Faro scanners

what is 3d scanning?

frequently asked questions about 3d scanning technology

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.

the basics

what is 3d scanning?

3D scanning is the process of using electronic instruments to capture the precise shape of an object in digital form. There are two main types: 1) long range 3D scanning, and 2) part 3D scanning.

how does a 3d scanner work?

3D laser scanning is very simple in principle. A laser scanner is mounted on a tripod next to the area to be scanned. The scanner fires a laser and measures the time it takes for the laser to be reflected back, with which it can calculate the distance from the reflected point. The scanner systematically sweeps the room with these measurements until it has a complete picture of the 3D space round it. This collection of measurements is called a point cloud, and is the data set from which we can extract valuable information and 3D models.

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.

Who manufactures 3d laser scanners?

Leading laser scanner manufacturers include FARO (Focus3D), Topcon (GLS-1500), Leica (ScanStation C5, ScanStation C10, HDS7000, HDS6200), Z+F (Imager 5010, Imager 5006h, Imager 5006EX), Surphaser (25HSX), Optech (ILRIS-3D), Reigl, and Creaform.

who uses 3d scanning?

  • Power Plant Engineers
  • Facility Managers
  • Architects
  • BIM Managers
  • Aerospace Engineers
  • Mold Makers
  • Machinists
  • Product Designers
  • Inventors
  • Quality Managers
  • Forensic Engineers
  • Law Enforcement Agents
  • Artists & Sculptors
  • Archaeologists
  • Scientists & Researchers
  • Dentists
  • Game Designers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Virtual World Creators
  • Marketing Directors

when would you use 3d scanning services?


  • 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)

How can 3d scanning benefit me?

  • 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

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learn more

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

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