3D scanning (also known as laser scanning) is a surface-based three-dimensional measurement technique. Initial scans result in a large quantity of points in a systematic pattern referred to as a point cloud. After the raw point data has have been processed the results can be displayed as line drawings, CAD models, 3D surface models, or video animations (Boehler and Marbs 2004).
NLURA uses a desktop based NextEngine 3D scanner HD with accompanying ScanStudio software to produce 3D digital artifact models. This instrument has two scanning platforms, the Auto Drive and Multi Drive, and is designed with built-in studio lighting and two 3.0 megapixel image sensors in order to record shadow free photographic information on surface and texture.
Digital models are produced as .scn files but can be converted to other file formats such as .obj, .ply, .stl, .vrml, and .xyz. We can also format the model and imbed it into a .pdf document making the digital file accessible without special software.