3D Scanning

Turn Physical Into Digital

Book a Scanning Session

What is 3D Scanning?

Scan the object
Generate digital model
Export for further use

3D scanning is a technology that captures a physical object’s exact size, shape and surface texture and creates a digital 3-dimensional representation, or digital 3D model.

The NExT Lab has two Artec 3d scanners, the Leo and Eva. Both scanners are portable, hand held scanners, providing an intuitive workflow, making 3d scanning as easily as taking a video. Simply book into an Intro Session to learn how to use the scanners and then individual times can be arranged to scan your objects.

Our 3D Scanners

Artec Eva

The Artec Eva is light, fast and versatile, it is the ideal choice for making a quick, textured and accurate 3D model of medium sized objects such as a human bust, an alloy wheel, or a motorcycle exhaust system.

  • 3d Resolution: 0.5 mm
  • Suitable For: Scanning medium sized objects such as car parts, architectural model or furniture.
  • Not Suitable: Scanning environments such as streets, landscapes and buildings
  • Additional Equipment Required: Connection to a computer

More information

Artec Leo

The Artec Leo is the first 3D scanner to offer onboard automatic processing, it is able to provide the most intuitive workflow, making 3D scanning as easy as taking a video. As you scan your object, see the 3D replica being built in real time on Leo’s touch panel screen.

  • 3d Resolution: 0.25 mm
  • Suitable For: Scanning medium sized objects such as car parts, architectural model or furniture.
  • Not Suitable: Scanning environments such as streets, landscapes and buildings
  • Additional Equipment Required: Connection to a computer

More information

Why 3D scanning?

3D scanning of a physical object is a fantastic way to iterate quickly through a design project. A prototype can be sculpted and then scanned to digitise the design allowing easy tweaks and changes to make improvements without having to rebuild the object. By combining this technology the NExT Lab 3D Print Farm designers will be able to physically iterate faster than ever before.


The NExT Lab offers a range of training to help you learn how to use the 3D scanning equipment. This training includes:

  1. Training Centre

    Video tutorials and guides to help you understand and use all the tech in the NExT Lab and the MSD Makerlabs. Each process is broken down into bite-sized steps. Follow all the guides for a broad overview, or get help with a particular step. The catalogue will be continue to grow, so keep an eye out for new content.

    Training Session

  2. Introductory Session

    Each week a range of introductory sessions are scheduled. Come along and learn about the fundamentals, such as how to setup and prepare VR files, software basics and how to submit a 3D print. No previous experience required.

    Book Session

  3. Expansion Session

    If you want to learn advanced techniques and processes to extend the possibilities of each technology, these are the sessions for you. Each week a range of sessions will be scheduled - each focusing on a particular technique or skill. You can come to one session or all to get a detailed understanding of the tech.

    Book Session

  4. Consultation

    Book a consultation with the NExT Lab's experienced staff to get help with complex technical challenges specific to your project. Before making a booking, it is expected that you have completed the Introductory and Expansion sessions and attempted to resolve the problem independently.

    Book Consultation

For a full explanation of the training available see the Training Page.


The 3D scanners in the NExT lab are available for everyone to use, including staff, students and the public, after completing some basic training.

  1. Attend a 3D Scanning Intro Session

    Before using the scanner for the first time, you must attend a 3D Scanning Intro Session

    Book now

  2. Book a time to use the scanner

    After completing the Intro Session you can book a time to use the scanner in the NExT Lab during the 3D scanning sessions. Or, if you are a University of Melbourne student you can arrange to loan a 3D scanner from the Loan Facility.


There is no charge for 3D scanning.

Frequently asked questions

What is a 3D scanner?

A 3D scanner is a device that analyses real-world a object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance. The collected data can then be used to construct digital 3D models of the object.

How does 3D scanning work? How hard is it to use a 3D scanner?

3D scanning devices use a triangulation of internal lasers to determine the distance of a surface from the device. The software is then able to construct a mesh representation of of the object that is being scanned. Using the scanner itself is not difficult to use, however the effectiveness of the scan will depend on the size and material of the object that is being scanned.

What can 3D scans be used for?

3D scanning can be used in conjunction with other fabrication and visualisation equipment within NExT Lab. Once an object has been effectively digitised, it can be placed in a virtual or augmented environment or printed using a 3D printer.

How accurate is 3D scanning?

The Artec Eva and Leo have scan resolutions of 0.5mm and 0.25mm respectively. The accuracy of the scan is also heavily dependent on the type of material and shape of the object that is being scanned. Materials smooth textureless materials are difficult to scan and can be assisted with placing stickers on the object for the scanner to gain a point of reference. Reflective materials are unable to be scanned properly.

What is a mesh? What programs can I use to work on mesh files?

3Ds Max or Rhino 3D are programs that are available to students within the MSD that are able to edit mesh files. It is recommended that 3Ds Max is used for mesh files and the texture mapping is important to be retained.

Need enrolment assistance?

Stop 1 provides enrolment and other support to Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Environments and Melbourne School of Design students.