Home > 3D Printer > 3D Printer FAQ

Can 3D Printers Scan Objects?

The Difference Between 3D Scanners and 3D Printers
Last Updated on March 29, 2023
Can 3D Printers Scan Objects?
PC Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More
You can trust PC Guide: Our team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate - which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

3D printers are changing the world and at a very rapid rate too. And this has made people wonder just how much they can do. The average person who uses 3D printers has many questions on their mind, and one of these questions is, “can 3D printers scan objects?”

This article contains the answer to this question and an insight into some things you can achieve with a 3D printer.

3D printers were not designed for scanning objects. So, it is impossible to scan an object using a 3D printer. However, as soon as you can scan an object with a 3D scanner or a regular scanner app on a smartphone, you can go on and print it with a 3D printer.

When working with a 3D scanner and aiming to create a specific design, you can achieve a lot without putting in too much effort.

What Exactly is 3D Scanning?

3D scanning is a technique of capturing a physical item’s shape digitally. A line of laser light does it, and there is usually no physical contact.

3D scanners have a design that enables them to capture an item’s shape and size. 

3D scanners work in various ways. As much as these ways are different, they all have something in common. They develop physical data that relates to an object’s geometrics. 

Some 3D scanning techniques are:

  • Laser 3D scanning technique
  • Structured light scanning technique
  • Photogrammetry technique

What are the Benefits of 3D Scanning?

3D scanning, as a manufacturing method, is just beginning to grow in popularity and offers several benefits.

Some of them are:

  • It helps you spend less time designing
  • It makes it possible to bring in newer objects as a replacement for older ones.
  • 3D scanning ensures that the prototype process is a lot faster.
  • You can remanufacture parts without using Computer-Aided Design.

Maria is a contributer to PC Guide, highly-interested in productivity and AI tools, and ensuring the inclusion of detailed product info and coverage across versus pieces.