So, you’ve bought your first 3D scanner and can’t wait to digitize the surrounding world around you? Hold on. You might have missed some important details that will help you get high-quality scans. We’ve listed 7 must-haves that each new 3D scanner user should have:
1) calibration kit
3D scanners need to be calibrated periodically to ensure they work accurately. Calibration kits are provided by the manufacturers along with a 3D-scanner you purchase. Calibration kit should always be on hand.
2) a list of great tutorials that will help you get started
There is a term “writers block”, which creative people have encountered at least once in their life. It means that a person is anxious to start an article/book/project and etc. Something similar is also true for those who are new to 3D scanning. If you don’t feel confident and just can’t get yourself to start scanning, watch tutorials. They can help you deal with that inner block and uncertainty. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube on how to scan correctly. Find a blogger you like and work your way step by step through the basics of scanning. If you own a Calibry 3D scanner, you may find our series of tutorials helpful.
3) crumpled paper for additional geometry or a piece of cloth3D scanners rely on geometry of the object when collecting the data. Objects with profound geometric features are easy to digitize, whereas objects with poor geometry may be hard to capture. If you scan smooth or symmetrical objects, like this vase, make sure to help your 3d scanner by arranging additional geometry. That might be crumpled paper or a piece of cloth.
In some cases when you can’t (or don’t want to) use crumpled paper or cloth, apply special markers that will help the scanner collect the data and stitch the point cloud. A supply of markers should always be in your “first aid kit”.
5) matting spray
Novice users often think that a 3D scanner can digitize literally anything. However, that’s not true. Since the scanner projects a light grid and collects the point cloud data, it works in accordance with the laws of optics. If the light goes through a transparent object, then the scanner can’t capture it. If the light bounces off the glassy surface, then it cannot be captured either. Matting spray helps get around this problem. If you apply it on a shiny or transparent surface, the scanner will capture it. There is a large number of manufacturers you can find on the internet, so buying a matting spray is no problem.
A turntable makes it much easier to scan objects as well as people. It allows to achieve smooth scanning and evenly collect the data. Turntables are available for sale online. If you plan to scan small objects, Photography Turntables will suffice. For scanning people, specialized turntables such as this one will do.
Simply scanning an object is not enough. You have to process the data. There is a lot of software on the market, both paid and free, which allows to work with 3D-scanning data. Not so long ago we published an article on the most popular free software, such as Blender, MeshLab, FreeCAD. You can read more on this here: https://thor3dscanner.com/en/blog/top-free-software-for-3d-scanner-users/