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University of Bath: Mobilizing with 3D Scans

Using an Artec Eva 3D scanner, the CAMERA research team at University of Bath have done something incredible for one man: creating a previously impossible, custom-fitted liner for his prosthetic leg. This pioneering technique slashes time and cost off of the creation of prosthetic accessories by directly imaging a patient’s residuum. Without need for cumbersome moulds and poorly fitted liners, the hope is that amputees will stay active, avoiding the wheelchair and a host of immobility related illness, to say nothing of greater quality of life in the long run.

Curious about 3D scanning?

Media Commons has recently acquired the same Artec Eva scanner used in this Get Inspired article. We’re in the testing phase presently, but will be offering scanning services and programming in the near future. If you’re interested in knowing more, drop us a line at mediacommons@psu.edu.

Assignment Idea: “Armchair Futurist”

Just a few years ago people could only imagine that a quick wave of a handheld scanner over an object could produce an accurate, 3D replica. What was once science fiction is now real and the potential applications for this technology is limitless.

We’ve seen how 3D scanning can change the design and production of custom orthotics in medicine. Think about the fields like archaeology or forensics, both which work regularly with irreplaceable objects in the form of artifacts or evidence. The use of portable 3D scanners has the ability to change how these items are handled, preventing unnecessary handling and allowing for more nuanced analysis.


Think about various career fields that could benefit from the use of a portable 3D scanner. What area within that field could this device improve? How might that improvement present itself – increased speed, reduced complexity, increased accuracy or some combination of these or others? Imagine what these changes might bring about with the way practitioners of this career go about their tasks.

Subject Areas

Communications, Creative Writing


  • executive summary of projected benefits of 3D scanning in a given field
  • scan of an object representative of the field (optional)
  • narrative of a day in the life of a practitioner in a world post-scanning
  • storyboard of this narrative as a visual interpretation