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3D Scanning

How to use the 3D scanning equipment in the Innovation Lab

Artec 3D Scanning Workstation

Scanning your object

For more information about the Artec scanner and software, visit

To begin, checkout the items that you will need to scan your object. For Large items, like humans, that cannot be placed on the turntables on the 3D scanning computer desk, you will need to checkout both Artec 3D scanner AND portable battery. For Medium items that can be placed on the turntables and that are a minimum of 12" tall you will need to checkout just the Artec 3D scanner. After this:

  1. Log into the 3D scanning computer using the provided credentials on the computer monitor.
  2. Start the Artec Studio 12 Professional softare by double clicking the Artec Studio icon.
  3. On the welcome window, you can choose "Scan" or if you have closed this window, the "Scan" button is at the top of the toolbar on the left side of the program window.
  4. At this point, if the Artec 3D scanner is not hooked to the computer, you will see red wording indicating "Scanner not detected". Check the two cables hooked to the scanner. One leads to the USB interface on the computer tower, while the other leads to either the battery pack or to the power brick adapter behind the computer monitor. When properly connected, red wording will go away and "Preview" button should be green.

To begin Scanning:

  1. Large object - place object in center of the room, making sure to have enough room to walk around all sides. Medium object - place object on turntables located on the side table of the 3D scanning computer desk. Keep the turntable closest to the edge that is furthest from the walls. This will help in removing the walls from your scans.
  2. Make sure "Real Time Fusion" is checked.
  3. Click "Preview" or the play icon on the Artec Scanner itself to begin the preview mode. This shows a small preview of what the scanner is seeing. This is the time for you to get used to the distance from the object that works best and to recognize the rectangle of detection that the Artec passes over your object.
  4. If you are ready to Scan, turn the turntable on if using it, and press the "Scan" button on screen OR press the play icon again on the Artec Scanner itself to begin scanning.
  5. Move up and down and around the object in an even pace to get the most data from the object. Watch you distance meter. Keep within the three green middle sections for the best scan results. You will find being about 2 to 3 feet from the object works best.
  6. Keep your eyes on the screen while scanning. Trying to get a capture with one revolution of the object works best.
  7. When finished with capturing data, Either press "Stop" on screen or the stop icon on the lower part of the button on the Artec Scanner.
  8. You will now have two models on the right side pane. In the pane, you will find an "Eva Scan .... - Fusion" and an "Eva Scan 'x'". "Eva Scan ....-Fusion" is a quick model without much manual processing generated from most of the scanned data. You can use this if you like or refine the raw data contained in "Eva Scan 'x'" to get a more detailed model.


After you've achieved a scan, you can begin the process of erasing unneeded data that was captured during the scan.

To begin:

  1. Click on the "Tools" icon on the left side toolbar and choose "Eraser" from the list of tools.
  2. Using the workspace pane on the right, choose which scan you will be working with if you have more than one.
  3. Change the orientation of the viewport to view your models from many angles as you erase those portions you do not need.
  4. There are instructions on how to use the eraser feature in the left "Eraser" pane. CTRL describes the "control" key on your keyboard, while LMB describes the "left mouse button".
  5. The more commonly used settings for the erase tool are "2D" and "cut-off plane".
  6. If you select a region of your object by accident, just hit the "deselect" button to deselect all the areas that have been highlighted and repeat your selection.
  7. Click "Close" when you are done.

Align Scans

Each scan is captured with a different orientation in 3D space. The align tool allows you to pick common points from each scan to put the scanned pieces together.

Points to note:

  • You must do this before performing global registration.
  • If you only have a single scan, you may skip this step.
  • Pick three common points.

To begin:

  1. Using the workspace pane on the right, choose which scans you will be working with.
  2. Then click on "Align" from the left side toolbar.
  3. Try using "Auto-align" first to see if the program can align your selected scans on its own.
  4. If you do not like the result, consider repeating the align operation but manually setting points. Select "New Pair" to start creating points between the green colored scans and the initial purple colored scan. Select three points between the surfaces that will help the program align the objects.
  5. When you are satisfied with the alignment, click "Apply".

For further detail on alignment possibility, see "Aligning Multiple Scans" in the left side panel.

Global Registration

This is similar to fine serial registration but for the entire model across all scans.

Points to note:

  • Select "Geometry" only. Do not select "Geometry and Texture".
  • Look at your quality nmber after performing Global Registraion. Lower numbers are better.
  • Spider should be 0.1 - 0.3
  • Eva (our model Scanner) should be 0.3 - 0.7
  • For people, a quality of 1.0 - 1.3 can be common


Fusion takes all the scans and fuses them together into a single mesh object.

Points to note:

  • Fast Fusion can be used for a preview
  • Smooth Fusion works well.
  • Always make sure your resolution is higher than the worst scan quality number.
  • The lower the resolution number, the more detail will show in your resulting fusion.

To begin:

  1. Using the workspace pane on the right, choose which scans you will be working with.
  2. Click on "Tools" on left side toolbar.
  3. Within the "Fusion" section, select "Sharp Fusion" by clicking the down pointing chevron to the left.
  4. Resolution should be set to '1'.
  5. For Fill_holes: select "Manually" if you want to see every hole that your model has and in turn manually fill them in, select "Watertight" if you want fusion to seal all the holes it finds in your model.
  6. Remove_targets should be set to 'Off'.
  7. Click "Apply". Depending on detail level of the model it could take a couple of minutes for this step to complete.

Small Objects Filter

After fusion, there may be disconnected objects and noise floating around your main model.

Points to note:

  • "Leave biggest object" works best in most cases.

Click "Apply"

Edit Model

You can use the "Editor" tab to perform touch-up functions such as smoothing and erasing on the fused model if needed.

Points to note:

  • Use the de-feature tool to remove portions of the model while automatically patching the resulting hole.

For further detail on alignment possibility, see "Smoothing and Defeature Brush" in the left side panel.

Mesh Simplification

Many programs cannot handle millions of polygons like the models produced by Artec Studio have.

Points to note:

  • Reduce by Accuracy for mechanical items where accuracy is key.
  • Fast Mesh Simplification is quick and can work organic objects such as people.
  • 100k triangles works well for a bust scan.
  • 500k triangles works well for a full body scan.

To begin:

  1. Set your preferred amount of "tri_num" or number of triangles. Use above reference to determine a good setting.
  2. Force_constraints should be set to 'off'.
  3. Click "Apply".

Export your finished model

Your scanned model should now be ready to export for use with other 3D programs.

To begin:

  1. Using the workspace pane on the right, choose which scan you would like to save.
  2. Go to 'File -> Export Meshes'.
  3. Locate your external USB drive and create a folder if need be.
  4. Name your file.
  5. If you want to be able to print your file to our printers, make sure it is saved in a .stl format.
  6. Save in other formats for other uses if need be.

Video Tutorial

Have a question? Ask a librarian! Email Call or text 386-747-9028.