Digital Reconstruction at the NExT Lab

This article outlines the various technologies available to students and staff regarding Digital Reconstruction and 3D Scanning at MSD.

0.0 Technologies available at MSD

The Melbourne School of Design provides access to different 3d scanning and digital reconstruction technologies. Photogrammetry software such as Agisoft and MeshRoom can be used in conjunction with some of the camera equipment available through the loans desk (or a student's personal equipment). Students who require more accurate results are able to loan out the Artec EVA 3d Scanner - a professional-grade structured light scanner which uses proprietary software.

0.1 Comparison



Ease of Use


Recommended For

Artec EVA

(3D Scanner)

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

★ ★ ☆ ☆☆

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

  • Precise Scanning

  • Medium Objects


(3D Scanner)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

  • Quick Small Objects

Leica BLK 360

(3D Scanner)

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

  • Room Scanning



★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

  • Buildings and large objects



★ ★ ★ ★ ★

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

  • Smaller Objects



★ ★ ★ ★ ★

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

  • Easy Access

1.0 Artec EVA

The Artec EVA is a handheld 3D scanner which uses proprietary software, ARTEC Studio, to generate mesh data. The scanner uses Structured Light Technology (SLT), which measures the deflection of light on a surface.

See Relevant Guide: Artec EVA 3d Scanner/guides/guide-1

1.1 Time Consumption

Time consumption can be varied. Using Real-Time Fusion, it is possible to achieve a fairly decent result within 10-20 minutes, however best practice can take upwards of 6 hours.

1.2 Ease of Use

This is potentially the most difficult method of digital reconstruction, it may take a few hours to get comfortable with the hardware and software environment, but once the basics are learned, the software and hardware is quite intuitive.

1.3 Dimensional Accuracy

The EVA provides the highest degree of dimensional accuracy of all digital reconstruction technologies.

The Artec EVA is mostly recommended for scanning objects medium-sized objects where a high level of dimensional accuracy is required. Best practice is walking around the stationary object to be scanned.

It is not recommended for objects such as buildings or room-scanning, nor is it recommended for extremely thick or highly reflective objects.

2.0 DaVinci 3D Scanner

The DaVinci 3D Scanner is an easy to use handheld scanner which uses a single camera to create a low-density, low-resolution mesh.

See Relevant Guide: Artec EVA 3d Scanner/guides/guide-1

2.1 Time Consumption

The DaVinci Scanner is potentially the quickest digital reconstruction technology available. Printable objects can be generated in a matter of minutes, at the trade-off of dimensional accuracy.

2.2 Ease of Use

Once the accompanying software is set up, the device itself is incredibly easy to use.

2.3 Dimensional Accuracy

The dimensional accuracy of the DaVinci Scanner is extremely poor. It is difficult to achieve a scan without artifacts, and the accompanying software lacks the features to remove or fix these artifacts.

Very quick, simple scans which are not required to be dimensionally accurate or without artifacts.

3.0 Photogrammetry using Agisoft

Agisoft is a photogrammetry software which uses static images to generate a 3D-objects based on the similarities between image data. This software can be used to generate a point cloud and to generate meshes. Skill in photography is required as these photos will need to be taken manually.

See Relevant Guide: Photogrammetry using Agisoft/guides/guide-2

3.1 Time Consumption

This is potentially the most time-consuming digital reconstruction method, as building dense clouds can take hours depending on the level of detail required and the computer processing power available.

3.2 Ease of Use

Whilst the software is fairly intuitive the user interface is somewhat dated. Photogrammetry based techniques are also restricted by how well the user can operate a camera, preferably a DSLR.

3.3 Dimensional Accuracy

Agisoft is a best-in-class software for dimensional accuracy, however it can not achieve the same level of accuracy as built-for-purpose devices such as the Artec EVA.

Agisoft is recommended for the photogrammetry-based digital reconstruction of medium to large objects, ranging from scale models to statues and buildings.

4.0 Photogrammetry using Meshroom

Meshroom is a photogrammetry, 3D reconstruction software. It is open-source and a part of a larger framework or pipeline called AliceVision.

As an open-source software it is free to use and does not require licensing - a significant advantage over software such as Agisoft.

See Relevant Guide: Photogrammetry using Meshroom/guides/photogrammetry-using-meshroom

4.1 Time Consumption

MeshRoom is potentially the quickest photogrammetry-based digital reconstruction software. The feedback loop between taking photos and seeing an output mesh is far quicker than agisoft.

4.2 Ease of Use

MeshRoom is fairly straight-forward to use and has a intuitive node-based workflow.

4.3 Dimensional Accuracy

Slightly less accurate than Agisoft, but a fair level of detail is achieved.

Agisoft is recommended for the photogrammetry-based digital reconstruction of medium to large objects, ranging from scale models to statues and buildings. Can also be used in a live-reconstruction mode, so recommended for instances where access to the target object is restricted to a short period.

5.0 Photogrammetry using Mobile Phones

There are two distinct separate technologies when it comes to 3D Scanning using mobile phones.

  1. Using your mobile to simply capture the photographs to be used in photogrammetry and compiling of the 3D data via Agisoft or Meshroom then.

  2. The use of a mobile phone based app to both take the photos and to compile them. There are several mobile phone apps that claim to be a viable 3D scanning tool.

One of these, Qlone works by placing the object to be scanned atop a previously printed black and white grid. And then guides the user in the process of taking the pictures from the right angle.

5.1 Time Consumption

This process is potentially quick, but requires you to print out the grid on physical paper first.

5.2 Ease of Use

The app itself is very easy to use and pretty straight forward also, it guides you through what pictures to take.

5.3 Dimensional Accuracy

The dimensional accuracy of mobile phone apps is significantly worse than Ipsum Sit Dolor Amet

Only recommended if ease of use as a criteria far surpasses that of dimensional accuracy. The technology in terms of accuracy is simply not at the right level yet to make this a viable alternative to computer based photogrammetry applications.