The purpose of this paper is to illustrate to systems design engineers how to determine a first- order approximation of the manufacturing specifications for a high performance polygonal scanner sub-system. The polygonal scanner, motor, encoder, and controller are treated as elements of the sub-system, thereby enabling specification tradeoffs to be made at the engineering and manufacturing levels. A number of basic scanner configurations are reviewed, and followed with an introduction to a film recorder scanning system. The sub-system's performance requirements are established, from which the scanner tolerances are determined. Furthermore, the manufacturing and engineering considerations are depicted in terms of the in-house disciplines and facilities that are needed to engineer and manufacture a high performance polygonal scanner sub-system.