Digitizer Education | Part 4: Size and Stability of Objects

In this post, we’ll discuss several factors that could affect the quality of the 3D models you get from the MakerBot® Digitizer™ Desktop 3D Scanner, and some tips and tricks on how to improve them.

Maximum Size
The MakerBot Digitizer can scan things within an 8”x 8” cylinder (that’s 8” tall by 8” diameter). If an object can fit in this cylinder, then the camera can pick up its exterior surface.

Maximum scan volume

Minimum Size
If an object is smaller than 2” x 2”, the MakerBot Digitizer will not be able to pick up much detail from it.

You might be able to improve the scan by placing the small object upon a transparent or dark platform on the turntable. This will lift it closer to the center of the camera’s line of view, which should allow it to capture more detail than it would have otherwise. You can always crop the platform out later.

The MakerBot Digitizer can pick up details larger than 500 microns (1/2 mm). Anything less will not make it into the 3D model.

Gnome comparison

Dimensional Accuracy
An object’s scan may not match the exact outer dimensions (+/- 2mm) of the original physical object.


Dimensional accuracy

You’ll get the best possible 3D model if an object stays in one position while the turntable is active. Therefore, you will want to make sure your object doesn’t move while it’s scanning.

First, make sure the MakerBot Digitizer is resting on a stable surface, and not sharing a surface with a moving or vibrating object—like an active 3D printer, for example.

Then check if your object is heavy enough to remain stable during a scan. Objects placed on the MakerBot Digitizer must weigh less than 3 kg (6.6 lbs), but if they are too lightweight, they may slide around the turntable during scanning. And any object—despite its weight—may shake, rattle, or roll, depending on how it is constructed.

One way to stabilize an object like this is to anchor it in some modeling clay or another malleable substance. This will create a sturdy surface that holds the object steady throughout the entire scan.


We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the MakerBot Digitizer and find this information helpful. Happy scanning!