About DDI

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Direct Dimensions, Inc. (DDI) provides unique solutions to complex modeling and manufacturing problems. We specialize in the on-site application of digitizers, laser scanners, and the conversion of complex three-dimensional data into 3D computer models.

"Our 3D imaging technology allows us to document complex objects down to the last intricate detail," explains Michael Raphael, president of Direct Dimensions. "In addition to saving time in the design process, we enable innovators to capture, model, and modify complex physical shapes, such as organic human forms, that would otherwise be impossible to design even with today's advanced CAD systems."

Our Process

Direct Dimensions measures in three-dimensional space - x, y, and z - using advanced 3D scanning systems. One process, for example, uses a mechanical "arm" guided over the object with a laser scanner attached to the end to collect 3D data without contact. The scanner is like the 'barcode' scanners we see at the grocery store," notes Raphael.

Putting data together like a virtual puzzle, engineers create an exact 3D digital model. What makes this technology so remarkable is its ability to pick up fine details, such as sculpted lines, engraved names, even barely visible marks so that the "copy" is an exact replica - something that could never be accomplished with conventional measurement methods. As data is collected, the object becomes visible on the computer screen as a point cloud and can be studied and manipulated in remarkable detail.

The point clouds are then processed into digital models by our engineers using a series of software. Depending on the final goal, the digital models can be used as visual animations, design intent CAD models, or even models for physical replication at any scale.


Maryland-based Direct Dimensions, Inc. was established in 1995 by Michael Raphael. Because Raphael's background was in Aerostructures and Military Engineering applications, DDI started as a company aimed towards serving this highly demanding industry.

Through fourteen years of experience DDI has grown beyond the realm of military applications into cultural preservation, medical prosthetics, and even color 3D imaging for consumer applications. Please visit our Projects page to view our extensive portfolio.