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Beginner's Tutorial for your ASUS 3D Scanner

Beginner's Tutorial for your ASUS 3D Scanner

The photo to the right depicts the ASUS Xtion PRO 3D scanner located in the DASL lab. The scanner works by sending out pulses of light and recording how long it takes for the pulse to reflect back to the scanner. A sensor picks up the pulse of light that reflects of an object and determines the distance from the object by triangulation. As the laser reflects off the scanned object, the scanner can determine at what angle the pulse is returning to the sensor.

The purpose of this tutorial is to give a quick run through on how to scan an object with the ASUS 3D scanner using Artec Studio so you can then scan your own part later and 3D print it!


Installing the 3D Scanning Software

  • Note: If you have used a 3D Scanner before and have installed Artec and the proper drivers on your computer, then you may skip this part.

3D Scanners collect immense amounts of data, so software like Artec or ReconstructMe are needed to process the data into something usable that other software can handle. This tutorial will use the Artec Studio scanning software to scan an object and convert it into a CAD model that can be printed later using a 3D printer.

Before installing Artec, you will need to install the proper drivers to use the ASUS scanner. OpenNI provides an open source software development kit (SDK) that includes all other software needed for this tutorial.

    Note: Before you install anything, make sure your computer is updated with the latest graphics driver. You can download the latest one from the manufacturer's website. For Artec, it is recommended that you have AMD or Nvidia.

1. Download and install the OpenNI SDK.

2. Download the Kinect Drivers and unzip.

3. Open the unzipped folder and navigate to the Bin folder. Run the msi Windows file.

4. Download and install the OpenNI-Compliant Sensor Driver (NiTE).

5. Download and install the OpenNI-Compliant Sensor Driver.

6. Plug in your ASUS scanner. Wait until the driver software is found and applied. Navigate to the Device Manager through the Control Panel, and you should see that your computer has recognized the scanner.

Now you have the proper drivers installed, you can try out the existing demo applications at C:\Program Files\OpenNI\Samples\Bin\Release.

7. Lastly, download and install Artec Studio from their main website here. This will require creating an account on the website from which you can upload your scans for others to download. Be sure to also save your username and password because you will use them again later.

    Note: During the installation, you will be asked if you want to install OpenNI 2 and additional drivers. DO NOT install any more drivers because you already installed the necessary drivers to use ASUS.

Scanning your Part

Artec is a 3D scanning software with a user-friendly interface. It is essential that you have updated your graphics driver because this program will really work your computer and use up a lt of your CPU memory.

For this tutorial, the object that will be scanned is a computer monitor, though you can feel free to scan whatever you wish as long as you are able to scan the entire object completely.

1. To start scanning your part, click on the Artec Studio icon.

2. Click "Scan" in the top-left corner of the screen.

3. The Scan tab will appear on the left side of the screen. Click on "Advanced" and be sure to check the "Don't record texture" box. Most computers will not be able to handle the textures, causing the program to crash. Better to be safe by leaving textures off for now.

4. Click on the green "Preview" button to start the scanner. On the screen you will see what the scanner sees. Any blue area represents what the scanner sees now in the preview. The range and frame rate at which the scanner scans can be adjusted in the Scan tab, but for now, keep everything as is.

5. Click on the "Record" button to start the actual scanning process. Parts of the image will turn green while the the rest will remain gray. Green particles are parts of the image that are being recorded and updated while gray particles are objects that were already recorded.

6. Slowly pan around the object, making sure you scan every side of it. Be sure to scan slowly, because scanning too quickly will cause the scanner to lose track of the object's position, in which case, you will have to stop the scan and try again. When you are done, click the Stop button to finish the scan.

8. When you are done, the scan should appear on the screen like so and in the Workspace tab on the right side of the screen, the scan should be called Scan1. If you don't like how the scan looks, feel free to delete this scan and perform another one. This scan will later be polished and tidied up for exporting.

Fixing Up your Scan

Here you will clean up your scan to prepare it for exporting. The scan will be smoothed and the background will be removed leaving only the scan.

1. Click on the Tools button on the left side of the screen. Doing so will cause the scan to undergo Fine Serial Registration algorithm to commence. What this does is try to align some of the frames and rate the overall quality of the scan. You can see this quality under the Workspace tab. Lower ranking means higher quality and higher ranking means lower quality. If the overall quality of the scan is greater 3, you should probably do the scan again.

4. Click on Global Registration to commence the Global Registration algorithm. What this does it it tries to align all the individual frames that make the scan. You will see a window that asks if you want to switch to Geometric only registration. Just click Yes for this.

5. Click Fast Fusion under the Fusion section. What fusion does, as the name implies, is fuse the frames together to create a mesh of the overall scan. Fast Fusion does a quick mesh while Smooth Fusion and Sharp Fusion produce preserve the finer parts of the scan like smooth and sharp edges. Your mesh should look much cleaner and an item will appear in the Workspace called Fast Fusion1.

6. Because we just want to just print the object, we will need to get rid of the background. On the left side of the screen, click Editor, then Eraser. These are the tools you will use to remove parts of the scan we don't need. To start erasing, simply hold down the Ctrl key and the left mouse button to highlight parts in red. Erase the red parts by clicking on the Erase button.

  • 2D selection allows for a 2D section of the scan to be erased.
  • 3D selection allows for only the 3D surface of a scan to be erased.
  • Rectangular selection allows for an entire portion of the scan to be erased by highlighting that portion in a box.

The only thing left on the screen should be your object.

7. As you can see, there are still holes in the mesh. To fill these holes, click on the Edges button in the left side of the screen. In the Edges tab is a list of all the holes that the mesh still contains. To fill these holes, click Select All to check all the holes, then click Fill Holes to fill all the selected holes. Once the holes are filled, click Apply to save the changes made.

8. To add finishing touches, go back to the Tools tab and use any of the tools under Post-Processing to smooth everything out and add finer details. You can also use the Smooth Brush in the Editor tab to manually smooth out surfaces that seem to bumpy. The Eraser can also be used to erase any more unwanted parts, but doing so will recreate holes that must be filled.

Exporting your Scan for Printing

Here the completed mesh will be exported and uploaded on the Viewshape website for others to see and download. On n the full version of Artec, you would typically go to "File" then "Export Mesh", but that is not available on the trial version. To save this as a .stl, you would upload the mesh on the website, then download the part.

1. To start uploading the mesh, click Publish on the left side of the screen. This opens the Publish tab where you can change things such as license, privacy, and name of the mesh. For now, just rename the mesh to something you would recognize later. When you are done, click Publish.

2. Go to the Viewshape website. Click the Login key in the top-right corner of the screen and type in your email and password you created earlier when registering for Artec.

3. Once logged on, place the mouse cursor over your name in the top-right corner of the screen then click My Gallery.

4. In My Gallery, you can see all the meshes you uploaded from Artec. Under the mesh you just uploaded, click Edit. Check mark "Everyone can download shape" to make the mesh available for download, then click Publish.

5. Afterwards, you can click back on your mesh and from here, download it as a .ply file.

6. To convert the .ply file into a .stl file for printing, use a mesh processing software to import the file, then export it as a .stl. I recommend using MeshLab for this task.

Final Words

Congragulations! You now know the process of scanning and editing your first object. This tutorial was meant to be a quick run though scanning your first object. For more information on 3D Scanning, visit the wiki page here.

Below are 3D meshes of a chair and Hubo hand from DASL.

If you need any questions answered, email me at

drexel_star_asus_scanner.txt · Last modified: 2016/11/07 22:15 by dwallace