Scanning Takes On a New Dimension

Scanning Takes On a New Dimension


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The Autodesk 123D App is palm of your hand free scanning technology which will change the way you store memories, archive valuables, and tell stories. With the quick download and opening of a free app on your smart device, you can be ready to create your first capture project in minutes.

This week I went from being introduced to the technology to pitching the use of it in a matter of 48 hours. Once you see how easy it is to use, the applications for capturing images on your phone and having them stitched together to create a 2D or 3D image or virtual reality scene become endless.

The city community recreational committee that for which I volunteer mentioned that they have some oversized documents, plans, drawings and books that they have always wanted to scan but are unable because they don’t own a scanner large enough.

I realized immediately that this was a problem that scanning with a mobile for or tablet could fix. With the snap of 20-40 photos from all angles, the communities precious items could be archived forever.

I explained to the board director how the Smithsonian is now using this technology. The city was highly interested in having me help them solve this problem when I mentioned the app is free. This kind of technology can change how things are archived and yet not burden the city with having to request funding and get approval for an expensive new scanner.

This type of technology will affect my career in ways that are still yet unforeseeable but it is certain to become a mainstream in journalism that could ultimately replace the flat one-dimensional image that traditionally accompanies a print story.

For instance, I can see how incorporating this technology could be used in telling a story about a craft beer brewery. The journalist could follow the brewer through the beer making process and show from every angle how beer is made from inside the barrels to the 3 Dimensional pour.

Cheers to the exciting future of scanning and imaging taking on a new dimension.


I used 123D App to capture a tiara, a water bottle, last night and a baseball cap this morning. The baseball cap is still processing, but I have learned a few things.

The water bottle is difficult because it is clear. It didn’t register the top part of the bottle. I called it the “failed water bottle.” I didn’t even try to clean it up in MeshLab since half the bottle was missing. You can see what happened here in AutoDesk 123D

The tiara worked well except that it created a background between the edges that I was unable to remove in MeshLab despite some Googling and a ton of experimentation. I was really missing Photoshop and the select tool to remove textures/colors! I look forward to learning how to do that in MeshLab.

You can see the tiara here: and see how it created a creme color texture which deepened in color when I imported it into Sketchfab. It is not as “matted” in AutoDesk 123D

I will add the baseball cap as soon as it is done, probably after work tonight–it is no quick process, and I have learned that you need to give yourself a few hours for processing. We will see if my process improves! I used a spotlight and a clear stand to elevate it off of the ground so that I could photograph the underneath of the hat as well.

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