3D Scanners

Want to 3D scan? 

Option #1 (Required for the pro-grade Creaform Scanners*): e-mail maker-3dscan@engr.wisc.edu and include:

  • A picture of the object you’d like to scan (next to a ruler, pen or another object so we can see the approximate scale / size of the object).
  • Your general intentions and specific needs if you have any (e.g. you need 0.5mm resolution and would like 3D print a duplicate of the object).
  • A suggested meeting time(s) for the scan by checking the 3D Scanning “Project Support” calendar below. Note that the actual meeting time is subject to change and depends on the scope of your project and expertise of the available staff. We will confirm with the actual day and time for your scan via email.

*Our Creaform 3D scanners below are professional-grade and require a pre-arranged meeting time because a trained staff member is needed. See the “What to Expect” section below.

  • Creaform Handyscan 700 (our best scanner by far and what most serious projects need)
  • Creaform Academia 50

Option #2: Go to the check-out window of the Makerspace when an experienced 3D scanning staff member is working (see 3D Scanning “Project Support” calendar below). You can check-out the consumer-grade 3D scanners below with some staff support if they’re able:

Note: All 3D scanners must be used in the Makerspace be returned within the day unless prior approval has been obtained by the Shop Manager.

What to expect (mainly pertains to the Creaform Handyscan 700):

  • The Creaform Handscan 700 is an amazing engineering tool and will give sub-millimeter resolution scans that are professional grade.
  • The Creaform VX Elements software is the best tool for post-processing the mesh. It’s super powerful for analyzing the mesh and adding entities like surfaces, lines, planes, points that can be imported into CAD packages. However, the software is only on a couple powerful Makerspace laptops – you can borrow the laptops while in the Makerspace though you’ll need shop manager approval.
  • Common uses for 3D scanning:
    • Reverse engineering
    • Measuring
    • Duplicating a part via scanning + 3D printing
  • Things to consider:
    • 3D Scanning is not always the right tool. Some times it’s easier to just use calipers, make a mold, etc. Just email us to check: maker-3dscan@engr.wisc.edu
    • 3D Scanning can take longer than expected, see below.
    • 3D scanning has two parts:
      • Part 1: Scan, which will likely take 1-2 hours for a small / simple part.
      • Part 2: Post-processing the scan (mesh) using Creaform’s VX Elements software can take a while depending on your needs. Expect at least 1-2 hours for a simple part. While the VX Elements software for the Creaform scanners is user friendly, it’s similar to a CAD or FEA package = training is required. We’re here to help train you on the software – it’s a super fun engineering tool to learn.
    • Preparing your item takes a bit of time and may require spraying it with this powder (which we provide).
    • You may need to put “target”stickers on your object if it’s large (e.g. larger than a basketball)

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Permit Upgrades

A CoE permit (Lab Orientation OR red/green permit is sufficient) and paid materials fee for this semester are required. Our student staff are required to swipe your ID every time to verify.

Note: College of Engineering faculty and staff are not required to pay the materials fee, however, they must have a CoE permit. 

Equipment Specs

Make Model Qty Type Permit Required Technical Data
Creaform Handyscan 700 1 Hand-held 3D Scanner with Turntable Lab Orientation+staff Specs
Creaform Academia 50 1 Hand-held 3D Scanner with Turntable Lab Orientation Specs
Einscan 1 Bench-top 3D Scanner with Turntable Lab Orientation Specs
Scanse Sweep 1 Lidar sensor Lab Orientation
Structure 2 iPad and mount Lab Orientation Developers


Stucture Sensor (iPad-mounted): All the scanning software is built into the iPad you check-out with the scanner. You will email an .stl file to yourself through the app, which can be opened + edited using Mesh Mixer (free, go here to download) or other mesh editing software. Mesh Mixer is installed on all of the CAE computers in the Makerspace.

Einscan SP: The scanning software is installed on the CAE computer next to the scanner (ask our staff to help if needed). Or you can install it yourself here and use your own laptop. You email an .stl file to yourself, which can be edited using Mesh Mixer (free, go here to download) or other mesh editing software. Mesh Mixer is installed on all of the CAE computers in the Makerspace.

Creaform HandySCAN & Academia 50: The scanning and mesh editing software is called VX Elements, which is only available on Makerspace computers. See our staff for more info. You can also use your own software such as DesignX, etc. Talk to our staff for more info.

3D Scanner Managers

Kirk Mendoza

Credentials: Technical Staff

Gaby Setyawan

Credentials: Technical Staff

Manav Shah

Credentials: Technical Staff

Akshay Vankayala

Credentials: Technical Staff

Project Support

Check in during the hours below for questions pertaining to design consultation, materials, and best practices.

Support Staff Date Start Time End Time
Gabriela Setyawan 09/26/2022 04:25 PM 06:00 PM
Manav Shah 09/26/2022 09:00 AM 10:00 AM
Manav Shah 09/27/2022 09:00 AM 10:00 AM
Kirk Mendoza 09/27/2022 04:25 PM 06:00 PM
Akshay Vankayala 09/27/2022 02:30 PM 04:00 PM
Kirk Mendoza 09/30/2022 02:25 PM 04:00 PM
Manav Shah 09/30/2022 09:00 AM 10:00 AM
Gabriela Setyawan 09/30/2022 04:25 PM 06:00 PM

E-mail maker-3dscan@engr.wisc.edu with questions.