Using scanner devices with Rhino

Over the past 10 years, we (The Viking Ship Museum, Denmark) have used a FaroArm digitizer to record archaeological ship timbers and entered the data directly into Rhino. We have now bought a FaroEdge arm with a scanner, and plan to use this device in the future for recording ship timbers. Do you have any plans concerning building plugin/tools so you can scan an object direct into Rhino? -And maybe tools to convert these point clouds into mesh (wrapping)?

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Sorry to jump onto your post. I’ve been keeping an eye on 3D scanning systems for some larger projects relating to archiving and 3D printing. Is the system you’ve purchased portable like the handy scan from or fixed?

I was wondering what the benefit of using a faro arm combined with a scanner is as opposed to a hand scanner with a higher resolution that’s able to get into tight corners etc?

I noted that Creoform also has a high resolution mesh output too.


There are no plans I know of for McNeel to develop our own scanning plugin but there are several resources listed here from third party developers that might be useful.

Rhino also has a command called MeshFromPoints which will make a mesh from a point cloud. If you haven’t tried that one it’s worth a look too.

Hi Brian
It is difficult for me to see if there are any of the third party developers on the list who make a plugin to Rhino which support a FaroEdge arm with a scanner. Can you (or others in this forum) recommend one?
I’ll try the MeshFromPoint. Thank you, that you showed me the way.


Hi Tom,

It looks like the second link on that page is a developer that makes some plugins that support Faro devices but I don’t have experience using them. You might give them a call to find out more if the product descriptions are too vague. I’d suggest getting in touch with Faro as well to see if they have any recommendations for using their products with Rhino. In a general sense, if you know you will end up with point clouds, any of the plugins that can add features for working with point clouds might be useful for you depending on the goal. I’d make sure to try any plugin before you buy too in case it’s not what you need.

Hi Brian
I will write to and ask them.
I have asked Faro about plugins so I can scan an object direct into Rhino. They did not know such a plugins.
Instead, they sold me a different program Geomagic Wrap® .
My workflow could then be scanning in Geomagic Wrap® and then and then import it to Rhino and make some odder documenting with the Faro probe in Rhino.
But there is much work with alignment in that workflow.
Perhaps it makes more sense to continue in Geomagic Wrap®
I just prefer Rhino…


Geomagic Wrap has the function to manipulate scanned data, and convert it to triangulated surfaces.
Geomagic Studio includes Geomagic Wrap functions and adds additional functions for converting triangulated surfaces to nurbs.

If you are not sure which product you have, you should confirm with the reseller.

Geomagic’s tools to create drawings are very crude so you would still benefit from using Rhino for extracting sections or measurements to put in documentation.

I don’t have experience with that app but I do hear of users of Faro devices in the Rhino community from time to time. I’m not sure if they are using commands other than the default ones or plugins. I’m not sure if it will help in your research but here’s some info on reverse engineering in Rhino too.