One of the most powerful design and file inputs for 3D printing is derived from 3D scanners.

3D Laser Scanning is a non-contact, non-destructive technology that digitally captures the shape of physical objects using a line of laser light. 3D laser scanners create sets of data points on the surface of an object – sometimes referred to as “point clouds”. The scanner’s probe projects a line of laser light onto the surface while two sensor cameras continuously record the changing distance and shape of the laser line in three dimensions (XYZ) as it sweeps along the object. The shape of the object is represented as millions of points on the computer monitor as the laser moves around capturing the entire surface shape of the object. The process is very fast, gathering up to 750,000 points per second and very precise (to ±.0005″).

In this way, 3D scanners are able to capture the exact size, shape and sometimes texture of physical objects and convert them into digital 3-dimensional representations. In particular, the ability of a 3D scanner to capture organic shapes and difficult-to-draw objects in minutes has proven to be an invaluable tool for businesses and professionals alike.

The digital files can generally be saved as either CAD files to allow for modification, or STL files to allow for 3D printing.

Some of the uses of 3D scanning technology includes:

Reverse Engineering and Prototyping


Storage and Data Transmission



The Einscan family of 3D scanners is the most comprehensive and accessible line of affordable 3D scanners currently available. These award winning scanners range in price and features to fit any budget, and are supported by a highly user-friendly software package. From the affordable ‘white light’ Einscan SE designed to introduce users to scanning to the newly released Freescan UE7 and UE11, Shining 3D has the answer to your 3D scanning needs.

Freescan UE (click to view)

Einscan HX (click to view)

Einscan 2X Plus (click to view)

Einscan SE (click to view)



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