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3D Scanning For Reverse Engineering: 

Everything You Need To Know

3D scanning has allowed developers, manufacturers, and engineers to produce extremely high-quality likenesses, molds, prototypes, and parts for products and research. Because automotive engineers, aerospace technicians, and medical researchers use molds, casts, and printed parts to better analyze and improve their methods, they need the highest quality scans possible.

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If a 3D scanner misreads data from a curve in an engine part or a valve in a replica of the human heart, the resulting research would be lacking in clarity and precision. Reverse engineering scanners have greatly supplemented the production process because it allows engineers to measure accurate data and reproduce objects almost exactly as they were first manufactured.

Being able to deconstruct an object to study its architecture and intricacies is crucial for competitive data analysis. Laser 3D reverse engineering gives manufacturers the information they need to increase a product’s usability, prevent future errors and make necessary improvements.

A product that has grown popular for its affordability and compact size is the 3D hand scanner. While the technology may seem like the best bang for your buck or like the simplest way to introduce yourself to 3D scanning, there are a few things you should know before making an investment.

Whether you are a plant manager, a product engineer or a brand manufacturer, you’ll want to ensure quality to your customers. 3D scanners make it easy to get the information you need for the recreation and improvement of products, but measuring that data accurately means you’ll have to know which scanners work best and why.

We’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know about handheld 3D scanners, non-mobile 3D scanners, and 3D reverse engineering in order to make an informed decision on what to bring to your manufacturing plant.

ScanCobot ATOS Q3.2

Reverse Engineering Quality Data, Quality Products

The purpose of 3D scanning reverse engineering services is to be able to recreate printed adaptations or precise scans that give you accurate information about a product’s makeup. Through their intricate technical workings, scanners pick up information you otherwise might miss due to natural human error.

Handheld 3D scanner reverse engineering will make scans more difficult to obtain than scans from non-mobile scanners.

In many cases, the best 3D scanner for reverse engineering is a non-contact metrology solution due to its elimination of imprecision.

Aerospace, casting, automotive, medical and many other fields rely on precise data from advanced technology. In order to have high-resolution scans, you need automated systems that steadily rove over the object you are gathering data for. It will catch all the measurable points more definitively than 3D hand scanners.

Quality data is essential to reverse engineering because parts must be able to be deconstructed and reconstructed perfectly. One unstable measurement could skew the reverse engineering 3d model creation of complex geometric shapes, and you’ll end up spending unnecessary time correcting the misread data.

To ensure that you have the best 3D scanner for reverse engineering, you’ll want to have an idea of what exactly you will use your scanner for.

Precision On The Production Floor With 3D Handscanners

Portable 3D scanner reverse engineering requires a bit more precision than non-mobile 3D scanning options.

The machinery is not attached to a mechanical arm that slowly and steadily gathers measurable data from the object you are scanning. You must collect the data yourself and make sure that you get a scan from every required angle. Oftentimes, the fallibility of these machines is because of an unsteady hand using the scanner.

Humans are also likely to move too close or too far from the object they are scanning, which creates inconsistencies when the data is being pieced together on screen.

On the other hand, automated machinery collects data more reliably because of its steady probe over the body of the object.

The hardware and software work seamlessly and undisrupted. This allows manufacturers and engineers to save in labor and production costs because fewer iterations need to be printed and fewer employees are required to be on the floor, giving them more time to focus on other parts of their workflow.

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One thing that has given 3D scanners attention because of their extremely high resolution is the fact that Capture 3D uses blue light technology to create more comprehensible, more easily digestible information. The light probes over the surface to collect data points rather than having to use a touch probe.

Even though 3D hand scanners have the same hardware and software as their non-mobile counterparts, they lack the ability to produce high-resolution scans good enough for the purposes of quality laser reverse engineering.

The blue light technology in handheld scanners does not guarantee a perfect scan — it’s a stronger camera that may in fact still fall prey to errors caused by humans.

Optimizing Your Reverse Engineering Workflow

Reverse engineering scanners allow you to deconstruct products to study their inner workings and research new ways to improve parts.

Smart software, when working in combination with advanced hardware, brings layers and depth to the research field. Products, parts and the inner workings of machines can be viewed as they never have been before because of the strength of 3D scanning technology.

In just seconds, you can capture the complete image of the product you are analyzing and copy it for CAD model creation.

To enhance your understanding of a product and further adapt it to meet the needs of your company and customer demands, you’ll need quick, efficient and reliable technology.

Handheld 3D scanner reverse engineering products may seem suitable if you are scanning smaller items, but oftentimes smaller objects have more detailed surfaces.

If your handheld scanner produces a low-quality image, it must be rescanned. This takes away manpower from the production floor and makes for a disjointed workflow because of unexpected setbacks.

You can remove the stress of scanning multiple times to fix mistakes by investing in an automated metrology machine. You’ll optimize production time and be able to rely on the precise scans non-mobile scanners produce.

Handheld 3D scanners can still pick up on detailed objects. The resulting clarity of images produced from data measurements on a handheld device may not be as strong as images gathered from a scanner connected to a mechanical arm, however.

Since scans create the models you’ll use in production and research, you want those scans to be top notch. You can be more confident that high-resolution images will result in well-designed models and more accurate final products when you use non-mobile metrology.

The right 3D scanner should eliminate workflow strain and enhance the final results. You’ll notice quicker manufacturing processes with more reliable outcomes, and your customers are going to notice too.

Reverse engineering with 3D laser and blue light scanners can be a crucial way to get ahead of your competition.

What better way to do that than by having the strongest 3D scanner that produces the most high-quality images? This may mean a higher initial upfront investment to get a permanent scanner as opposed to the handheld 3D scanner reverse engineering technology, but you’ll see better results much gif maker 4

Want to learn more? Contact us!


At Capture 3D, it’s our goal to provide you with the clearest 3D scans possible.

Our 3D scanners use blue light technology to catch surface information the human eye may not have the strength to see.

We know that no matter what the application, having lasting, quality results makes your job a lot easier. If your main priority is to save time, mental anxiety and ultimately money,

Capture 3D has the products for you and the knowledge to get you started, and keep you up-to-date on scanning trends in hardware and software.

If this article didn’t answer all your questions, or you’re still deciding between products because you aren’t sure what would best suit your needs, reach out! We’d love to hear from you and help you make an informed decision for your 3D scanner.

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