Faro Edge ScanArm

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The information contained may be partially complete or incorrect, please proceed with caution!

The Faro Edge ScanArm is currently located in the Montgomery Machining Mall for the duration of the renovation. It is a high resolution laser scanner capable of assisting "inspection, point cloud-to-CAD comparison, rapid prototyping, reverse engineering, and 3D modeling".

Please note that although using the Faro Arm itself is easy, the real challenge of 3D scanning is in the data post processing.

The Faro Arm in the process of cataloging some of the archives for the Center for Puppetry Arts.


  • Can create digital files that represent physical objects.
  • Can capture detail up to +/- 0.001"
  • Can capture up to 560,000 points/sec
  • Great when paired with 3D printing!
  • Can reverse engineer components, and give CAD from scan. (Does not work on organic shapes.)
  • Great for capturing objects when high accuracy is needed.
  • Creates giant files. Bring file storage with a lot of space.

How to Use

The Faro Arm is a very expensive and very delicate piece of equipment. If you are unsure about ANY of the following instructions, please ask for help in using the scanner. People who just "wing it" end up breaking it.

<It can be used to reverse engineer parts into CAD, but we haven't had experience in doing that yet.>

Set Up The Scanner

  1. Get the Faro Arm Key (20) from the lockbox located in the Metal Shop (only during renovation). If you are not a PI, you will need one to get the key for you.
  2. Unlock the blue cabinet beneath the Faro Arm, and take out the black foam box with the scanner in it.
  3. Take the fabric cover off of the Faro Arm.
  4. Attach the scanner to the probe end of the arm. (If you are unsure of how to do this - ASK.)
  5. Turn on the computer.

Calibrate the Scanner

Before you are able to use the scanner, you need to actuate all of the joints to calibrate it. This process needs to be repeated if either the scanner or the computer turn off during usage.

  1. <step1>

Gather Point Cloud Data

  1. <sub-step 1>

Merge the Data into a Mesh

This is what one of the many steps in the Geomagic Design X Mesh Buildup Wizard looks like.

Clean Up the Mesh

Meshmixer has a clean, fairly friendly UI, and a lot of online support.

Pack Up the Scanner

  1. <Clean up tool/area>

Tips and Tricks

  • Turn on the volume of the laptop, so you can hear the audio feedback as you're scanning the part. It helps you know when you're getting data, even when you can't see the computer screen.
  • Save your file often - sometimes after every successful scan. This system crashes a lot, and it sucks to lose 20 minutes worth of work.

Troubleshooting/Common Problems

The computer keeps crashing.


The scanner is not picking up any point cloud data, no matter how much I scan.


The scanner is not scanning - instead, making a MRRRRRRRRR sound.



Projects Made with Our Scanner

Further Information