3D Scanners

Get Started 3D Scanning:

To use our 3D scanners, email us at maker-3dscan@engr.wisc.edu and tell us about your part. Include:

Pictures: Parts with deep grooves, small overhangs, tight corners, or anything hard to shine a light on might not be good candidates for 3D scanning, but we will help assess. 

Purpose: To understand if 3D scanning is the proper method for your part, we assess the purpose for the scan, your timeline and the resolution needed. 

Resolution needed: to understand the equipment required.

Timeline: to understand the parameters of the request.

If scanning is the right method, we’ll schedule a time to assist in scanning your parts. 

After the scan is complete, it can take anywhere from 1-10 days to get the scan post processed and ready to send back as an STL file. If the scan file needs to be cleaned or merged, 3D Scanning leads will show you how to do that using VxElements and users can post-processing independently.

3D Scanning Reservation Click to make a reservation!

Use Requirements

Learning Modules (Optional!) Join the course in Canvas.

Type of Equipment Make/Model Qty Type Training Requirement Scans in Color? Post Processing Time:
Creaform Handyscan 700 Creaform Handyscan 700 1 Hand-held 3D Scanner with Turntable Lab Orientation+staff Yes 2+ hours
Creaform Academia 50 Creaform Academia 50 1 Hand-held 3D Scanner with Turntable Lab Orientation Yes 2+ hours
Einscan SP Einscan SP 1 Bench-top 3D Scanner with Turntable Lab Orientation No 2+ hours
SICK SICK 1 Lidar sensor Lab Orientation No
Structure Structure Sensor 2 iPad and mount Lab Orientation Yes .5-1 hour

Common uses for 3D scanning: Reverse engineering, Measuring, Duplicating a part via scanning + 3D printing. Is 3D scanning the right tool for your job? Sometimes it’s easier and/or faster to just use calipers, make a mold, etc.

Software + Equipment

The Creaform Handyscan 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.
    • 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)

Mesh Mixer

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) or other mesh editing software. Mesh Mixer is installed on all of the CAE computers in the Makerspace.

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

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.

Project Support