helmet 3d scan

3d scanning services faqs

your at-a-glance resource for 3d scanning services

Whether you are interested in 3D scanning services, need information to win your next trivia game, or are just curious about the vast and varied world of 3D technology, we at Arrival 3D want to be your one-stop destination for information on 3D technology.  

Here’s a no-nonsense list of frequently asked questions about 3D scanning services. 

the basics

what is the 3d scanning process?

1. Data Acquired via Laser Scanning
We conduct the 3d scan on site, capturing as many scans as necessary to fully cover the object(s) of interest.

2. Resulting Point Clouds Registered
Each scan appears as millions of points called a “point cloud”. These point clouds are “registered’ or stitched together to create a total 3D representation of the object(s).

3. Useful Information Extracted
Using various software tools, the point cloud data is converted into the desired deliverable format. This could be 3D CAD models, animations, 2D CAD drawings, or a print-to-3D ready model.

4. Result Delivered to Customer
The final result, whether it be a CAD model or animation, is delivered to the customer in a timely manner.

benefits of 3d scanning

  • Map out structure, piping and conduit to accurately plan changes to your facility
  • Engineer new product prototypes
  • Perform first article inspection, verifying that the part was built as designed
  • Create a 3D CAD model complete with 2D drawings having only the part for reference
  • Create a BIM model for building renovation
  • Make digital modifications to parts by changing their size or adding/removing features
  • Closely analyze parts for subtle flaws and fitment issues

when would you use 3d scanning services?


Whenever you need to solve problems such as:

  • You have a mold that we’ve been using for 30 years and have no drawings for it
  • You need to install additional piping within an already congested space
  • You are re-purposing a space and need as-built drawings
  • You have a hand-made prototype and need to create drawings to manufacture it
  • You need to perform a FAI (First Article Inspection)

who uses 3d scanning?

  • Boeing
  • Navantia
  • NASA
  • General Electric
  • Nike

the concerns

are 3d scanners safe?

Our on-site laser scanning processes uses eye-safe instruments for most cases. For flammable environments, we use an explosion-proof scanner. 3D scanning promotes safety because it permits you to take measurements from a safe distance from you plant hazards.

will 3d scanning damage my part?

No. 3D Laser scanning is a non-contact technique. For highly reflective parts, we may coat the part with a light talcum powder which is easliy removed.

how accurate are 3d scanners?

Depending on the type of scanning, accuracy can range from 1/8″ for building scanning and .0005″ for industrial ct scanning. The typical accuracy for an average part is about .005″. 

Is there a size limit?

Yes, but there is a very broad range: from about the size of a kernel of corn to the size of a very large industrial facility. For example, a mile-long assembly line would be no problem. For one California customer, we scanned five miles of conveyor belts.

the logistics

what types of output files can be obtained?

Many standard 3D files can be produced including Solidworks, STL for 3D printing, AutoCAD, STEP, IGES, XYZ, ReCap and many more. Here is a more extensive list of the file formats you can get from 3D scanning services.

How long does 3d scanning take?

Typical turnaround for a simple scanning project is about 3-5 days. If CAD modeling is involved, the turnaround time varies according to complexity. 

how much does 3d scanning cost?

Project costs vary from each unique project. Here’s a complete list of reasons why costs vary so much. 

can I scan something myself?

Yes! DIY 3D scanning may be an option for you. If you have the time and patience, you can do 3D scanning for free. But if accuracy, quality and turnaround time matter, we’d be glad to do it for you.

arrival 3d services

what types of 3d scanners do you use?

We use some of the best 3D scanners available. And if we don’t have it, we know where to get it.

What software does arrival 3d use to analyze 3d scans?

We use Geomagic for 3D scanning and printing. 

We’re also proud to have developed a software that no one else on the market uses. More information on this to come. 

How much does 3d scanning services cost?

With Arrival 3D, no quote is the same. We are proud to be reliably cheaper than the bigger 3D technology companies (often by a factor of 2), yet not sacrifice quality. On this page, we list some factors that go into pricing. Perhaps you can find a project that is similar to yours, so that you can see where you may stand as far as 3D scanning service costs go. 

resources to get started

Here you will find an assortment of links (free software, CAD file, 3D modeling) related to 3D technology that have been helpful to us. We hope that they will be helpful to you as well. 


need more information?

Did we answer all of your questions about 3D scanning services? If we missed one, comment below! It’s our hope to be your one stop source for information on 3D scanning services. 


    learn more

    Do you enjoy learning about 3D scanning technology? Find more articles about 3D scanning services, applications and how other companies are using this technology:

    What is 3D Scanning?

    arrival 3d case studies

    cost variations of 3d scanning