How to Use Multiple Scanners in the Same Scanned File

   By on September 28, 2017

Think of an object or scenario that you want to capture and render into a CAD software. Imagine the color, transparency, surface finish and size. Is it compatible to 3D scan? If so, what 3D scanning technology (or technologies) make the most sense to use?

In this blog, we explore how to choose and use multiple scanners in the same scanned file. Here’s how:

Challenges When Choosing a 3D Scanner

Different scanners are required for small, medium and large objects because of their resolution capturing abilities. For a point of reference, let’s define small, medium and large as the following:

  • Small: An object that is equal or smaller than a shoe box
  • Medium: Larger than a basketball, smaller than a smart car
  • Large: Bigger than a motorcycle.

If you try to scan a dime with a scanning booth scanner or a car with blue-light technology, you can end up disappointed with the results. Traditionally, this posed challenges for businesses because in order to achieve the fastest capturing speed and quality, multiple systems were required, which could get very expensive.

How Does Artec 3D Scanners Solve the Size Barrier?

As technology advances, 3D scanners are starting to bridge the size gap and accommodate a broader range than ever before. Artec 3D scanners are one of the only systems that offer hybrid solutions. Their handheld 3D scanners include:

Artec Space Spider

With 3D resolution up to 0.1 mm and 3D accuracy up to 0.05 mm, the Artec Space Spider is famous for capturing small objects with intricate details. This portable scanning solution is based on blue-light technology, which allows it to render complex geometry, sharp edges and thin ribs.

Artec Eva

Slightly higher than the Space Spider, Artec Eva has 3D resolution up to 0.5 mm and 3D accuracy up to 0.1 mm making it an all-around solution for medium sized objects. It uses white light technology for fast and versatile scans.


The newest scanner to the Artec line-up is the Leo, which has the ability to bridge the gap between medium and large objects. Its automatic processing and large field of view makes it ideal for capturing all areas of your object.

Combining Solutions

Artec is unique because of its Artec Studio software, which allows for a seamless connection between multiple scanners. For example, if you’re scanning a car door, you may use the Eva to do a quick, three-minute scan of the exterior with the available 100 microns resolution. Then, you could switch to the Space Spider and scan additional details such as a door hinge mechanism, mounting brackets and inside switches with the 50 microns resolution. 

Artec Studio has the capability to align scan data from both scanners, including full color texture to create a mesh file that could be considered a hybrid. It is as simple as using the raw data from the scanner and aligning the data before creating a 3D mesh. Having the data in the same session, yields greater processing speeds and alignments to be done in raw data or point cloud data. The output should be a car door ready for inspection or reverse engineering.

How to Use Multiple 3D Scanners

To show how seamless using multiple scanners can be, we scanned a random part that was on the verge of small and medium sized. First, we yielded a complete scan with the Eva (this only took minutes). Next, we used the Space Spider to gather smaller details such as the branding information. See image below: 

Eva and Space Spider Field of View

Figure 1: Eva and Space Spider Field of View

Overall, the Eva scan had enough data to either reverse engineer with Geomagic for SOLIDWOKRS or quality inspect with Geomagic ControlX. We wanted to get more of the intricate details though.

Eva scan not visible at 100 microns

Figure 2: Eva scan with text not visible at 100 microns

By simply connecting the Space Spider, within the same scan session, I am able to scan the portion where I want more detail and continue with the processing steps. See below:

Eva Scan aligned with Space Spider

Figure 3: Eva scan being aligned with Space Spider portion

Now that both Eva and Space Spider scans are together, we can have best of both worlds; a quick and fast scan with the details where they count.

Before and After Eva/Space Spider Merge

Figure 4: Before and After Eva/Space Spider can merge

Final Scan with Texture Applied

Figure 5: Final Scan with Texture Applied

By working with multiple clients whose products are often complex with multiple size and resolution requirements, we learned the importance of combining solutions and custom catering bundles of both hardware and software. Whether it’s a Space Spider/Eva bundle or Space Spider/Leo bundle, we will get you up and running in a timely manner. 

If you want more information or to see these 3D scanners in action, request a demo now.


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Juan Carlos Gandiaga

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