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  • Writer's pictureHeather Petrone

3D Scanning Terms Every Retail Customer Should Know

3D scanning has become an invaluable technology in various industries, including retail. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just getting started with 3D scanning, it's essential to understand the key terms and concepts in this field. This glossary will serve as your reference guide, providing a clear understanding of the terminology associated with 3D scanning.

3D Scanning

The process of capturing the shape and appearance of real-world objects or environments and converting them into digital 3D models

Laser Scanning

A 3D scanning method that uses laser light to measure distances and create precise point clouds for accurate 3D models.

Structured Light Scanning

A technique that projects a pattern of light onto an object's surface, and a camera captures how the pattern distorts to create a 3D model.


The process of creating 3D models by analyzing multiple 2D images of an object or scene taken from different angles.

Point Cloud

A set of data points in 3D space that represent the shape and position of objects in a scanned environment.


A 3D model representation made up of interconnected vertices, edges, and faces that create a solid, textured surface.


The level of detail and precision in a 3D scan, typically measured in points per square inch (PPSI) or dots per inch (DPI).


The degree to which a 3D scan or model matches the real-world object's actual dimensions and shape.


The process of adjusting a 3D scanning device to ensure accurate and consistent measurements.

Texture Mapping

The process of applying 2D images or textures onto a 3D model to add color and surface details.

FOV (Field of View)

The area that a 3D scanning device can capture in a single scan or measurement.


The alignment and merging of multiple scans to create a complete 3D model, especially important in scanning large objects or environments.


The steps taken to clean, refine, and enhance a 3D scan or model after data capture.

Reverse Engineering

The process of using 3D scanning to recreate a physical object as a digital 3D model for analysis, redesign, or replication.

CAD (Computer-Aided Design)

Software used for creating, editing, and analyzing 3D models, often used in conjunction with 3D scanning.

STL (Stereolithography) File

A file format commonly used for 3D printing and computer-aided design, representing 3D geometry using triangular facets.

Haptic Device

A tool or device that provides force feedback and allows users to physically interact with 3D models in a virtual environment.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Technology that overlays digital information or 3D models onto the real world, enhancing the user's perception of their surroundings.

Virtual Reality (VR)

A computer-generated immersive environment that allows users to interact with 3D models and environments in a simulated world.

3D Scanner Software

Programs that control the 3D scanning process, manage data, and often include tools for post-processing and editing.


Revit is a comprehensive design and documentation platform widely used in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries.

Doll House

The term "Dollhouse" refers to the interactive model's ability to display a 3D representation of the entire space, which can be manipulated and explored from various angles, much like how you might view and play with a traditional dollhouse. Users can zoom in, rotate, and navigate through the space as if they were walking through it in person.


Matterport is a technology company specializing in 3D scanning and spatial data solutions. It is known for its 3D camera and software platform that allows users to capture, create, and navigate through detailed 3D models of real-world spaces.

Lidar Scanning

Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) scanning is a remote sensing technology that uses laser pulses to measure distances and create detailed 3D representations of objects, surfaces, or environments. Lidar scanning is commonly used in various fields, including geospatial mapping, autonomous vehicles, forestry, archaeology, and urban planning.


3D tagging, also known as 3D annotation or 3D tagging system, refers to the process of adding metadata or descriptive information to objects, elements, or components within a three-dimensional (3D) digital environment or model. This metadata is used to provide context, categorize, label, or identify specific elements within the 3D space.

Asset Data Capture

Asset data capture, also known as asset data collection or asset data acquisition, is the process of gathering, recording, and documenting information about physical or digital assets within an organization or system. This data typically includes details about the asset's characteristics, condition, location, and other relevant attributes.

CAD Update

A CAD (Computer-Aided Design) update refers to the process of making changes or revisions to a digital design or drawing created using CAD software. CAD updates are often necessary to reflect design modifications, corrections, or improvements in response to feedback, new requirements, or other factors.

As 3D scanning technology continues to evolve and find applications in various fields, understanding the terminology associated with it becomes increasingly important. Whether you're exploring 3D scanning for fun or planning on partnering with someone to use it in your retail space, this glossary provides a solid foundation for comprehending the key concepts and terms used in the world of 3D scanning. With this knowledge, you can confidently navigate the world of 3D scanning and unlock its full potential.

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