Whether we like it or not, as of now, positioning targets are the most efficient means of leveraging the full accuracy of a handheld 3D scanner and providing sufficient information to ensure the scanner will track the object from any position. There are really smart ways to use them, especially with a peel 3d scanner, but did you know that it is possible to reuse them?

Over the years, we have seen tons of examples (good and bad) of people looking for ways to reuse their targets. Peeling them off the surface of the object and putting them back on a temporary surface to reuse later is a good example of a bad way to reuse targets. Peeling them from the surface makes it likely you will scratch, damage, or– at best– deform the target. Although still potentially usable, it will have an impact on the accuracy of your scanner.

Using accessories to place markers (positioning targets for 3D scanners)

The best way to make targets reusable is actually to mount them on accessories, ones that can be used over and over again. This is also a great way to use targets without placing them directly onto the object you are scanning. We have had customers putting them on simple plates or magnetic tape strips, for example.

But the best we have seen is to use them on little accessories we like to call “turtles“:

Turtle scan
3D model of the “turtle” target support accessory. Source: peel3d

“Turtles”, ideal supports for 3D scanning targets

These are designed to show only one or two targets at a time but to always create a unique pattern when scattering several of them around the object. The turtles will be seen in the scan but are very easily removed from the session using the tools provided with peel software.

Since the targets are mounted on 45-degree surfaces at 120 degrees to each other, they can be observed from almost any position, which improves the scanner’s ability to track itself around the object! The surface is also recessed to protect the targets when stored. If a target ever becomes damaged, it can always be replaced. Finally, this design has been optimized to be printed on regular FDM 3D printers without any support material.

The 3D printed target supports. Source: peel3d

We are actually very happy to share this 3D design with you, you can download it here, for free.

There are tons of accessories like this one that you can think of, maybe this one will be a source of inspiration for a new design. What can you come up with? We would love to know– drop us a line!