Scanner Manufacturers

Creaform makes the Handyscan line of hand-held scanners (also sold by Z- corp as "Z-scanners") which afford unparalleled flexibility in the configurations they can capture, and the Mega-Capturor, Gemini, and Cyclops line of body scanners. Visit Computersculpture for the best price on these versatile scanners

The Roland Corporation of Japan, famous for their electonic musical instruments, also makes a line of turntable-based 3D scanners which are extremely easy to use, inexpensive, and create nearly perfect scans automatically. They also have combination scanner and milling machines that give you the ability to copy 3D parts in a variety of materials. Visit Computersculpture for the best price on these already-affordable machines

The HDI white light scanner from 3D3 Solutions uses a projected stripe image to calculate deviations of a surface, and HD cameras to record it.

Konica-Minolta, the venerable Japanese camera company, also makes a couple of different lines of laser scanners

3D Digital makes 3D laser scanners, and customizes them for various applications

Germany-based Breuckmann makes a variety of different 3d scanners for digitizing, measuring and quality inspection purposes

Nikon Metrology makes a wide range of 3D scanners, including arm-based, tripod-mounted, and CT-scanning X-ray versions

3Shape specializes in scanners for the dental, orthodontic, and hearing-aid industries

3D Shape is a German company with non-contact stuctured- light scanners and associated software, good for capturing people without requiring long poses

Cyberware pioneered 3D body capture for the movie industry, and offers a range of models designed for human 3D scanning

Kreon Technologies offers a range of laser heads that mount on articulated arms for use in scanning and metrology

LDI-GKSmakes a range of scanners and optical measuring tools that either mount on CMM devices or tripods, including CT scanning devices for exploring invisible details

LDI-GKS makes a line of optical sensors used for various industrial processes, such as scanning logs at a sawmill, or part recognition by machines on an assembly line

Trimble makes scanners used by surveyors and civil engineers to image large-scale spaces, structures and landforms

Metron Systems makes scanners used primarily for part inspection and automation applications

In Denmark, Scantech specializes in laser heads that fit on CNC routers and mills, enabling copies to be made of parts that fit these machines' work envelopes

Shapegrabber makes portable and automated laser scanners, as well as scanner heads that mount on arms or other machines

The German company Steinbichler is a world leader in high-end scanning and inspection solutions

Surphaser offers medium and short-range laser scanners and supplies OEM components to other manufacturers implementing scanning and machine-vision applications

Arius 3D makes a scanning system which, mounted on a motion-control rig, digitizes the colors as well as the topological point cloud of an object's surface

NVision makes CMM probe scanners as well as tripod-mounted and arm- mounted laser scanners

3DMD specializes in 3D imaging for medical applications, providing 3D cameras, installation, software and support

4D Culture has color-capable 3D scanners made in South Korea that work using white light or lasers

The Fastscan from Polhemus is a hand-held scanner for non-metallic objects

Scanner-like systems

The David laser scanner allows one to set up laser scanning on the cheap, using ones own laser pointer and digital camera. Some people have even had good luck with it

My 3d Scanner is a free online application that can construct a 3d model from photos of an object taken from various angles

Qi Pan at Cambridge University has developed a system for creating simple models from photos

Photomodeler is the pioneer commercial photogrammetry application

Pix4D turns thousands of 2D aerial images into integrated 3D landscapes

Digimask maps your photos (full face and profile) onto a generic face model to create a personalized "avatar" for online gaming

The Microscribe digitizing arm works by capturing individual points off an object with a stylus; the point is recorded by pressing a foot pedal. In this way, curves can be constructed, and the object reconstructed from a network of curves

Photo3D from Softcube in Japan allows 3D models to be created from single or multiple photos

Phov is a Slovenian solution to creating 3D models from digital photos

Scanners for Sale

Computersculpture.com sells tabletop scanners from Roland and Creaform's hand-held and tripod-mounted systems as well

Academic Research

The Digital Design Centre is a project of Glasgow School of Art, and uses scanning for cultural heritage, medical and artistic purposes

At Stanford University, some scholars' attempt to come up with a "3D fax machine" morphed into the Digital Michaelangelo Project which made detailed scans of some of his famous sculptures. These scans are made available for academic research only, not for commercial or other purposes.

Custom Scans

In Pakistan , Khalid offers free scans using his home-brew setup.

Michael Raphael and his staff at Direct Dimensions have a lot of experience with a wide variety of 3D scanning and reverse engineering projects

CyberFX pioneered 3D scanning for the movie industry, and still operates the largest custom scanning and 3d carving facility on the West Coast of the United States

Absolute Geometries in Texas offers laser scanning and reverse engineering services

Central Scanning Ltd. in the UK does scanning, inspection, and verification

From Lake Mary, FL, Neometrix Technologies does 3D scanning, reverse engineering and rapid prototyping (using the Objet multi-material printer)

24 Ten specializes in human head scanning, as well as rigging and retopologizing for animation

Eyetronics Studios offers human, location and prop scanning services for the movie and gaming industries

Scansite does 3D scanning and builds models from their scans in the SF Bay Area

Headus in Sydney offers scanning services and software, including whole-body scanning

From their Ottowa base, XYZ RGB does scanning of live actors and inanimate objects for movies, games, and reverse engineering

Downstream software and hardware

Rapidform XOR is the world leader in reverse-engineering software, allowing 3D scans to be used for accurate reconstruction of critical parts. Visit Computersculpture for the best price on this powerful software package

Geomagic produces software for repairing and retexturing 3D scans, as well as NURBS surfacing, inspection, model analysis and reverse engineering Visit Computersculpture for the best price on these modules.

Meshlab is a free open-source program for manipulating 3D meshes

From Materialise, MiniMagics is a handy free STL viewer

Netfabboffers free Basic software for cleaning up scans for printing, and also a Professional version with more capabilities that costs money

Sensable's haptic modeling system makes it easy to edit and combine scan meshes, since you can actually "feel" the model as you work on it

Sensable's Digisize software helps to analyze, measure and manage anthropometric data from their scanners

This "triangle mesh completer" software fills in holes left by many scanning processes; avaliable in standalone and Rhino3d plugin versions

Geometry Systems Inc. produces relatively inexpensive software for cleaning up scans and producing NURBS surfaces from them.

UVLayout is a tool for creating and editing UV maps that apply color-textures to polygon mesh files and SubD surfaces

3D reshaper allows you to deal with point- clouds created by 3d scanners and generate surfaces from them

More 3D scans

Ten 24, a scanning and animation shop, offers a free high-resolution head scan for download in OBJ format

Stanford University has made a number of 3D scans available in PLY format, along with some links to convert them into other formats

Cyberware offers several 3D whole-body scans for non-commercial purposes free on their site in PLY format

Headus in Australia also has some Cyberware VRML whole body sample scans in WRZ (g-zipped) or WRL format

Direct Dimensions offers some 3D scan-based models in various formats to show what its Surphaser scanners can do

Sample and Hold in the UK has made some 3D sample scans available for free download under a creative commons license, to be used for non-commercial purposes only