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3D Scanner Suggestion

Hello all,

One of my main purchases for the new year is going to be a
image/slide/3d (small jewelry) scanner. I’ve been trying to research
a good quality image/picture scanner that also scans small 3d pieces
(like jewelry) and slides as well.

Most likely I’d use these images on a web but from time to time I
may print them so I’d prefer the images to scan at a quality that
requires little or no touch up in Photoshop (hate to be picky here
but I hate spending hours on end with touch ups…unless it’s using a
file on my metalwork). I’m sure the more expensive scanners will
provide better quality scanned images and slides.

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or had experience
(both good and bad) on certain models/brands I should invest in or
stay away from.

Lauren Anabela Beaudoin

Lauren: I just bought a epson perfection v100 photo and I am very
happy with the results on all counts. I scanned photos, negatives,
slides and finished pieces.


Hi Lauren,

I believe that modern scanners that have a good depth of focus are
rare and expensive dedicated 3D scanners. I have found that the old
(obsolete?) scanners that have a single white light tube will scan 3D
objects. New scanners have triple light tubes and cannot focus more
than a few millimeters, but are faster and have a higher resolution.

With the above in mind, I purchased a Hewlett-Packard ScanJet 4100C
at a garage sale to try out. The software drivers came on a floppy
disc made for Windows 95; my computer doesn’t have a floppy drive but
luckily Windows XP found the scanner and drives it! It scans jewelery
wery well, in colour, with a good depth of focus and a max resolution
of 600dpi. I use it for snapshots of my work, not studio quality, but
the quickest way to get acceptable reference pictures in digital


I have found that the old (obsolete?) scanners that have a single
white light tube will scan 3D objects. 

So that explains it! My old Visioneer scanner scanned jewelery
beautifully. But when the computer software was updated to Windows
XP, the scanner software wouldn’t convert. I bought an all-in-one
printer/scanner by HP - it’s really disappointing for scanning
jewelry. Sooooo, when the old computer was found short of memory, I
had it wiped and reinstalled Windows 98 and the scanner software.
Back in 3-D scanning business again!

Judy in Kansas, who prefers to recycle when possible

Thanks, Judy, for that suggestion. I noticed that my new Dell
all-in-one scanner (as much as I like it for printing photos) didn’t
do a very good job at making pictures of 3d objects placed on the
glass, compared to my old Astra.

But I have to object to calling what you’re doing with these flatbed
2d scanners “3d scanning”. That just leads to confusion about a
product most people don’t know much about. Real 3d scanners yield 3d
output, not just pictures. They use a laser or touch probe to gather
positional from the surface of a 3d object, so that the
object can be reconstructed in 3d and reproduced with a mill or RP
machine. They tend to be more expensive than 2d scanners, but they
address an entirely different task.

Andrew Werby