About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Access 3D lab?

Access 3D Lab is a shared user facility for 3D virtualization in the College of Arts and Sciences at USF. The lab consists of a 3D scanning lab, a 24-seat classroom equipped with 3D workstations, a conference room and a flexible office space. The 3D scanning lab houses a wide range of 3D scanners and six computer workstations equipped with processing software. Resources in the lab can be used in undergraduate and graduate courses, workshops, independent study projects, internships and faculty research.

Where is the lab located?

The lab is located on the ground level of the College of Arts and Sciences Multidisciplinary Complex, in CMC 102.

How do I access your lab?

The lab is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday and by appointment.

What is laser scanner?

A laser scanner is an instrument that uses controlled laser beams to collect distance measurements. There are many different types of laser scanners, but they all generate point clouds, or a set of points in a 3D coordinate system. Point clouds can be used in the analysis of the size and shape of an object, or transformed into a mesh. 

How long will it take me to learn how to use a scanner?

It depends on the technology you want to use and the type of results you want. Each scan project is different. In general, to achieve a base level of competency, you should allow one to two full days 8-16 hours. Students interested in expanding their skillsets and working independently with 3D data should consider pursuing an @Access3D silver or gold badge.

 

What can I do with a laser scanner and/or 3D data?

3D data presents countless opportunities for analytical and creative projects. For instance, you can harness the power of 3D data to create digital museum collections, design and prototype machine components, create artwork through digital sculpting, map and georeference buildings, and carry out forensic analysis, to name a few.

Can someone at your lab laser scan something for me?

Yes. Access 3D Lab has staff that are trained in 3D scanning and data processing. If you want to arrange to have something scanned, please submit a Consultation Request Form.

Is there any cost to scan something?

All resources at Access 3D Lab are open to USF students, faculty and staff free of charge, if used on campus at USF. For USF projects that occur off campus and require Access 3D staff assistance, and external organizations, there is a fee for service that applies to data capture and data processing. These charges are outlined in detail on the Research & Teaching page.

Is laser scanning dangerous?

The laser scanners at Access 3D lab are biophysiologically eye safe, and there is no medical risk involved with operating them. Structured light scanning and photogrammetry do not involve lasers in the creation of 3D data, and they are also safe.

Can I take equipment out of your lab for my research project?

Yes, with certain restrictions. Scanning equipment can be taken to field projects if it is not already reserved (you can consult the calendar on the homepage to see when equipment is available). All equipment operators must demonstrate proficiency with the scanner(s) prior to signing out the equipment, and Access 3D Lab can provide training if necessary. To sign out equipment Principal Investigators must schedule a project consultation. A minimum advance notice of four weeks for local projects and eight weeks for nonlocal or international projects is required. In addition, because of the high dollar value of many of our scanners, Project Managers/Principal Investigators must fill out an equipment sign out form and assume responsibility for any equipment damage that occurs during your project that is not covered under the manufacturer's warranty.

I am a faculty member. Can I use the classroom and/or lab space in CMC102 for a regularly scheduled course, workshop, or a hands-on project?

Absolutely! The classroom and the lab space are reserved through Access 3D lab rather than the centralized OASIS system. To reserve space, send an email with the course title, dates and times at least two weeks in advance, and we let you know if that space is available and help you configure it to meet your needs.