3D Scanning Basics and Free Resources

3D scanning is the ability to create a digital file from a real world object for the purpose of editing, rendering, and/or 3D printing.

By creating a 3D scan of an object, you can edit and 3D print a new version. There are 3 main types of scanning: infrared, structured light, and photogrammetry. Here are some free resources to help with the different kinds!

 

Meshmixer

Cost: Free
Operating System: Windows, Mac, Linux
Tutorials Included: No, but available online
Level of Difficulty: Medium 

Meshmixer is a fantastic site to modify and fix 3D scans. It's made by AUTODESK and its controls are similar to working with clay.

Sculptris

Cost: Free
Operating System: Windows, Mac, Linux
Tutorials Included: Yes, available in forums
Level of Difficulty: Medium

Sculptris is an organic modeling program. It's made by Pixologic and designed to mold and create models with smooth curves and symmetry. 

 

 

ReCap

Cost: Free
Operating System: Windows, Mac, Linux
Tutorials Included: Yes, available in Autodesk University
Level of Difficulty: Medium 

ReCap is focused on photogrammetry, the process of taking multiple 2D pictures around and object to create a 3D rendering.