Getting Started with Canvas

We're excited for you to start scanning! 3D scanning is a brand new frontier for most people, so we've created this Getting Started with Canvas guide to help!

We recommend going through these steps before you go to your first project. This gives you time to set up a scan review with our team who can offer scanning tips and feedback, or answer any questions.

Step 1: Compatible Hardware

You can find a list of compatible iPads and iPhones here.

Step 2: Download Canvas: 3D LiDAR Measurements

For all professional use cases, you will want a compatible LiDAR device and this app in order to get the best accuracy. If you do not have a LiDAR iPhone or iPad, there is more information available here.

Step 3: Create a Canvas Account

A Canvas account lets you place orders, download your files and models, download invoices/receipts, access our 3D Web Viewer and more. Use your preferred work email. 

Step 4: Create a Home

Homes are how scans are organized or can be thought of as "projects". You can have multiple scans in each home. 

You can order one, merged global file/model by including multiple scans from the same home and selecting "Place as merge order." 

Step 5: Start Scanning

The video below provides an overview of how to prepare and scan your home for optimal results. For additional videos and tips, visit scanning best practices

How to Start Scanning 

  1. Launch the Canvas app
  2. Continue through the introduction and sign up or log in.

  3. Tap "+" to add a new Home - "Homes" are how scans are organized
  4. Tap "+" to add a new scan

  5. Allow camera access and tap the red circle to start.
  6. Follow the on-screen directions until you start seeing a white overlay - This is the scan!

  7. Scan slowly up and down the walls in a paint brush motion while moving in one direction. 
  8. Loop around the room(s) until you scanned what you need.
  9. Tap the check button to end your scan.

Congratulations! You have completed your first scan. The results should look something like this:

If it doesn't, or you just want an expert to reassure you that you did everything correctly, upload your scan to colorize it and then email to request a scan review. More information. We'll coach you on any issues we spot so that they're caught before you take Canvas to a job site. This is a free service we offer all first-time customers, so you feel confident using Canvas!

Step 6: Order the format(s) you need

Convert your scans into design-ready 2D and 3D files, in multiple formats, by placing an order:

  1. Get CAD: Open the home in-app and tap "Get CAD"
  2. Select scans: Tap to select scans, then tap "Continue"
  3. Merge: Choose if you want a single, merged model created from multiple scans. You can read more about merging scans here.
  4. Select format: You can learn more about the various file formats (and compatible programs) available from Scan To CAD here.
  5. Environment type: Select if order contains interiors, exteriors, or both. Exteriors require alternative pricing — more information available here.
  6. Estimate and Authorization hold: Review and confirm the hold and estimate amounts. Full explanation of estimates and pricing available here.
  7. Delivery ETA: Review estimate delivery date and add optional rush processing. Rush processing times available here.
  8. Review order details: Confirm delivery email and payment method
  9. Order placed: Leave Canvas open for your scans to fully uploaded.

Step 7: Integrating Canvas Into Your Business

Every customer is different, but the most common "ramp-up" we see from our customers is:

  1. Download and test a sample file to make sure that the files we create are compatible with your software and will suit your needs.
  2. Watch Scanning Best Practices
  3. Scan a room in your own home or office
  4. Upload your test scan for a free review
  5. Order your desired 2D or 3D format
  6. Review the results in your CAD/BIM software of choice (and ask any questions that come up)
  7. Take Canvas to the job site and "shadow" your existing process (i.e., scan it as well as measure it your traditional way)
  8. Review the results in your CAD/BIM software of choice (and ask any questions that come up)
  9. Depending on your use case, either fully replace the existing process with Canvas or develop some hybrid

At this point, everyone's workflow becomes different. Some customers train a junior employee or assistant on how to scan so that they can spend more time with their client, whereas others prefer to own the process from beginning to end. With the time saved with Canvas, some customers choose to take on more projects at once, whereas others simply accelerate their existing projects. Finally, some customers take their 3D model all the way through design, final visualization and even construction (modifying the same file along the way), whereas for others the model is the end-goal in it of itself.

If you have questions about how Canvas can be applied to your specific use case, just reach out to If it has to do with the home, we've almost definitely seen someone use Canvas for a similar job. Every space is different, so as you encounter new kinds of environments to capture, it's totally normal to have additional questions. As always, we're here to help!

Step 8: Final Steps and Additional Reading

That's all! You're ready to conquer the world, one 3D scanned home at a time. 

If you're still in a reading mood, these are a few common additional resources we share with new customers.

  1. Scanning best practices - Multiple how-to videos and guidance to get the best results
  2. Case study with Lotus Construction Group
  3. Case study with Noz Design
  4. Case study with Green Stories Architecture