Laser Digitizing

This may be a question more oriented towards the technology board, but here goes:

Anybody have experience with laser digitizing? I have a hand-carved model I would like digitized so I can send it to China without fear of it getting lost and my surface model being gone forever. We’ll send the surface data (IGES) and they can work to tooling from there.

The big question is - should I ask the service to smooth my surfaces or should I just have them scan it raw the way it is? The model is not flawless, but I am wondering if I should just keep a true copy/pattern relationship or attempt to use the technology to “fix” any of the human qualities of the design? I don’t mind spending the money to experiment but on the other hand we have a deadline.

The product category is such that a hand-hewn look is actually desirable to a certain degree. It is more like a small fine-arts sculpture than say, a cosmetic skin envelope.


I don’t know if you’re still looking for an answer, but you should talk to the folks at Raindrop Geomagic. They may software used by a lot of laser scanners. They could tell you how you should handle this…


If you can find a local prop-shop they often digitize small clay models for movies, laser scan them, and then scale them up in CAD prior to being CNC cut out of foam or other materials.

The local shop in here Vancouver is

They have examples on their site. Look for the small clay models.