Category Archives: NextEngine

Some notes on getting 3D scans from the NextEngine to AutoCad

I’m not certain that anyone else has actually accomplished this other than Ryan, so I’ll mention some problems he ran into, and how we solved them:

His original scan was at very high resolution – much higher than he actually needed. It is a huge file that slows the computer down and is generally difficult to work with. It was so big that we couldn’t convert it from STL to DXF to get it into AutoCad. Solution: in the scan dialog, on the POINTS/IN slider, I suggest dial down to somewhere in the QUICK range.

But, since Ryan had already gone to the trouble of scanning, we simplified the model by selecting the FUSE tab and dialing up the SIMPLIFY slider such that the tolerance was about .2″

Ryan’s original scan created a 77MB STL. The app that James S. found for converting STL to DXF maxes out at 20MB. By simplifying it, we got it down to something like 200K.

From there, we saved as an .STL and converted it using this web app.




My friend Mary Early gave me a small sculpture a few days ago – I thought it would be an interesting form to test out on the new NextEngine scanner, but it turned out to be a little too large of a volume –

I learned:

  1. The optimal volume is about a 4″ cubic envelop.
  2. At the smallest resolution setting, it took more than 20 minutes to scan.

Here’s the NextEngine manual:

NextEngine User Manual

And I tried scanning to 123D Catch several times, but all attempts failed. I’m not sure if it is the object [all white, not enough texture to map between images] or if my AutoDesk account has gotten completely corrupted…