Laser Digitizing

(Also posted in Materials and Processes board)

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.

Thanks.