Principles of 3D Scanning / Digital Reconstruction

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All 3D Scanning/Digital Reconstruction uses technologies that follow a few basic principles. While different technologies will extend on these principles, these are mostly universal:

Light and Vision

Regardless of the technology, whether it be the lens of the camera in Photogrammetry or the light-sensor of the Artec 3D Scanner, all these technologies have sensors that receive light as information.

Light comes from light sources in the environment. The light rays bounce off objects and that is how our eyes and the sensors 'see,' forming a 2D or 3D understanding of the image. However, not all objects behave the same manner in relation to light and it is critical to take note as you scan.

Transparent/Translucent Objects

Transparent/Translucent objects do not reflect all light rays except only for small traces. These types of objects allow light to pass through them, rendering them mostly invisible to a sensor.

Reflective Objects

Reflective objects do not work well either as they fully reflect light from other objects. We understand the context of a mirror, but the technology does not recognise a mirror and it will read information 'in' the mirror as true objects in 3D space, and not a reflection on a surface.


Understanding that the sensors are like 'eyes', it can only see what is in front and nothing 'behind' or 'over' object. Similar to how how you can move your viewpoint to look behind an object, a sensor will need to be physically moved to ensure it can capture information that is occluded beyond the objects.


Artec Family

pageArtec Handheld 3D Scanners

Photogrammetry | Agisoft Metashape


Laser Scanning | Leica BLK360

pageLeica BLK360

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