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 IU Trident Indiana University

UITS Research Technologies

Cyberinfrastructure enabling research and creative activities

3D Scanning and Digital Object Preparation


AVL staff maintain knowledge and have established workflows broadly related to object and environment scanning. The Lab owns and operates multiple 3D scanners appropriate for a wide range of object sizes. These scanners may be used in Lab facilities or loaned on a case by case basis. The AVL can also leverage existing relationships with IU researchers and external companies to borrow or rent additional digitizing technologies as needed. Complementing the scanning (digital object creation) process, and often utilized in preparation for digital fabrication (i.e. 3D printing), Lab staff are well versed in converting and manipulating all types of digital 3D models. AVL has established relationships enabling the cost-effective fabrication of digital objects using on- and off-campus fabrication centers. The Lab’s 3D scanning and data preparation expertise and equipment has been utilized in medical studies, to create and build human prosthetics, to scan real-world objects that will be incorporated into virtual environments, to create original art and sculpting exhibits for display in personal and public spaces, and many other ways. 

Scanning systems

The Lab’s premier scanning equipment is a pair of Creaform GoScan units. Both units are handheld and connect to a laptop. This combination of professional scanners will cover a broad range of object sizes with high accuracy. The GoScan 20 targets small to medium size objects (2” – 20”) with very high accuracy (0.004”) while the GoScan 50 in intended for use on medium to larger objects (1’ – 10’) with slightly lower, but still high, accuracy (0.020”). Example objects include large animal bones, vases, furniture, and mechanical parts. They have the ability to scan objects with peaks, valleys, and occluded surfaces (e.g. skulls, intricate sculptures, and detailed engineering components). The GoScan units are a professional solution and offer quantifiable resolution and accuracy accepted in the field of metrology. They are self-calibrating and self-registering which considerably reduces setup and post-processing time.

Creaform GoScan


If you use one of these systems or our services, please acknowledge and reference the help of the Indiana University Advanced Visualization Lab. The Advanced Visualization Lab is a unit of the Research Technologies division of University Information Technologies Service and is affiliated with the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University.