By Jason Vander Griendt

February 2, 2024 at 10:02 pm

An example of a container base and lid from a cleaned up and modified 3D scan we completed recently

Here at JCAD, we offer a full range of manufacturing-related services — CAD design, 3D printing, 3D scanning, prototyping, mold making, mass manufacturing etc. But what some people might not realize is that we can also mix and match these services depending on what you need. One example of this is our 3D scanning clean up and modification service, where we help take messy or incomplete 3D scans and convert them into useful CAD files; helping you to refine or iterate on the original scan in order to bring your vision to life with precision and care.

Why Would You Need 3D Scanning Clean Up Or Modification Services?

3D scans can be hard to get perfect. Often the STL file they produce won’t result in a production ready CAD file and will throw errors when you try to 3D print from them. With our clean up and mod service we can help you to refine and enhance your 3D scans, making sure they meet high standards of both aesthetics, functionality and production capability. By working with us we’ll assist you in turning anything from a simple product update or reproduction to a groundbreaking new idea into real-world, industry-leading products.

Do you already have a 3D scan that’s a bit of a mess or needs changes? Send it to us!

If you already have a 3D scan, but:

  • the scan is not clean
  • you need help converting it from an error-prone STL file into a usable file type for further CAD work or 3D printing / manufacturing such as a STEP or IGES file
  • you need to work with the file in a program like Fusion 360 or Inventor
  • you want to iterate on your 3D scan by making modifications (either small or large)
  • you need help to prototype or 3D print your part or turn it into a mold

Give us a call today on 1-888-202-2052 or send us a quote request and let’s talk about how to get the file to us and the next steps in the process.

If you don’t have a 3D scan yet, keep reading.

No 3D Scan Yet? Here Are Two Ways to Create a 3D Scan

There are two different ways you can create a 3D scan of a part or product:

  1. Trying to do the scan yourself or trying to find someone local to you to do the scanning for you
  2. Sending the part or product to us for 3D scanning

In the sections below we’ll discuss the pros and cons of these options.

Opting for DIY or local 3D Scanning

3D scanning is quite a technical process, often requiring specialized hardware and software and a good dose of technical know-how. While the do-it-yourself (DIY) route may appear tempting, it comes with often overlooked complexities and costs in both time and money.

Some of the Challenges of DIY 3D Scanning:

  • Sunk Cost Investment Considerations: Professional 3D scanning equipment can be a significant financial commitment which doesn’t make sense for one-time or infrequent projects. The only time it really makes sense to purchase equipment is if you’re going to do this for a living like us. Amateur 3D scanning apps on your phone can do an okay job, but expect a lot of clean up work to get a usable file.
  • Hard to Develop Skill and Know-How: As a beginner, 3D scanning is hard and the learning curve is steep. This is another area where the more experienced an operator is, the less clean up work is required to turn a scan into a usable CAD file.
  • Poor Accessibility and Lack of Convenience: If your DIY approach involves finding a reliable local 3D scanning provider, this can be a challenge, with difficulty either in finding a service that is close to you, or open at a time when you can get there. The benefit of a local service, however, is that they should help you get your scan into a usable state.

If this is your first 3D scanning project, the time, cost and stress honestly is not likely worth it, as you will save money, time and headaches by outsourcing the 3D scanning process. While you might be able to find some local to do it, pricing for face-to-face services can vary widely, and depending on what other services they offer, you may still need to contact another manufacturing company to get your project finished with 3D printing, prototyping, mold making etc.

Our In-House 3D Scanning Service

The better alternative to trying to DIY your 3D scan or organizing for a local 3D scanning service of questionable quality and unknown pricing is to use our in-house 3D scanning service.

It’s really easy. All you have to do is reach out for a quote. If you’re happy with the price — which you will likely find is a lot more affordable than local 3D scanning shops — simply mail us the part or product to be scanned. We will quickly create the 3D scan for you before returning your original part.

The Benefits of Our In-House 3D Scanning Service:

There are a number of benefits that come with our in-house service compared to trying to DIY or getting a smaller local shop to 3D scan for you.

  • Affordability and Value: Our in-house services are designed to be cost-effective, offering you the best quality at competitive prices. We have the latest, hi-tech 3D scanning hardware and highly skilled technicians so you can be sure to get an amazing 3D scan.
  • Removing Complexities: We eliminate the need for you to find and coordinate with local 3D scanning services, saving you time and hassle. And if you want to take the project further into 3D printing, prototyping or manufacturing services we can look after the whole process for you, so you only need to deal with one point of contact.
  • Very Fast Turnaround Times: We understand that time is money. We have a large team and (if needed) can work around the clock to make sure we hit your deadlines without compromising on detail and accuracy. Not to mention that we’ll get a quote back to you in 5 – 10 minutes of receiving your project specs.
  • Streamlined Efficiency: Managing both the 3D scanning and CAD conversion processes in-house means fewer points of contact, reducing the likelihood of miscommunication between multiple providers and streamlining the overall project flow.

A 3D scan of a ship model used to create a protective frame
A 3D scan of an expensive ship model we cleaned up and used as part of a foam carving project

3D Scanning STL to CAD Conversion

Once you have a 3D scanned file, you might find that it’s not in the right format for what you want to do, eg. 3D print, create a mold etc.

We can take your lower quality 3D scan and trace over it, before converting your file/s into a wide array of CAD formats.

Usually a 3D scan will be an STL file, but trying to print from the scan without further clean up or modification will likely result in printing errors. No matter if you need a STEP, IGES, Solidworks, Catia, Fusion360 or Inventor file (or any other CAD file type) we can make sure you get exactly the right format you need for your intended purpose.

As just one example, STEP files are essential for mold creation or other manufacturing methods like CNC machining, injection molds, and vacuum casting, both of which need a high degree of precision and accuracy.

If you’re not sure what type of file you need, ask us which format will best align with your specific manufacturing needs.

Start a 3D Scanning Clean Up Project

When you work with us, you’re not just “starting a project”. What you’re doing is engaging a team focused on precision, innovation, and unparalleled quality. We will provide you with an unmatched level of expertise, commitment, and personalized service.

So if you are ready to see your 3D scans transformed into flawless CAD files get in touch with us today to get the project started by calling 1-888-202-2052 or sending us a quote request. We look forward to working with you!

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Jason Vander Griendt

Jason Vander Griendt is a Mechanical Engineering Technician with years of experience working at major companies such as SNC Lavalin Inc, Hatch Ltd. Siemens and Gerdau Ameristeel. He is the CEO of JCAD – Inc., a company he started in 2006 after seeing a gap in the market for businesses who could assist clients through the entire product design and manufacturing process.

Jason has been featured in Forbes, has had his businesses analyzed and discussed in multiple start-up books, was a previous winner of the Notable8 Digital Innovator of the year award, and is a regular guest on business panels and podcasts. Email Jason at, or follow him on LinkedIn.

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