Scan Dimension


Creating an accurate 3D model of a complex object can be difficult.

The SOL 3D scanner helps jump-start your modeling by giving you accurately sized replica objects.  These can then be incorporate into your project, or used as a reference object in your 3D modeling software.

Simple Steps Using SOL 

Scan Dimension 3D scanner scan to model

  1. Scan the object using the SOL 3D scanner with included software.
  2. Review your scan in the SOL Viewer. 
  3. Export in one of the supported formats: OBJ, STL, XYZ, DAE, and PLY files.
  4. Import your scan into your modeling software.  
  5. Incorporate your scan into your model or project, or use it as a reference as you build something new.

Modeling file types

Depending on your modeling software, you may need to export your scan in a specific file type.  The most common file type for modeling software is an OBJ file, but SOL support many more.
File Format
Background & Usage
STL files describe only the surface geometry of a three-dimensional object without any representation of color, texture or other common CAD model attributes. The STL format specifies both ASCII and binary representations. Binary files are more common, since they are more compact.  (Learn More)
An OBJ file is a standard 3D image format that can be exported and opened by various 3D image editing programs. It contains a three-dimensional object including 3D coordinates, texture maps, polygonal faces, and other object information.  The OBJ format is widely considered to be a universal format for 3D image editing applications. The OBJ file commonly contains references to one or more .MTL files, which contains surface shading material.  (Learn More)
PLY is a computer file format known as the Polygon File Format or the Stanford Triangle Format. It was principally designed to store three-dimensional data from 3D scanners. The data storage format supports a relatively simple description of a single object as a list of nominally flat polygons. A variety of properties can be stored, including: color and transparency, surface normals, texture coordinates and data confidence values. The format permits one to have different properties for the front and back of a polygon. (Learn More)
3D interchange file format used for exchanging digital assets between multiple graphics programs; based on the COLLADA (COLLAborative Design Activity) XMLschema, which is now owned and developed by Autodesk.
The XYZ file format is a chemical file format. There is no formal standard and several variations exist.  The file format is used in computational chemistry programs for importing and exporting geometries.
One common file type that is not currently supported by SOL is the STP or STEP file.  A STP file is a 3D assembly file supported by various mechanical design programs such as TurboCAD and Fusion 360. It contains three-dimensional object data saved in the Standard for the Exchange of Product Data (STEP) format. STP files are saved in a text-based ASCII format that conforms to the STEP Application Protocols ISO 10303-2xx. 
STP files are primarily used for transferring 3D graphics between different CAD and CAM systems. Many manufacturers use the STP file for designing and pricing molds or manufactured parts.


3D Modeling software is varied and which package you use will be highly dependent on your needs, knowledge, budget and other factors.  Here are some of the packages frequently used.
Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing and 2D animation pipeline.
Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It's used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!
Autodesk Fusion 360
Fusion 360 is a 3D CAD/CAM software tool with professional capabilities but is far more user-friendly than other professional solid-body 3D modeling software. The program encompasses the whole process of planning, testing and executing a 3D design. It has powerful parametric tools and analytic mesh tools that are well-suited to most challenges in industrial design.
Rhino3D modeling software is used in processes of computer-aided design(CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), rapid prototyping, 3D printing, and reverse engineering in industries including architecture, industrial design (e.g.automotive design, watercraft design), product design (e.g. jewelry design), as well as for multimedia and graphic design.


Explore workflows

Scan-to-Print  Scan-to-Model Scan-to-Share