3D scanning tech tip: hole filling options in Artec Studio

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated April 4, 2022


Hole-filling is good practice when creating a good-looking mesh. It’s essential for 3D printing because, without a “watertight” mesh, the printing software won’t know what to print. For reverse engineering, some holes are ok if you have sufficient data to extract the geometry you need. For quality control or inspection scanning, hole filling is usually not appropriate. You don’t want to inspect something that doesn’t accurately represent the part. In this video, I will walk through the different hole-filling options we have in Artec Studio.

In this example, I used the Artec Leo, the handheld wireless 3D scanner with the most mobility on the market to scan the rear end of an old vehicle. It is also the first scanner to offer onboard automatic processing thus providing the most intuitive workflow. As you scan your object, you can see the 3D replica being built in real-time on the Leo’s touch panel screen.

3D scan of old rear end of a car

3D scan of old rear end of a car

Now that the scan data is complete, I can bring the data into Artec Studio software to demonstrate the options for filling holes in the 3D scanned model. Artec Studio is a powerful and smart software that captures, processes, analyzes and edits data to help you achieve the most professional results.

Read more about 3D scanning in the Automotive industry >>


There are a few options for filling holes. Let’s look at each option and the steps:

  1. Fusion Commands:
    • The first option we have for hole filling in is inside the fusion commands. One option is the all or watertight option. It’s excellent for 3D printing because it generates a watertight mesh. However, as you’ll see from the data below, it may not be representative of the original part.

      Hole filling watertight option

      Hole filling watertight option

    • Next, there’s the radius threshold, which lets you do a hole filling and fill small holes without creating too much extraneous data.

      Radius threshold - Artec Studio

      Radius threshold option in Artec Studio

  2. Hole Filling Post-Processing Command: this lets you fill holes by the perimeter. Once you pick that number and apply it, any hole with a perimeter smaller than that threshold will be filled. In the example below, we used a perimeter of 100 mm.

    Hole filling post-processing command

    Hole filling post-processing command

  3. Fix Holes Workbench: this is the final and most powerful tool. It sorts all the data by perimeter length. For example, as shown below, you can sort through any specific hole you want and decide if you want to fill it by clicking on that particular radio box. We can fill that hole by selecting “fill holes” and Arctic Studio will patch it in.

    Fix holes workbench option in Artec Studio

    Fix holes workbench option in Artec Studio

Do you have a scanning project that you need help with? Our applications experts have years of experience working with various types of scanners in a wide variety of industries. We would be happy to review your needs and advise how 3D scanning can assist your business.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.