When was the first 3D scan?

One might argue that 3D scanning has been going on for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians fashioned surveying instruments out of wood, rope and plumb bobs to lay out strait lines across large distances. They used water levels and a-frames to build structures with incredible precision such as the pyramids.

ancient egyptian 3d scanner

3d printed alien

One might also argue that, if we are not alone in the universe and there is intelligent life out there, they would have developed 3D scanning in the course of their own technological evolution. Who knows, perhaps they are/were vain creatures like ourselves and fancied a 3D scan of themselves along with a 3D print to put on whatever they call a desk. As Carl Sagan would say, the first scan could have occurred billions and billions of years ago.

Some posit that the first digtal 3D scan for humans may have occurred in 1972 when a professor and his students decided to measure coordinates of a VW Beetle and enter then into a computer for rendering on the screen. The professor’s name was Ivan Sutherland, and he did it using a computer the size of a refrigerator. https://jalopnik.com/the-first-real-object-ever-3d-scanned-and-rendered-was-494241353