3D Scanning Sculpture


3D Scanning Sculpture & Original Works of Art

Superscan 3D provide 3D scanning services for an extensive list of leading British contemporary Artists and Sculptors who have now discovered the commercial benefits of this amazing technology.

We are able to 3D scan many different types of materials such as: stone, wood, clay, metal, foam, plastic, glass and even porcelain. We use the very latest aerospace none contact scanning technology to achieve amazing 3D scans accurate to 0.3mm. Such accuracy usually enables us to capture an Artists touch and expression.

We are typically able to 3D scan objects upwards of 30cm. Once scanned, objects can be digitally re-scaled to the desired physical output scale. We can then either use CNC milling to produce larger physical mould masters, or 3D printing to produce smaller physical mould masters.

Finally, the output mould masters are carefully hand finished ready for the final bronze casting stage, or whatever output medium the client requires. Hence, 3D scanning sculpture is a real game changer for Artists and Sculptors, as it enables high detail limited edition copies to be produced at virtually any scale!


3D scanning sculpture - Bronze foundry replicas - UK
Photograph of original bronze by Bushra Fakhoury


Post Scan Digital Cleanup – How does it work?

Once an object has been carefully 3D scanned, the 3D scan data needs to then go through a post-scan cleanup process before it can be used for 3D printing or CNC milling. This is what we refer to as ‘Post Scan Digital Cleanup’. We import the RAW 3D scan data into various 3D modelling applications, in order to remove any anomalies or errors in the RAW 3D scan data, and iron out any slight imperfections in the 3D polygon mesh.


3D scan of sculpture - UK - Superscan 3D
Actual 3D scan data being cleaned up in ZBrush – Click or touch image to ZOOM


Consider that 3D scanners capture surface information, and are ‘Line of Sight Technology Devices’. This means they digitally acquire physical objects using optical capture, for which there are various technologies available (White Light, Photogrammetry, Lidar/Laser and variants).

Of course, light travels in a straight line, hence certain physical objects can prove difficult to scan where line of sight is restricted (cavities, holes, restricted areas). In these situations it is usually necessary to carry out alterations to the digital 3D mesh, using specialist post scan 3D software.


How 3D scanning sculpture can help Artists & Sculptors
Click or touch image to ZOOM


Occasionally, a 3D scanner may not be able to capture every precise detail due to varying surface characteristics. Common surface challenges tend to be shiny or highly polished surfaces, satin surfaces, dark or black surfaces, powdery or flakey surfaces, as well as wet or slightly damp surfaces.


A 3D scan of a bronze sculpture - UK - 3D Scanning Services
Click or touch image to ZOOM


The various images on this page show various screen captures of us cleaning up the above 3D scan using Z-Brush software. Think of Z-Brush as an application that enables us to digitally sculpt the 3D scan data, which is actually a high density polygon mesh. Z-Brush refer to this process as ‘digital clay’. Hence we are able to make certain surface repairs in preparation for 3D printing, CNC milling or whatever output application is required. Remember, this is digital data! If you don’t fix the RAW 3D scan data, your 3D printer or CNC device will simply reproduce the file it receives, errors included!

This incredible technology also allows us to 3D scan certain sculptures in 24-bit colour. This then enables us to generate a precise 3D digital-double, which can be used for online interactive, conservation research, TV documentaries and many other digital applications.

3D scanning also enables us to ‘Up’ or ‘Down’ scale original sculptures. Hence, some well known Artists are now using our services to accurately reproduce previous works for public exhibitions and private commissions. 


Talk to one of the team on (01908) 915523 


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