How to 3D scan a printed circuit board?


I am interested in buying a 3D laser scanner for scanning printed circuit boards (so that I have a 3D model that I can then design enclosures around in Fusion 360). I was interested in the Matter and Form scanner, SKU CE07444.

I note most 3D scanners including this one use a turntable to rotate the object being scanned. Doing this, though, would mean that at least one side of the PCB would be facing downward and would not be scanned by the scanner. Also, as the scanner is seemingly only scanning at exactly 90 degrees, components on the PCB closer to the laser will block the laser from mapping anything behind the component on the PCB (so if I have the PCB sitting on the turntable flat with the component-side up, it won’t be able to scan the majority of the PCB).

Is there a better way of scanning printed circuit boards? Or is there a way around this problem?

Thanks in advance,

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Hey Dave,

Welcome to the forum!!

Using a helping hand or a piece of BluTac to hold up the PCB vertically should work. You could then use a mesh reworking tool to combine a couple of the scans to get the complete PCB (pretty sure Fusion can do this already or Blender) also if you are designing the PCB yourself most ECAD software is able to output a STEP file that you can use in.
For all of the enclosures I make a pair of calipers for the mounting holes then the max dimensions in X,Y,Z allow for the bounding box to be made up.

The newer iPhones have a 2D LIDAR onboard that can make 3D scans possible, I dont have one myself but am super keen to see your results (Apple has cheaper second hand ones). This app looks promising: ‎3d Scanner App™ on the App Store

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Thanks for that suggestion - I hadn’t thought of the soldiering station idea. I was previously thinking of Blu Tac but thought it might not be strong enough. I have gone ahead and ordered one of those soldering arm thingies along with one of these scanners.

I noticed in the video at the bottom of that product page there is a YouTube video explaining how to use the scanner. It also shows how to use their software to register/align multiple scans to create the one mesh, and how to remove extraneous points from the point cloud - this will allow me to remove the clamp/soldering station arms from the dataset, and then combine scans from multiple angles.

Problem solved! Thanks for your advice.


Hey David,

I’m keen to see your results! Awesome idea btw :smiley:

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