Can I 3D scan an item that I'd like to 3D print?

Hi, I’d like to 3D scan (then print) an item that was created on a CNC router. Any advice on how to do this?


I can think of a few ways:

  1. I’m not too sure what a CNC router is, but if there was a file that was used to generate the object, then maybe you would just use that file and print.

  2. That object looks pretty straight forward, I bet it would be very easy to model something like that from scratch.

  3. Buy a 3D scanner, I have a fairly cheap decent quality scanner from Einscan (Einscan-S) and it would easily be able to scan that in.

  4. Probably your most cost effective option would be to look into Photogrammetry - it is a process where you take a bunch of 2D pictures of the object from different angles, and then load them into a Photogrammetry software to generate a 3D model. There are a couple of free ones I think, but more than likely you would have to pay a small amount for a good reputable software.

Good luck!

1 Like

Photogrammetry will allow you to scan a simple object like that, lots of free software around, although to be honest it would be just as easy to model it in 3d software.


That particular object you would spend more time scanning it than you would modeling it in Solidworks or the like.

I have a Structure Sensor 3D scanner - if you have an iPad it will get you scanning at < $500. I use it for objects on the order of 1m, so I don’t know how well it would work for what you have. It is worth noting that any 3D scan is going to give you some errors - your faces will not be completely flat, etc. Those will be carried into the 3D print. For something that simple you are way better off modeling it. You could even use Sketchup if you don’t have 3D software or any experience.



Hi there,

Given the apparent simplicity of the part, wouldn’t it be easier to just measure it and recreate it in a CAD software ?

Unless you have to recreate the warp and other defects on the part, you’re better off doing that because with 3D scanning you generally end up with a point cloud which can be a PITA to manage and convert.

1 Like

Id cad that rather than scan. It will be quicker and easier.

1 Like

Thank you so much for the feedback. I can see how the photogrammetry would be prone to errors. And I agree it’s a simple design, which makes more sense to create myself. I created one in TinkerCAD, but the corners were not exactly what I wanted and because t’s such a large object, I didn’t want to waste any more filament :frowning: I’ll give it another try and work on the precision of the corners.

(I’m creating a base for a light switch, which is going to be used by children with weak fine motor skills, so I’d like all of the corners to be nicely rounded.)

Thanks again everyone :slight_smile:

I have about 2000 hand carved jewelry molds that I would like to transfer to digital. I would also like to scan original small wax sculptures and print them on my form2. I’ve been looking into photogrammetry for the past year and a half. I am looking at Agisoft software but I’m open to any suggestions that anyone else might have here in the forum.
If anyone knows of any scanning software or hardware that might be a viable for this process I’m all ears.

Reality Capture will do a better job if you are looking into photogrammetry:

Or look into a low cost 3d scanner like the David SLS system.

1 Like

Could you put up a photo of a typical mold? Depending on size and complexity will determine the best way to digitise them.
Different methods guve different results depending on surface and size.
Another point is that for 2000 parts you may find it cheaper to buy the scanning system and do it your sefl rather than pay someone to do it for you!
Photogrammetry is great for large items or parts that are simple, not good for small intricate parts.

Thanks so much for the quick response. I would very much like to own the software and hardware and keep as much of the workflow in house.
Reality Capture looks a little more useful than agisoft
Hp’s rebranding of David looks promising, too.

You could take a look at ReMake and ReCap from Autodesk. There is a review here:

I don’t think you can buy a perpetual license for any Autodesk products anymore - they have moved to the subscription model. On the upside they do offer a free version that might be sufficient for your needs.

Your 3d scanner should generate an stl file. If it only generates a point cloud then you could import that into a program like Rhino or 3dCoat.

For a box like you have you may be better off just modeling one in a cad program. 3d scans would be more suitable for jewelry depending on the resolution of the scanner. I don’t have any recommendations on what scanners are good or not, haven’t used any myself.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.