Image Number 5 for United States Patent #7940260.
A scanning system that acquires three-dimensional images as an incremental series of fitted three-dimensional data sets is improved by testing for successful incremental fits in real time and providing a variety of visual user cues and process modifications depending upon the relationship of newly acquired data to previously acquired data. The system may be used to aid in error-free completion of three-dimensional scans. The methods and systems described herein may also usefully be employed to scan complex surfaces including occluded or obstructed surfaces by maintaining a continuous three-dimensional scan across separated subsections of the surface. In one useful dentistry application, a full three-dimensional surface scan may be obtained for two dental arches in occlusion.