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Oceanographic Campus Library 3D Scanner

A guide to the use and best practices of the OCL's 3D scanner.


Once your scan is complete you will need to mesh your 3D scan.  This converts your scan from points to a full 3D model, suitable for printing from a 3D printer.

Before you can mesh, you must click on the global optimization button- this is just the square button below the 'scan' button. Global optimization will give you a preview of what your final copy will look like. If you are happy, click the check mark, to do more scans, click on the X. When you click the check mark, it will take you back to the main screen, but the mesh button below will become available.

Select the Mesh option on the toolbar.

You will be given the option between a Watertight and an Unwatertight model.  A Watertight model is the suggested selection.  This makes the 3D object ready for 3D printing; it will fill all holes of a certain size and will finish extrapolating data.  The Unwatertight model will simply fill what it has, without any of these options.  Unwatertight models are an advanced option best chosen when you intend to do additional 3D object editing in another program.  

Once you have selected Watertight Model, you will be given the option of three different levels of detail.  Choose the level of detail most appropriate for your object.  Please note that High detail will output a very large file, and if you have layered too many scans the software will not be able to handle the file.  It is suggested to pick Medium in most cases.

After an initial prerendering you will be presented with information on your scan.  You can change the Simplification Ratio to adjust the final image size and number of polygons; this is not a true ratio but instead a percent.  Note that lowering the Simplification ratio will result in a smaller file size, but also likely a less detailed scan.  You may also choose to sharpen or smooth the image.  Sharpen is on by default.  Once you are satisfied with your Simplification settings, click Apply. 
This now looks a bit different! If you want to sharpen of smooth your object, you can click on the button of a sharp right angle, or smooth right angle. Make sure you do the simplification! This is the triangle button under the sharp and smooth buttons!

This is the difference in detail between Simplification Ratio 1 and Simplification Ratio 100.
Simplification Ratio = 1

Simplification Ratio = 100

Please note that once your mesh is complete you cannot undo the mesh; you must re-open the project file (.prj) to try again.

Your mesh will go through a period of post processing.  Post processing may take considerable time depending on the size of your scan.  If you chose a Texture Scan you will also be given the option to change the Brightness and Contrast of the object.  Adjust the Brightness and Contrast to your liking.

Once this is complete you may save the scan.