Talk:3D scanner

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I've been working with and doing some university research on 3D scanners and I remembered that I came here once for info on 3D scanning and the page was a stub. So here's some info to fill it in. Some parts that probably still need work are the sections on modulated light and passive scanners. I also don't have first-hand experience with industry applications of 3D scanners so maybe someone from industry can fill in more detail on that. -Jthg 07:06, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

It would be nice if someone could write a bit more about the pros and cons of various 3d scanners and how they compare to each other. Things like relative size and cost comparison of the different 3d scanner technologies would be helpful information in my opinion. Also I'd think it would be nice with a list of some common algorithms used for reconstruction, under the reconstruction section. I think 3d scanners are really interesting and I really hope to have one on my destkop in not too many years, so I think it would be nice to have some more information on which types are appropriate for which applications. SiliconeGraphox 22:07, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Section "Material processing niklas ist ein arsch

and production" added with information about industrial laser appliances - MPOxy

Canadian invention[edit]

I have removed the canadian invention category because i honestly think that 3d scanner technology is a too broad field for adding this category to the whole 3d scanning. As far as i known the canadian contribution was only in one of the many many possible particular techniques for recovering 3d shape (the article subject). In some sense adding the canadian invention category would be similar to adding that category to the whole battery (electricity) article. ALoopingIcon 20:20, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

You should add information about the Creaform 3D Device: It's a technologies from the Province of Quebec who are use by engineers of Bombardier Aeronautic and doctors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:07, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Vanity Links[edit]

I am going to restructure the external links sections. I think we should leave only links to informative materials (papers, tutorials and comparisons) and the hardware and software producers. Service providers, i.e. companies that perform scanning using other HW and SW, will be considered as vanity links and removed. ALoopingIcon 10:33, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Again on removal of vanity links of commercial hardware and software producers. ALoopingIcon 07:43, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
There are a lot of vanity links in the external links section (at least the last 7 ones, starting from the optimet website). Some of them may correspond to (failed) attempts to cite scientific articles. Dgirardeau (talk) 14:56, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Vanity Links vs. Useful Wiki-bound links[edit]

Having just added some information on several examples of scanning firms considered to be important to the field, I see from this discussion that I should alter the external links to make them internal links - which I will do shortly. However, as this is a private investment-driven industry, the naming of certain firms as prime examples (particularly companies with large R+D departments such as Leica Geosystems, which I will also be adding an internal wiki link for on the page) is appropriate and consistent with the preexisting mentions of individual models of laser scanners on this page. Of course, this contention is open for debate. DuendeThumb (talk) 05:59, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Decided to scrap new text in favor of additions to See Also section --DuendeThumb (talk) 06:20, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


You know, I just find this quite hilarious. Who wants to bet that old stone statues and clay tablets will continue to stand time while 32 GBs worth of hires data in some HD eventually dies or its bytestream come to future civilizations about as perplexing/uninteligible as some cuneiform scripts?... BTW, (talk) 19:38, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Volumetric Techniques[edit]

I think MRI and CT scans (and similar techniques) should be included on this page. Meekohi (talk) 20:36, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Laser Stripe scanners[edit]

I am not a scientist or engineer, below is how I Understand the laser scanners that I use work, I use Cyberware and various other scanners in my laser scanning bureau here in London, I would like to contribute any knowledge I have but am not sure I am correct on everything below, so please feel free to add comment to this and use any of it for the main page, and/or ask me any questions I may be able to answer.

I am not sure the triangulation as described is actually how the laser stripe scanner works. As I am aware the ccd device captures the frames as images i.e. a video stream is captured as single images, the images are then rotated at the angle needed to correct the profile to 90 degrees, scaling is a purely mathematical formula commonly known as a correction table, the correction table also may contain data to correct any known issues e.g. imperfections in the flatness of any mirrors invloved. some scanners are pre-calibrated form the manufacturer, but there are some that require calibration especially if they are mounted on a rig.

this results in images with one white pixel in the row and column that the laser light falls into, the rows and columns making up the profile.

The laser stripe scanner, often referred to as light-section method, does not use rotations or scalings for data generation. The line projected spans a spatial plane which intersects the object's surface resulting in a deformed contour in the camera image. From a prior calibration procedure the orientation of that plane and the camera position and orientation is obtained. In the following steps the viewing direction from each contour pixel through the optical center of the lens is intersected with the plane resulting in a 3d coordinate. It's basically the same triangulation approach as it is used for point based camera/laser sensors. For a more detailled description on the calibration procedure and 3d data extraction you should take a look into the phD-thesis of C. Teutsch.

Removed reference to a unknown paper[edit]

The removed paper seems a clear case of WP:COI: it was added twice by an user with the same name of one of the author of the paper. The paper is in Ukraine, and it is unknown to the scientific community: no other papers have never cited it, in other words it is a zero impact paper. Probably the paper author should stop trying to add it to this page. ALoopingIcon (talk) 17:27, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

request for adding citation[edit]

Dear editors, this is a request for adding a citation to the book Model-based Analysis and Evaluation of Point Sets from Optical 3D Laser Scanners (PDF copy) to the 3d scanner and point cloud articles.

Let me explain why I think that is a noticeable contribution for the 3d scanner and point cloud topics: Many researcher use 3d scanners of different types and from different companies which produce 3d point clouds. The entire point sets is usually pre-processed (approximated, smoothed, etc.) and finally meshed by polygonal representations in many other different ways. The mentioned book discusses the entire scan process for metrology applications with a special focus on all the steps between, i.e. system setup, calibration, scan line analysis, point cloud structures. It explains what additional knowledge about laser and camera parameters (positions, orientations), motion devices and multi-sensor interactions exists and how it can be used for an easier and significant faster data processing. In fact, it extends the typical 3D model acquisition pipeline by additional information from the scan system configuration. A description of these facts and with this complexity has never been addressed by others before.

chapter 2 (pp. 7-28) introduces algorithmic and technical foundations and gives a survey of common 3d scanning principles and surface reconstruction methods.

chapter 3 (pp. 31-46) discusses the scan data acquisition at the example of an optical 3d laser scanner in detail, which includes system setup and calibration and 3d data computation.

chapter 4 (pp. 47-64) deals with curve-based scan data analysis by approximating NURBS curves to the scan data in order to derive features like edges and corners.

chapter 5 (pp. 65-80) explains procedures for processing grids of scan lines by approximating NURBS patches in order to compute surface curvatures.

chapter 6 (pp. 83-102) discusses a variety of approaches for raw point cloud processing like tree-based data structures, graph representations, normal vector computation and optimization procedures like smoothing, correction and simplification and gives case studies.

chapter 7 (pp. 105-118) describes practical applications for the above methods at the example of two measuring machines developed for the industry.

If you think it is a noticeable contribution for the 3d scanner and point cloud articles then please add it as a general reference. Don't hesitate to contact me for further questions. Thank you for your time.--Cteutsch (talk) 11:47, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

good point cloud and NURBS sections! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:48, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Cleaning up[edit]

I am cleaning up the whole article, hopefully improving it a bit (moving references into text and cleaning up a bit the list of citations and references to include only notable stuff). ALoopingIcon (talk) 09:43, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Importance of applications[edit]

The quality control application is listed last in the applications section.

This is the opposite of the market for 3D scanners and software. the main market is quality control and check. Wikipedia's article should reflect this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bmunger (talkcontribs) 21:16, 15 April 2010 (UTC)


This is a great article that must have taken someone some time to create. Good work!

I am an engineer who works directly with 3D scanners (mainly in industrial applications, but also in some high accuracy metrology applications). I am also heading an ASTM committee to develop standards for these types of instruments. I was going to start changing the article to better fit the current understanding of these instruments, but I thought I would start a discussion first so as not to raise too many eyebrows.

The ASTM committee is the E57 Committee on 3D Imaging Systems ( E57 is made up of roughly 150 members who represent many of the major hardware/software manufacturers and users of "3D scanners." As a group we have agreed that a more appropriate name for 3D scanners is "3D Imaging System" since the word scanner implies a scanning mechanism or process is involved, which is not the case for some of the types of instruments that fall under this category of instruments and also mentioned in the article.

In addition, some of the categorization of 3D scanners is slightly incorrect and would refer you to this report ( from NIST which gives a good description of the various categories of instruments. The report is somewhat dated now as can be seen by the name used for these instruments in the title, but the categorization is still correct (an update to the report is also in the works).

I will likely slowly start editing this article unless there are major objections, but I was not sure how to handle the change in name to 3D Imaging System and how to link to other articles about "3D imaging." This being my first time editing in wikipedia, I would appreciate some guidance.

By the way, in ASTM E57's definition of 3D Imaging Systems MRI machines and CT scanners are included although no work is currently going on for those types of instruments. --Kamelsaidi (talk) 15:54, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Biological technology appears to be on-topic[edit]

I realize this is a technology article, however biotechnology appears to cross into this article's territory as well. I don't see any reason why a discussion of biological eyes and brains would be considered off-topic for this article as a form of passive 3D scanner. In time such a section would likely grow big enough to spin off into an article of its own.

Probably the big hindrance for such adding section is that we still don't really understand 3D volume recognition of living biology, or how living neural networks are able to scan space and define objects in that space. All we can really say is that it exists as a capability of many living critters.

DMahalko (talk) 23:25, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

what approach is used to create color[edit]

Ive seen images on youtube that appeared to be authentic color do they use three colors of laser or is there a different system — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:57, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

A number of systems use filtered photosensors in addition to a bit of ambient light. The time-of flight systems need a coherent wave, but the apperent color does not, so you can just use anything that can be co-registered with the range data (think webcam etc). --Meawoppl (talk) 20:01, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Destructive Scanning Omission[edit]

There is neither a mention of, nor any references to destructive scanning techniques. I have a bunch of articles and citations in this area, so I am thinking to put something together this weekend. Anyone watching this page with thoughts to add? --Meawoppl (talk) 20:06, 28 June 2014 (UTC)


Associated caption under image of periscope doesn't make sense. Too far gone to figure out how to edit it. (talk) 05:32, 2 February 2016 (UTC)


Wide overlap between:

Especially the last one needs attention. fgnievinski (talk) 04:39, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

I would suggest that all the content relating to 3D reconstruction from images; both single and multiple image belongs in the Photogrammetry Page. Specifically we should consider moving the information from here:

into the Photogrammetry page. This can then be linked from the 3D Scanner page as Photogrammetry is a well known name for this research topic. And is used consistently for this topic in Universities. The 'active methods' section of the 3D Reconstruction page should go into the 3D scanner page, the 3D reconstruction page can then be deleted. (talk) 09:46, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

3D body scanner[edit]

World’s first fully automated 3D body scanner, the mPod. [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:25, 18 October 2016 (UTC)