3D Scanning at the NExT Lab
This article introduces 3D Scanning & Digital Reconstruction and associated workflows within the context of the NExT Lab.

What is 3D Scanning / Digital Reconstruction?

3D Scanning and Digital Reconstruction are technologies and workflows that can convert physical data into digital data. They are powerful tools that reconstruct physical models physically. Digital reconstruction has been used by many professions as a powerful through reconstructed digital models, examples include:
By using the reconstructed digital models, you can
  • Documentation of artefacts, cultural monuments and historical buildings
  • Understand and interrogate spatial conditions
  • Re-image archaeological sites

Our Services

The NExT Lab offers digital reconstruction services to all members of the University of Melbourne.
If you are interested in how Digital Reconstruction can supplement and advance your projects, we require you to first complete the following before getting started.

Induction

Book an appointment for an Intro Session to get introduced to the Digital Reconstruction workflows of the NExT Lab. This session will cover basic safety and handling to get you inducted on how to use the equipment.
Loaning the Equipment Equipment for digital reconstruction can be loaned through the Loans Desk located within the Print Room on Level 1 of the MSD Building.
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Consultation Sessions: Book into a session where you can have a chat with one of our Technicians on how to approach and integrate Digital Reconstruction into your projects. Understanding your desired outcome can streamline the process and help us better assist you in achieving the project outcome. We also provide technical guidance through these sessions.

Getting Started

After you have completed the necessary inductions above. We encourage you to review our workflows listed below and find the appropriate workflow your project.
Start here by understanding how digital reconstruction works.

Our Supported Workflows

The NExT Lab supports 3 main workflows; suitable for different scales:
Data Capture Workflows can directly and precisely read from the physical world.
Data Generation Workflows requires an intermediate medium, to calculate/estimate data from the physical world.

Comparison

Workflow
Speed
Ease of Use
Scale
Artec EVA
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
★ ★ ☆ ☆☆
  • Small - Medium Objects
Artec LEO
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Small - Medium Objects
Leica BLK 360
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Buildings and Spaces
  • Environments
Z+F
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
  • Buildings and Spaces
  • Environments
Photogrammetry
★ ★ ★★ ☆
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Large Objects
  • Buildings and Spaces

Limitations

As all the technologies use light in some way, they do not deal well with transparent and highly reflective objects. More information on how light and vision affects the outcome can be found here.

Artec Scanners

The Artec family of scanners are professional-grade and lightweight handheld scanners which uses Artec Studio, a proprietary companion software used to post-process and extract data from the scanners.
The scanners use Structured Light Technology (SLT). An array of LED strobe lights around the main sensor will flash during operation, how this array pattern is deflected and distorted is then captured by the front-facing cameras to capture 3D data.
Artec EVA
Artec LEO
  • Must be tethered to a laptop and power during scanning, which can be inconvenient.
  • Preferably used with a turntable (available for loan)
  • Laptop is used as the 'screen' for reference while scanning, can take some practice to get used to.
  • Completely portable with battery power.
  • Heavier but easier to scan with more freedom to move around objects.
  • Touchscreen on the scanner makes it easier to use.
Artec EVA
The Artec EVA is a lightweight scanner that uses Structured Light Technology (SLT), which measures the deflection of light on a surface. An array of LED strobe lights around the main sensor will flash during operation, this light is then captured by the front-facing cameras The Eva needs to be tethered to a laptop and power at all times to be used. The LEO is portable and user-friendly with a built in touch screen.
Use Case + Scale: The Artec family is mostly recommended for scanning objects medium-sized objects where a high level of accuracy is required. Best practice is walking around the stationary object to be scanned.
Time: Overall scanning time can be varied based on object size and complexity, on top of time needed for post-processing with Artec Studio. A simple object with automated settings can be completed within 10-20 minutes, however best practice can take upwards of 6 hours.
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.
Dimensional Accuracy: The EVA provides up to 0.5mm of accuracy for suitably sized objects

Access

Loan an Artec Leo:
This piece of equipment is reserved for staff-use. If you are a student, please consult with your tutors to gain access.
Loan an Artec Eva:

Guides

Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is a process that converts a series of 2D photos into 3D spatial data using a camera and software. Agisoft Metashape is the photogrammetry software of choice in the MSD. This software can be used to generate point cloud and mesh data. A little skill in photography is required as these photos will need to be taken manually.
Use Case + Scale: Photogrammetry-based digital reconstruction is recommended for medium to large objects, ranging from scale models to sculptures, rooms and buildings.
Time: With some planning ahead and analysis of the subject that is to be photographed, photogrammetry can be very quick. Do note that processing may take up to a day depending on the quality of the final outcome.
Ease of Use: Photogrammetry is straightforward and highly accessible, all you need is a camera (preferably a DSLR camera).
Dimensional Accuracy: Can vary from project-to-project, photo quality and the size of the subject - photogrammetry is accurate to 3mms for small objects but up to 50mms for large buildings. The disadvantage of a Data Generation workflow is that it is dependent on the intermediate medium of photography, there may be minor distortions to the image compared to a precise Data Capture workflow.

Access

Loan a Camera

Software

Agisoft Metashape is on all Univeristy devices.

Guides

Leica BLK360 Laser Scanner

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The Leica BLK360 Laser Scanner is a very portable, lightweight terrestrial scanner. It uses a rotating + spinning laser with time-of-light technology to directly capture an environment. Chain together a series of these scans to generate accurate colour point cloud data.
The Leica BLK360 is paired with an iPad running Autodesk Recap.
Use Case + Scale: Terrestrial scanning is recommended for room-scale, buildings and larger environments.
Dimensional Accuracy: Laser scanners can expect consistent deviation of 6mms to 8mms at 10m to 20m distances from the subject per scan. How multiple scans are combined may lead to inaccuracies but this can be overcome through software.
Ease of Use: While fairly slow, the BLK360 workflow is by far the simplest to use. Paired with an iPad, scanning is practically one-touch and the software is straight-forward.
Time: Scanning speeds of the BLK360 are fast, but the workflow can be quite slow waiting for data transfer and processing through the software.

Access

Loan a Scanner

This piece of equipment is reserved for staff-use. If you are a student, please consult with your tutors to gain access.

Software

Students can access Autodesk Recap through their educational accounts.

Guides

Z+F Laser Scanner

This piece of content is currently under construction, please check back soon!

Access

Loan a Scanner

This piece of equipment is reserved for staff-use. If you are a student, please consult with your tutors to gain access.

Guides

This piece of content is currently under construction, please check back soon!
Last modified 8mo ago