Scan Tracker for Next Engine

by aeron203, published

Scan Tracker for Next Engine by aeron203 Jun 14, 2011

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This device sits on your Next Engine scanning platform to help you get the best quality scans. It works by providing extra geometry to increase alignment accuracy. This is especially useful for scanning objects that have a very regular shape like a sphere or a cylinder. It also helps with manual initial alignment by giving you recognizable reference points.

A volume-optimized version of the Scan Tracker is available from Shapeways at http://shpws.me/1Uvl. The Nylon will partly diffuse the laser light. To increase the accuracy, the Dark Grey Strong and Flexible material will help prevent this. Printing on a home FDM machine, you will get the best results by sanding and painting the tracker with a light grey primer.

UPDATE: The solid version here was missing many of the fillets used in the hollow version in the photo and on Shapeways. Please download version 2, which is much more fillety. Hopefully not too many were sent to print yet!


Simply place the scan tracker on the platform so that it is included in the scan. Do not trim the data out until after the scanning and alignment is complete, but do remove it before building a final mesh. When using manual alignment, be sure to click the correct reference points. The tracker has five-sided radial symmetry that could cause a bad alignment if your initial reference points are incorrect. I recommend using ten scans to build your object. The reference points will assist you in keeping track of your manual rotation as well.

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Hi do you have a copy of the setup tree I could print out and use thank you

Thanks for uploading this design ......works fine .....( from Mexicali, Mexico)
Gracias por subir el diseño..... esta trabaja muy bien ( desde Mexicali, Mexico)

gonny try this one on our scanner too

Hi, I'll have a go with my nextengine hd. I have a sculpture I need to rescan. Thanks A

How do you like your scanner? It seems more affordable than other scanners. Is it easy to use?

Ha, sorry, that didn't actually answer your question. Yes it is fairly easy to use, mostly automated. That can be a drawback if things don't work right. Bad alignment is a problem, which is why I made this. It can also be hard to get your data to it's final form, like a lo-poly mapped game model or a manifold 3d-print that still has some detail left. You need to know what you're doing and use other software for that part.

I 'm happy with the quality from the next engine, and having color is a major plus. The main drawback is that it is too slow. The speed and accuracy are no match for high-end scanners, but for basic work such as content for games and 3D printing, it's very effective. It beats the heck out of photogrammetry point-clouds which are basically useless.