The 3D scanner is a kind of data acquiring device. During scan operation, there are a lot of different data types involved and users may be confused by all those filename extensions. What is an ASC file? Which file should I transfer if I want to continue my scan on another PC? In this article, we will discuss all file types which involve EinScan software.
First, let us look at the scan data output. There is a total of 6 types of output data format that you can export from EinScan software during two steps in the scan process. When you finished your scan and generated a point cloud, you can click on the save button to save the scan data point cloud as an ASC file and the marker position as “p3” format if any marker was detected.
With Fix scan mode, each shot of data will be saved as separate files while for handheld scan, full point cloud will be saved as one file.
ASC file contains position information of each point in the point cloud. This file type can be opened in most scan data processing software and metrology software like Meshmixer, GOM Inspect, and Geomagic Essentials.
The P3 file is for marker reuse purposes in EinScan software. For a large object scan, the user can scan all markers only first and save the marker frame as a p3 file. Later the object can be scanned part by part in a separate project using the same p3 file as a reference which improves the accuracy and requires no alignment between each project.
After data has meshed, more saving options will be available. ASC file is still available while the mesh can be saved as STL, PLY, OBJ, or 3MF files.
STL file is the most common mesh data type. It only contains the position and normal directions of all triangles in the mesh. This file type can be opened by mesh editing software and many CAD software like Solid Edge for reverse engineering.
PLY and OBJ files contain mesh texture information in addition to the STL file. Users can export these data types for digital documentation and online model display purpose.
3MF file is the 3D manufacturing format published by the 3MF Consortium. This format includes information about materials, colors, and other information that cannot be represented in the STL format. Windows system and other CAD software can all open this mesh format.
EinScan software provides basic functions for mesh editing in Post Processing and Measurement sections. Usually, users use these functions right after meshing data. However, external mesh data can also be imported for editing. EinScan software support STL, OBJ, and PLY format for post processing and measurement.
Scan works in EinScan software are usually saved in a two-layer structure. When the user starts a new scan, we first construct a new project group and select a location to save it. After setup all parameters, a new project will be formed under the group. All the files in the project group will be saved under a folder named by the project group under the path you choose. Let us take EinScan Pro 2x handheld rapid scan mode project group as an example.
Under the project group folder contains 3 kinds of files. The project group directory links all projects in the group. The project directory links all data files belonging to this project. And the rest are project data files.
When moving the project group, the user needs to pack the full folder.
When opening the project group or project, the user needs to locate the saving folder and open the corresponding directory file.
In conclusion, scan data are saved as a project group under user-set location and scan results can be output as a point cloud or mesh files as ASC, STL, and other data formats for future processing.
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