I desperately would like to use my Next Engine 3D model scanner(http://www.nextengine.com/) in Ubuntu 12.04. The software installs nicely using wine, but the device drivers do not install. I am clueless on how to do this and I would greatly appreciate some direction.
If the manufacturer doesn't provide Linux drivers, and no alternative drivers exist, then you cannot use the device on Ubuntu. Wine cannot install drivers, because they are too system-level, rather than user-level objects.
If this is a USB device, you can use the device in VirtualBox with USB passthrough. You will need to download the package from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads, and not the version of VirtualBox in the Software Center, since OSE does not include USB passthrough.
More inforation on USB passthrough can be found in the VirtualBox manual: http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch03.html#idp13237504
Write a letter to the manufacturer asking for the driver if they won't develop the driver then ask if they would assist for developing it and try to talk to a Kernel developer willing to ask for the needed information. Linux is a community isn't it ?
Alternatively find out if more people need the driver too and you could send the manufacturer a list of the interested people in addition.