What is 3D scanning?

3D scanning is a fast and highly accurate method of generating detailed insights about a part to assist product development. Utilising complex laser technology, 3D scanning gives precise data on surface curve, smoothness, contours, features, geometries, tolerances, and other measurements. This makes it a highly effective tool for both comprehensive quality inspection and reverse engineering. As a handheld, non-contact method, 3d scanning can be used for parts of all sizes and materials. Scans can come in the form of point clouds, mesh models or colour maps, and can be converted to CAD files by LPE’s in-house team for part recreation.

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3D Scanning Services at LPE

To complement our leading 3d printing and additive manufacturing solutions, LPE offer two separate 3d scanning services:

Quality Inspection

A time-efficient and highly effective method of inspecting parts, 3D scanning can help maintain quality standards and minimise production errors. Parts can be verified for functional performance, fit and assembly compatibility. LPE’s in-house scanner (HandySCAN Silver Series) is a standard bearer in aerospace and motorsport, with an accuracy of 0.030mm and a volumetric accuracy of 0.020 ± 0.060 mm/m. By producing highly precise, detailed scans of printed parts and overlaying them onto your CAD files, we can identify any deviations from your original drawings and ensure the final part meets your exact specifications.

Click here to download a sample inspection report.

As a feature of our comprehensive quality control offering, part inspection by 3D Scanning can be included in your tailored quality inspection package. Click here to find out more about the quality packages we can offer.

Reverse Engineering

Digital scans can serve as the foundation for reverse engineering of a part. Scanned digital meshes can be converted into solid CAD models, which LPE can then use to create physical 3D printed parts in the material and quantity of your choice.

The scanned data can be used for both analysis and modification, enabling part recreation, resizing, remodelling, updating, and enhancing. Scanning can also be used to reproduce legacy parts or parts for which the original drawings are no longer available.

In 2018, LPE used 3D scans of a dinosaur skull to create exact replicas of the skull for the Natural History Museum. Click here to learn more about this.

Our Scanning Technology

Highly accurate

Highly accurate

  • With an accuracy of 0.03mm and a volumetric accuracy of 0.020mm + 0.060mm, the scanner is one of the most accurate on the market.
  • It is capable of critical part validation in aerospace, motorsport and automotive.



  • Taking up to 480,000 measurements per second, the scanner can generate exceptionally detailed reports.
  • LPE’s comprehensive scanning software package ensures reports includes highly specific information about every feature of the part, down to the most minute details.



  • The scanner can be used for parts of various sizes and materials, making it suitable for use across all major manufacturing sectors.



  • As a handheld device, the HandySCAN 700™ allows for non-invasive inspection, part reverse-engineering and part recreation.

Technical Specifications

HandySCAN 700 |Elite
ACCURACY (1)Up to 0.030 mm (0.0012 in)
VOLUMETRIC ACCURACY (2)0.020 mm+0.060 mm/m (0.0008 in + 0.0007 in/ft
VOLUMETRIC ACCURACY WITH MaxSHOT Next |Elite (3)0.020 mm + 0.015 mm/m (0.0008 in + 0.00018 in/ft)
MESH RESOLUTION0.200 mm (0.0078 in)
MEASUREMENT RATE480,000 measurements/s
LIGHT SOURCE7 blue laser crosses (+1 extra line)
LASER CLASS2M (eye safe)
SCANNING AREA275 x 250 mm (10.8 x 9.8 in)
STAND-OFF DISTANCE300 mm (11.8 in)
DEPTH OF FIELD250 mm (9.8 in)
PART SIZE RANGE (recommended)0.1 - 4 m (0.3 - 13 ft)
OUTPUT FORMATS.dae, .fbx, .ma, .obj, .ply, .stl, .txt, .wrl, .x3d, .x3dz, .zpr, .3mf
COMPATIBLE SOFTWARE3D Systems (Geomagic Solutions), InnovMetric Software (PolyWorks), Metrologic Group (Metrolog X4), New River Kinemativcs (Spatial Analyzer), Verisurf, Dassault Systemes (CATIA V5, SOLIDWORKS), PTC (Creo), Siemens (NX, Solid Edge), Autodesk (Inventor, PowerINSPECT)
WEIGHT0.85 kg (1.9lb)
DIMENSIONS (LxWxH)77 x 122 x 294 mm (3.0 x 4.8 x 11.6 in)
OPERATING TEMPERATURE RANGE (non-condensing)5-40*C (41-104*F)
OPERATING HUMIDITY RANGE (non - condensing)10-90%
CERTIFICATIONSEC Compliance (Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive, Low Voltage Directive), compatible with rechargeable batteries (when applicable), IP50, WEEE
PATENTSCA 2,600,926, CN 200680014069.3 US 7,912,673, CA 2,656,163, EP(FR, UK, DE) 1,877,726, AU 2006222458, US 8,032,327, JP 4,871,352, US 8,140,295, EO (FR, UK, DE) 2,278,271, EP (FR, UK, DE) 2,230,482, IN 266, 573, US 7, 487,O63, CA 2,529,044, EP (FR, UK, DE) 3,102,908, US 15/114,563, CN 201580007340X


  • Degradation measurement
  • Part resizing
  • Legacy part recreation
  • Part replication
  • Industrial design
  • Reverse-engineering
  • Orthopaedics
  • Dental
  • Aerospace
  • Medical imaging
  • Heritage/artefact preservation
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Part augmentation
  • Training
  • Film & TV props


  • Are my parts still quality assured without 3D scanning?

    All parts are manufactured to ISO9001 standard. Scanning may form part of the quality inspection report for your component if a drawing is supplied and an FAI requested.

  • Is 3D scanning a standalone service or is it done in conjunction with 3D printing?

    3D scanning is offered both as a feature of our tailored quality packages for 3d printed parts and as a reverse engineering service which can include part recreation via 3d printing. However, LPE also offer a standalone inspection service, for legacy parts or parts that were manufactured elsewhere.

  • How much will 3D scanning add to the cost of my project?

    Pricing depends on several factors including the size and complexity of the component, and the visual accessibility of its features (this affects the speed at which data can be collected).

    It also depends on the purpose for which scanning is required. For example, reverse engineering entails conversion of scans to CAD files, whereas quality inspection. Additional requirements like this will cost more.

  • Will 3D scanning add to my lead times?

    Quality inspections will add 1-2 days to project lead time. Lead times for reverse engineering can range of several days to several weeks depending on quantity and complexity of components. Please contact us for a specific lead time estimate.

Contact us now for a fast, competitive quotation on your latest project.