3D Objects

Bring textiles, artefacts, sculptures and 3D objects to life. No matter what the object, we can digitise it at your place or ours in our Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch offices, offering a true digital representation as 3D digital files. Find out what you can achieve with digitising your object collection into 3D digital files.

The Capture Equipment

The portable GoSCAN50 is a Structured-Light hand-held scanner used by NZMS digitisation technicians to capture your 3D objects. The scanner flashes a patterned light onto an object (similar to a giant QR code) from a video projector within the hand-held device. The cameras on the scanner register the deformation and the software computes the 3D properties from this data as a point cloud, which is converted to a 3D mesh.

The Object Size

The GoSCAN50 can capture objects from as small as 100mm up to 3000mm. An object larger than 380mm(sq) may require positioning dots to be applied to the object. This allows us to capture an object of any size as the 3D software stitches the captured areas together using the positioning dots as a reference.

The Timing

The time it takes to scan a 3D object will depend on the size and complexity of your object, its texture and the intricacies of the shape, however, a typical smooth object the size of 300mm2 is quick to scan.

Following the initial scan of your object the magic happens during the PCP (Post-Capture-Processing) stage. The time spent manipulating the data will again depend on the complexity of the object, as some objects may take a longer time to ensure all the intricacies of the object are captured accurately.

The Environment / Location

The portable GoSCAN50 is a lightweight point and shoot device that is easily packed down into a carry case. The beauty of the Structured-Light scanning technology means the object can be captured in most well-light rooms. This allows us to easily pack up the equipment from our in-house suite and come on-site to your location where your collections are stored safely within your archive.


The Process


Either in-house or onsite the set up of the capture equipment is quick and can be done from any well-lit space, we recommend a space with enough room to move about the object being captured while being able to view the laptop screen to aid the scanning process.


Your 3D object is scanned using the hand-held GoSCAN50 device. The Scanner projects White LED ‘Structured Light’ onto the object to reflect the image and object dimensions into the camera of the device.

Positioning dots may need to be applied to the object and the capture surface as a reference for the scanner to create the 3D data. As the item is scanned it appears on screen as real-time visualisation to allow user friendly capture to ensure each crease and crevice of the object is captured.

The object can be swivelled on a capture stage to minimise the handling of the object while digitising, or if the item is of particular detail, fragility or complexity we can scan the item while it is being held by a trusted conservation professional.


Like photography, once the scanning is complete the files need further processing to ensure the best image is obtained – this can include cleaning and manipulating the data to ensure the object is 3D print ready. The smart post treatment software “VXmodel: SCAN-TO-CAD” enables finalisation / preparation of 3D scan data to use directly in any 3D printing or CAD software, or to export as .obj and .txt files for sharing and viewing online.

The Quality

The GoSCAN50 produces a quality image that is affordable and quick to capture. Our team of expert Digitisation Technicians take the raw 3D scan and perform post capture enhancements and manipulations to ensure the object is captured correctly and produces an accurate 3D model. As with any digital capture this is an important step to ensure the digital reproduction is as accurate to the original as possible.

The GoSCAN50 has a minimum resolution of 0.5mm and a depth of field of 250mm.

The types of objects we scan

Examples of 3D objects in a Cultural Heritage collection that can be digitised;

  • Archeological objects
  • Artefacts
  • Historical objects
  • Cultural objects
  • Tools
  • Obsolete and historical household objects
  • Sculptures and vases
  • Models (architectural, ships and planes etc
  • Interior environments (inside of a plane cockpit)
  • Textiles and clothing
  • Medals and memorabilia

Are there any objects the GoSCAN50 cannot scan accurately?

Objects with a high level of texture such as some fabrics, textiles and taxidermy where natural fibres are frayed and complex to replicate in a digital environment. Objects that are shiny and metallic may also be difficult to digitally replicate their reflective qualities.

Please get in touch with our 3D experts to find a solution that will suit the digital capture of your object.

The Output

The GoSCAN50 will produce any kind of object or texture file you would require such as; .dae, .fbx, .mz, .obj, .ply, .stl, .txt, .wrl, .x3d, .x3dz, .zpr. However, we recommend a neutral .obj file for ease of access and sharing.

The texture resolution ranges from 50 – 150DPI at 24 bits.

Digitise your object collection today