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3D Scanning Services: 3D Scanning

About the 3D Scanning Service

The Fisher Fine Arts Library offers the Penn community a 3D scanning service. Scanning sessions are held on the ground floor of the Fine Arts Library in the Materials Library space. This is a free service that does not require previous experience to use. Scans can be for academic projects or to simply learn a new skill. Patrons utilizing this service will overview 3D scanning with our staff and get hands on experience using our scanners. Our staff will take care of processing your scans and provide you a 3D model in your preferred file format (typically .OBJ or .STL). These models can be 3D printed at one of the Penn Libraries makerspaces, integrated into Virtual Reality (VR), visualized in Augmented Reality (AR), used for animation, etc.


Interested in scheduling a 3D scanning session? Sign up now using this form and a staff person will be in touch to coordinate a meeting within 48 hours. 3D scanning can be time consuming and it is easiest to anticipate spending an hour scanning one object, between setup, scanning, and cleanup. Processed 3D models will be delivered to patrons within 2-5 business days, if not sooner.



Choosing Objects to Scan

Choosing what to scan, lists of hard to scan and easy to scan objects

3D Scanning Equipment Available

The Fisher Fine Arts Library has five Artec 3D scanners that use structured light to gather point data. Our machines can scan something as small as a ring, up to something as large as a room. These machines are able to capture high levels of detail along with texture map data (i.e. color of the object's surface) which can be applied to your final 3D model. Click through the gallery below to learn more about each of our 3D scanners and the object sizes they are intended for.

Artec Scanners Gallery

Artec Micro 3D scanner

Artec Micro

The Artec Micro is a fully-automated desktop 3D scanner intended for scanning extra small objects under 3 inches like jewelry, gears, electrical components, etc. This model captures the highest level of detail compared to the other 3D scanners.

Artec Spider 3D scanner

Artec Spider

The Artec Spider is a wired handheld scanner that is ideal for scanning small objects like keys, coins, small archeological objects, etc.

Artec Eva 3D scanner

Artec Eva

The Artec Eva is a wired handheld scanner intending for imaging medium-sized objects like castings, furniture, statues, etc.

Artec Leo 3D scanner

Artec Leo

The Artec Leo is a wireless handheld scanner that allows for added mobility to scan medium and large objects such as industrial equipment, vehicles, vehicle interiors, furniture, etc.

Artec Ray 3D scanner

Artec Ray

The Artec Ray is a tripod mounted long-range laser 3D scanner capable of imaging large and extra large objects like a room interior, buildings, archeological sites, large vehicles, etc.

3D Scanning at Fisher Fine Arts

Questions? Ask Michael

What Can Be 3D Scanned?

3D scanners are a powerful tool, but there are limitations. Our scanners use structured light to capture point data. This poses some challenges for certain objects like reflective, transparent, and black objects. Consult the "Choosing objects to scan" chart to the left to learn more about what is easy or hard to scan with our equipment.

"Hard to Scan" Object Solutions

There are commercially available sprays that reduce glare and coat objects in a matte coating to make 3D scanning "hard to scan" objects easier. Some of the most popular spray solutions sublimate off the object after a certain number of hours, while others require manual cleaning to remove the spray. The Fine Arts Library does not provide these sprays. Instead, use of these sprays is left to the discretion of the patron and the object owners as they may permanently damage the object. Artec, the maker of our scanners, provides a comprehensive list of sprays informed by their users that you may use for your scanning project.