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3D Printing and Scanning: Scanning

An overview of 3D Printing at LSC-North Harris Makerspace

There are a number of different methods for Scanning. Below are some of the tools that we use in the Makerspace and how to use each of them. We've also included some software that use can use on your own PC Laptop to create 3D Models.

All Makerspace 3D Scanners require an appointment to use.


The following programs use a type of 3D Scanning known as Photogrammertry. This process uses advance techniques to construct a 3D object from photographs of the original. In most instances, you can use your cell phone to take pictures. When taking pictures, circle the object several times from different angles. Make sure to get the top and bottom of the object in your photos. If it is a small object, make sure it is lit in a way that avoids casting shadows. Do not move the object, only circle around it when taking pictures.


Meshroom is a free, open-source 3D Reconstruction Software based on the AliceVision framework for Windows and Linux. Tutorials at the Meshroom wiki. Below is a video on how to use it. Also check out our guide on using Meshroom:

Colmap / Meshlab / Meshmixer

COLMAP is free, open-source software used for ordering and reconstructing images. COLMAP runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Click for a tutorial of COLMAP.

MeshLab is a free, open-source program that takes the points that are generated by COLMAP and makes them into a 3D object. MeshLab runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Meshmixer is a free, proprietary program owned by Autodesk. It is used to make edits and to "fill holes" sometimes left by scanning processes. Click here for Meshmixer tutorials.

Below is a video on using these three programs together to scan and create a 3D model of a physical object.

Autodesk Recap

Autodesk Recap a subscription based, proprietary program that assembles and processes your photos into a 3D object. There is a free demo version of the software that has several features limited or unavailable. Recap runs on Windows only. A tutorial of Recap can be found here.