What is 3D Scanning?
Capturing the surface of an object can be done in several ways. One simple way is to take numerous photos of the object from many angles, and then use photogrammetry software to use coincident features to extrapolate the camera location for each image, and thereby produce a point cloud of the surface of the object. A second way is to pass a line laser or structured pattern over the surface and use software to observe how the surface distorts the laser or projected pattern. This second method is called 3D scanning.
3D scanning has the benefit of higher resolution and faster capture, over photogrammetric reconstruction. However, it also requires more control over the environment in which the capture takes place. For both structured light and line-laser scanning, a suitable dark location is best, though line-laser scanning can work reasonably well in lit environments also. Structured light scanning typically provides the best compromise between quality and cost, as well as suitability for a range of applications.
What 3D scanners are available?
We have a PicoScan Structured Light 3D Scanner, and in the near future we hope to have a PicoScan Pro 3D scanner available for use.