface that rotates and it’s done alone, although in some portable scanners yourself must go “pointing” different areas. A software that usually comes bundled with the scanner, shows you how it is becoming the model and allows for corrections. Finally you have left a file (usually. STL) compatible with any 3D printer.

According to the scanner you use can have restriction in the size of objects to be scanned, but with portable scanners can bellicose objects up to 3 meters (yes, you could scan a person). More advanced also detect color . As for delay, require only a few minutes .

Are they really useful?

All depends on what you think give. They are ideal for small items such as game pieces and small ornaments. Also, note that bright or metallic objects are harder to scan. But its great potential is in the future. When this technology and 3D printers become popular, share an object in the distance could be as easy as scanning, send email model and the other person you print it. A true technological revolution is just around.