Today, I had the opportunity to experiment with 3D scanning. 3D scanning is incredibly useful because we are able to bypass the CAD process entirely by capturing data from real world objects using cameras or lasers. The data describes the shape, color, texture, and position of the object or space in a digital, three-dimensional format. While industrial grade 3D scanners can cost upwards of $10,000, you can also use your phone with a free app called Polycam.
I tasked myself with creating a coil pot out of playdough, scanning it, and then 3D printing a replica. This simple project can be a great way to learn about the methods of 3D scanning and I encourage you to try it out for yourself. Below, I have listed the materials you will need as well as the steps to follow my exact process.
NOTE: If you don’t have access to a 3D printer you can still follow the steps under the Polycam section to create a cool 3D model.
List of Materials
I was pleasantly surprised by the results of this project. Despite the minimal preparation and the lack of CAD software, I was able to achieve a finished product that I’m happy with. I’m excited to continue exploring 3D scanning as an alternative to CAD in the future.