A Luxembourg-based company, called Artec, makes handheld 3D scanners, which have been used in everything from Hollywood films to medicine to archaeology. Above: 3D scans of characters from "The Big Bang Theory".
The Big Bang Theory
The scanners create a digital model of a real object, which can then be uploaded to a computer and tweaked using design software. Above: The character Howard from "The Big Bang Theory" gets scanned.
World War Z
Artec's 3D scanners have been used in films including "World War Z," "The Chronicles of Narnia," "Skyfall," "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Harry Potter."
The 3D scanners are designed to be used on inanimate objects or people standing still, Artec officials said. And many scanned objects can later be 3D-printed.
The scanners project light in a pattern of horizontal and vertical lines onto a surface, while cameras analyze the light to detect the object. One camera captures the object's geometry, and the other captures its texture or color. The scanner stitches these images together by matching them edge-to-edge to create a 360-degree model.
Scanning the body
Hollywood isn't the only place these scanners are in use. Hospitals use them for medical applications, such as making body scans to create custom orthotics or prosthetics, or for plastic surgery.