Browse Definitions:
Definition

3-D scanner

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A 3-D scanner is an imaging device that collects distance point measurements from a real-world object and translates them into a virtual 3-D object.

3-D scanners are used for creating life-like images and animation in movies and video games. Other applications of 3-D scanning include reverse engineering, prototyping, architectural and industrial modeling, medical imaging and medical device modeling. 3-D printers can use data from 3-D scans to create physical objects.

Contact-based 3-D scanners work in a number of ways. One type has a carriage system and a control flat bed on which the object rests, while arms take measurements. Another type has articulated arms, and measurements are calculated from the joint angles of those arms.

Optical 3-D scanners use photographic, stereoscopic cameras, lasers or structured or modulated light. Optical scanning often requires many angles or sweeps.

Laser-based methods use a low-power, eye-safe pulsing laser working in conjunction with a camera. The laser illuminates a target, and associated software calculates the time it takes for the laser to reflect back from the target to yield a 3-D image of the scanned item.

Non-laser light-based scanners use either light that is structured into a pattern or a constantly modulated light and then record the formation the scanned object makes. Some medical tomographic scanners use X-rays to create a 3-D X-ray scan image.

Commercial desktop and hand held 3-D scanners vendors include Digitizer, NextEngine, Go!SCAN and Fuel3-D. Most products use a combination of the techniques to make a faster and more accurate device that can capture color as well as form.

See a 3-D scanner demonstration:

This was last updated in October 2013

Continue Reading About 3-D scanner

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, is a symmetric block cipher used by the U.S. government to protect classified ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • spear phishing

    Spear phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • ZFS

    ZFS is a local file system and logical volume manager created by Sun Microsystems to control the placement, storage and retrieval...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close