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3D Scanners

Neil Valentine D'Silva
Here's an story providing concise information on 3D Scanners including how they work and even their pricing. Read on.
By definition, 3D scanners are devices that can capture images from real life to a digital format. These scanners are different than the conventional scanners. The basic difference is that the 3D scanners can capture depth in the images quite well. There is tremendous detail in lighting and shadows and the colors produced are much more true-to-life.

How Do 3D Scanners Work?

The technology of a 3D scanner is the same as that of a digital camera, though the scanner is much more advanced in comparison. Like a camera, the scanner produces a field of vision in front of it and captures the images that lies in this field. But it is much more advanced at understanding relief. This is does by using complicated vector equations.
All the points that are present in the field of vision of the scanner are provided vector parameters. Points that are closer to the camera will be given closer coordinates than the points that are farther. The light that will fall on each point will depend on the vector coordinate of the point. When the final image is obtained, the image has the 3D relief.

What are the Types of 3D Scanners Available?

There are two main types of 3D scanners available - non-contact and contact scanners.
Non-contact 3D Scanners
These scanners are usually mounted on a stand. Their principle of working involves emitting some kind of radiation, such as light, X-rays, ultrasound or laser, over the area to the scanned. They then allocate the vector coordinates to every point in the area and then take an authentic picture of them.
There are special types available in which the scanners themselves do not produce any radiation, but only decipher the information reflected back through the ambient light present in the area.
Contact 3D Scanners
These are also known as Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs). The CMMs, as their name suggests, have to be placed in contact with the object that needs to be scanned. They will physically feel all the points and bring out a scanned 3D image of it. These scanners are highly precise in their images, but also have limitations.
Not all objects can be allowed to come into contact with the scanner. It becomes a difficulty when scanning liquids or glass objects. Not all museums will appreciate the scanner coming so close to their artifacts. Also, because of the physical preparedness of the device that's required, scanning is slow.

Why Use 3D Scanning?

3D scanners are very expensive. Because of that, buying them becomes advantageous only if there is some hardcore professional use. Manufacturers of products will find a very significant use of 3D scanning. From the design stage to the actual production, it is necessary to take several pictures of the product.
Now, a crude device like a digital camera would not do much good for such a purpose. That is the reason 3D scanners are applied. They can form a perfect picture of the product in the 3D format, highlighting every positional detail of the image.
Apart from that, 3D images are used in a large number of applications. One important use of this technology is in reverse engineering, a method in which deep analysis is done into an engineering model to better understand its working.
3D images are also used in building computer graphics, especially for video games. Museums use 3D scanners for recording their artifacts, and use the same images for promotional purposes, such as when auctioning the artifact.

How are 3D Scanners Priced?

As expected, 3D scanners are very highly priced. Prices can start from $40,000 and can go on up to $400,000. Included in the packages of 3D scanners are the special software application that is needed for using all features of the scanner, tutorials and maintenance tips, and certain updates too.