A 3D scanner captures the shape of an object by using various technologies and techniques such as laser scanning, structured light scanning, or photogrammetry. The process generally involves the following steps:
- Selection of scanning technology: Different scanners use different technologies, such as laser or structured light, to capture the shape of an object. The selection depends on the level of accuracy required and the characteristics of the object being scanned.
- Data acquisition: The scanner emits beams of light, lasers, or patterns onto the surface of the object. These emitted signals interact with the object, and sensors in the scanner measure the reflections or distortions caused by the object's surface.
- Data processing: The scanner collects the measurements or images obtained from the object's surface and creates a point cloud. A point cloud is a collection of points in 3D space that represents the object's surface. The scanner can generate millions of points that together form a digital representation of the object.
- Surface reconstruction: The point cloud is processed further to create a polygonal mesh. The scanner connects the individual points to form triangles or polygons that represent the object's surface in a digital 3D format. This mesh contains information about the shape and geometry of the object.
- Post-processing: After generating the mesh, post-processing steps may be performed to refine and optimize the digital model obtained. This could involve filling holes, removing outliers, and enhancing the overall quality of the captured shape.
- Export and application: The final 3D model can be exported in various formats and used for a wide range of applications, such as 3D printing, reverse engineering, virtual reality, animation, quality control, or scientific analysis.
In summary, a 3D scanner captures the shape of an object by projecting some form of signal onto its surface, measuring the reflections or distortions caused by the object, creating a point cloud from these measurements, and generating a digital model that represents the object's shape.