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3D Printing Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Best 3D Scanners

Picture of Scott Gabdullin
Scott Gabdullin

Updated on June 17, 2024

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Product designers, researchers, and engineers utilize 3D scanners to build digital models quickly. There is a wide variety of 3D scanners on the market, from portable scanners to high-end metrology equipment.

The uses are quite diverse, ranging from reverse engineering to scanning human bodies in three dimensions.

Choosing the best 3D scanner for your application and budget may be challenging due to the wide variety of products available. But fret not because we provide everything from budget 3D scanners to high-end solutions tailored to your business needs.

Types of 3D Scanning Technologies

To get the most out of your 3D scanning experience or better inform your next scanner buying decision, understanding the different technologies used in 3D scanning is essential. Multiple scanning techniques are available now, each with its own pros and cons.

Laser Triangulation

Light is directed onto the object when doing laser triangulation to collect as many as a million measurements each second. The 3D scanner can better record the object’s shape due to the light reflected from the dots and into the sensor. 

These scanners are the most precise and work particularly well with opaque, high-detail components.

Structured Light Scanners

To capture data, structured light scanners (also called white or blue light scanners) often use a projector with two cameras positioned at right angles to one another. 

Projecting a pattern of light onto the subject, the cameras record how the item distorts the pattern, and finally, the data from multiple photos are combined to create a 3D snapshot.

The most prevalent method for handheld 3D scanners is structured light scanning, which may be done with either a fixed or portable device. Scanners that employ structured light are increasingly used in the medical field since they are noninvasive.  

They can be used on people and animals and provide the best results while scanning moving objects. In comparison to laser triangulation scanners, they have a reduced scanning speed.

Photogrammetry

The term “photogrammetry” refers to calculating dimensions from images. To create a 3D model, photographers take overlapping pictures of an item, building, person, or setting and then run those pictures through a series of computer algorithms.

Since most current smartphones have cameras capable of collecting and stitching together many shots, this is the most typical approach for making a 3D scan using a smartphone. 

When it comes to creating 3D prints, photogrammetry is the cheapest and most inaccurate option; nevertheless, it is not ideal for professional use.

LiDAR

Some high-end mobile devices, such as the newest iterations of the iPhone Pro and the iPad Pro, have light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors. 

Due to this, these devices are now capable scanners for individuals with infrequent scanning requirements, providing superior performance over devices that can exclusively use photogrammetry.

To get started with 3D scanning, you may start with apps that can create 3D mesh files using your mobile device’s camera. Users should anticipate doing more work in their CAD software to repair gaps in meshes and enhance the 3D model for uses like sending it to a 3D printer.

Smartphones employ a smaller number of light points than dedicated scanners. Therefore, the resulting scans lack the finer details that such devices can capture. 

If you have extensive knowledge of CAD design or need to move simple models into a digital environment, an iPhone might be a suitable alternative for a scanner.

Best 3D Scanners

We’ve compiled the best 3D scanners based on scanner function:

  • Professional 3D Scanner
  • Budget 3D Scanner
  • Handheld 3D Scanner
  • Industrial 3D Scanners

Professional 3D Scanners

Professional-grade 3D scanners provide more speed and accuracy than ever before. Industry players use these scanners for quality control. Museums also use them to recreate their collections digitally. Additionally, healthcare professionals use them to customize orthotics. Finally, they are also used by law enforcement to examine crime scenes.

Here are some of the top professional 3D scanners we’ve tested for digitizing real-world objects and people:

Shining 3D EinScan SE

Newest EinScan SE Desktop 3D Scanner

The EinScan-SE, the most reasonably priced desktop scanner from Chinese company Shining 3D, is our top selection for value.

Since it can scan both with and without a turntable, it may be used to capture items of varying sizes. This scanner’s use of white light and portable size makes it ideal for use at home or in educational settings.

The EinScan-SE features a wide color and texture detection range and excellent scan accuracy. The EinScan-SE is already rather remarkable, but the software sets it apart.

While the EinScan application is very reliable and has a simple user interface, a powerful computer must calculate the meshes swiftly.

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Shining EinScan H

EinScan H 3D Scanner

The EinScan H is distinguished by its full-color capability and hybrid light sources. The scanner is advertised as helpful in various settings and may be used to scan people and inanimate items.

EinScan H combines an infrared (IR) light source and an LED light source into a single device to change the game with its innovative hybrid light sources.

A 3D scan of hair or other dark things may be taken with an IR, less stressful on the eyes than traditional visible light. The EinScan H may be used for art restoration, forensics, and medical diagnostics.

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Shining 3D EinScan Pro HD

EinScan Pro HD Handheld 3D Scanner

The newly introduced EinScan Pro HD in 2020 aspires to provide enhanced functionality by recording high accuracy and resolution using a portable device. The Pro HD’s scan quality is roughly the same whether it’s used in a portable or stationary device.

Thanks to its lighting projection technology and software algorithm improvements, the scanner can now 3D scan various materials, including those with dark colors.

The Pro HD has a lightweight, ergonomic design that makes it easy to handle for extended periods of time. Since it has a simple plug-and-play interface, the scanner may be used anywhere without an elaborate setup.

When creating high-quality 3D models, go no further than EinScan Pro, Shining 3D’s 3D scanning program. Get the “Solid Edge Shining 3D Edition” to enhance your scanning experience.

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Peel 3D Peel 1, 2 & 2-S

The Peel 1 3D scanner is a one-of-a-kind device that finds the sweet spot between professional performance and reasonable price. 

Other devices in this price range may be more feature-rich, but the ability to scan shiny and flat objects reliably sets this 3D scanner apart as a unique and intriguing option. It just needs you to aim the scanner at the item and start shooting. 

This means no special preparation is necessary. For anything larger than 30 centimeters in diameter, the Peel 1 is your best bet.

The Peel 2 has an equally eye-catching look as the original Peel. The Peel 2 is a well-rounded alternative, with three cameras that can record the shape and the object’s texture. Scanning is made simpler and more accurate with the updated software.

In addition to the original Peel 1’s features, the Peel 2 adds the feature of recognizing texture and color, making it a more versatile scanner. Be aware that it is not optimal for scanning small items if that is what you want to do. 

But if you want to use it for larger things, or even humans, this machine can handle it.

The brand-new Peel 2-S scanner utilizes the same cutting-edge technology as its predecessor, the Peel 2 scanner. However, it is designed specifically to analyze tiny components. The incredible precision of up to 0.1 mm is made possible by the significantly reduced field of vision.

Polyga Compact S1

The new Polyga S1 is the company’s “entry-level” model in the professional category, but it’s only one of several scanners it makes. 

The S1 can scan items up to 12 inches in length, and its dual 1.3-megapixel sensors provide either monochrome or color scanning. Data from scans may be exported to standard file formats like STL.

The Compact S1 can quickly and easily record high-quality 3D scans of real-world items, with scans having anything from one to five million data points. 

Besides its obvious applications in 3D printing and reverse engineering, this calibrated equipment also provides practical scientific measures for computer vision and quality control.

FlexScan3D runs on all Polyga Compact 3D scanners and captures, cleans, and fuses 3D scans into a complete digital model.

Creaform Academia 20

Creaform, a Canadian 3D scanner maker, has released the Academia 20, joining the Academia 10 and Academia 50 to simplify 3D scanning for classroom use.

With a scanning surface of 143 x 108 mm and a resolution of up to 0.1 mm, the Academia 20 is on par with the Academia 50. It delivers more precision than the Academia 10, capturing details as small as 0.25 mm. 

Even though it’s bigger than its predecessors, the new scanner is still tiny enough to be easily carried from lecture to lecture by professors.

The Academia 20 is a desktop 3D scanner and printer explicitly designed for use in university classrooms. It may be used for scanning and 3D printing tiny to medium items (0.05m up to 5 m). The scanner becomes a practical learning tool combined with Creaform’s current software package.

Creaform’s new scanner is available in various packages, so teachers can choose what works best for their classroom. The ACADEMIA software package comes with different customizable options for the customer.

Along with a comprehensive set of 3D tools, Creaform’s Academia software also offers free, unrestricted access to educational resources encompassing scanning, quality control, and reverse engineering according to best practices in the field.

Budget 3D Scanners

The following 3D scanners might meet your needs, whether you’re just starting 3D scanning on a budget or need something more advanced for your company. You can bet on superior scanning performance despite their reasonably low cost.

Revopoint Pop 2

Revopoint POP 2 3D High-Precision Scanner

We recommend the Revopoint Pop 2 since it is the most cost-effective option without compromising quality.

The 3D scanner’s precision in capturing 3D point clouds is up to 0.05 mm. It does this by using structured binocular light. The 3D form of objects is captured by two infrared sensors and a projector, with additional detail captured by two RGB cameras that record texture information. 

It has a scanning frame rate of 10 FPS and a Gyroscope sensor to scan items fast without becoming disoriented.

This final function is beneficial since the Revopoint Pop 2 has two scanning modes: Fast Scan and High Accuracy Scan. And there are three distinct scanning modes from which to pick: portable, stationary, and entire body. 

The Pop 2 is portable and convenient for on-the-go previewing thanks to its built-in phone holder. A mobile device or desktop computer may also be used with Pop 2.

The Pop 2 is also compatible with power banks, much like its predecessor. If you buy the more expensive Pop 2 Premium bundle, you’ll also get a 5000 mAh battery bank that, according to Revopoint’s nebulous promises, will enable you to scan “for a long time.” 

At 195 grams, the Pop 2 is also gentler on the wrist if you want to use it handled.

It is a fantastic option for anybody interested in 3D scanning but on a tight budget. For its price point, the Pop 2 3D scanner is the finest option presently available due to its high level of functionality, ease of use, and adaptability.

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Revopoint Pop

Revopoint POP 3D Scanner

The Revopoint Pop is an inexpensive scanner that prioritizes usability and cost-effectiveness. For scanning, the Pop employs a pair of infrared binocular cameras and a red-green-blue (RGB) sensor to capture color and texture information.

It scans in full color at up to 8 frames per second and has an accuracy of up to 0.3 millimeters. The Revopoint Pop has two scanning modes: fixed and free. 

In fixed mode, you can only print in an area between 50 by 50 by 50 mm and 200 by 300 by 300 mm. For stationary scanning, Revopoint provides a turntable.

The Pop may be used in various ways, depending on whether you want to utilize the Feature mode, the Face or Body mode, the Marker mode, or the Dark mode. If you’re worried about blinding your pals while scanning their faces, don’t be. 

The device uses a class 1 laser for illumination, making it safe around the eyes.

A portable 3D scanner shouldn’t be too cumbersome to hold with one hand. The Revopoint Pop is lightweight (225 g) and compact (155 x 38 x 26 mm), so you won’t feel like you’ve been working out after using it. 

This handheld scanner is very portable since it can be used with a smartphone and powered by a portable charger.

Scanners in their price range naturally have their limits, and things that are extremely shiny or transparent are particularly challenging to capture. Anything black will also be complicated to scan. More reflective parts may need special treatment, such as a matting spray.

Revopoint delivers, through a USB stick, the scanning program Handyscan and 3DmodelProcess, a post-processing application. 

They provide you with the resources necessary to convert a scan into a digital model, which can be exported as an STL file and used in a 3D printer. The program is functional while missing a little refinement of a more powerful, pricier alternative.

However, the Revopoint Pop is an excellent low-cost option for 3D scanning anything from miniatures to humans. The scanner may be used in handheld mode for an inexpensive $500. 

For about $600, you can get the Advanced package that includes a power bank configuration, the motorized turntable, and a phone holder in the starter kit.

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Shining3D EinScan-SP

EinScan SP Desktop 3D Scanner

If you have professional scanning experience, you may be more acquainted with Shining3D. The majority of their output consists of high-priced, industrial-grade scanners. Among the company’s offerings, the EinScan-SP and the EinScan-SE fall on the more affordable end of the spectrum.

The EinScan-SP, like the other Revopoint Pop scanners on this list, uses structured-light technology and a 1.3-MP camera to acquire an image of an item. 

The scanner has a resolution of up to 0.05 mm and can scan items in full color whether they are on a turntable or not. Fixed scan mode allows scanning volumes up to 1200 mm in all directions.

In the “Auto-Scan” mode, activated by putting the item on the supplied turntable, components and working prototypes with a volume of up to 200 mm x 200 mm x 200 mm may be scanned. 

It takes around four seconds to acquire a single photo, meaning that a 360-degree scan can be done in a few minutes at the most. It is also pretty rapid when it comes to doing what it does.

However, the software of the EinScan is a significant strength of the device. The EinScan scanning program, developed for professional users, is far more flexible and reliable than the alternatives available at a lower price point. 

Even total beginners may get scans of the highest possible quality with the assistance of the auto-calibration and alignment tools provided here. Additionally, it helps users by relocating them to an item’s best beginning location based on the object’s geometry.

There is no smartphone operation with the Einscan scanners since the software is only accessible on desktop PCs. This is in contrast to the Pop scanners. 

In addition to this, Shining3D provides you with access to their cloud, which enables you to view your scans from a distant location.

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iPhone 12/13 Pro

Apple iPhone 12

Although this is not an actual 3D scanner per se, we felt it necessary to include it because of recent years’ widespread use of such devices. Have a peek at the built-in 3D scanning functionality of the iPhone 12, 13, and iPad Pro models.

Using the built-in LiDAR scanner, these gadgets can precisely measure distances to create a three-dimensional picture of their surroundings. 

This technology was developed to help smartphone cameras take better photos in low light, but it also works with an increasing number of applications that let you use your phone to 3D scan things and spaces.

You may use your phone’s camera to make a 3D model of an item and then export it in a variety of standard 3D file formats, such as mesh data, OBJ, glTF, and FBX, using any one of several available applications. 

The LiDAR sensor, however, has low resolution. Its measuring grid contains just a few hundred dots.

Scanning a figurine, for example, and converting the data into a printed 3D model in your 3D program, would require a lot of work. It still won’t be as detailed as the original, however. 

However, adding the scanning software might be helpful if you already have this equipment and are seeking a scan that would serve as a rough digital beginning point for your project.

Photogrammetry, a technique that uses photographs rather than light, is now accessible on some MacOS Monterey devices thanks to Apple’s new Object Capture API, which is ideal if the result is more important to you than the scanning procedure itself.

PhotoCatch is an innovative app that helps you make high-quality digital models quickly. The best part is that it is totally free to use if you have the required gear. If not, you may still pay a nominal price to use their Cloud service.

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Scan Dimension Sol

SOL 3D Scanner

The Scan Dimension Sol, the company’s flagship product, was designed to meet the needs of customers who wanted an economical, precise, portable, and simple device. 

It’s designed for home users, DIYers, and business owners that need to scan anything from a square inch to seven inches on a side.

It’s useful for anything from duplicating one-of-a-kind objects to repairing mechanical components. It can scan not just the shape of an item but also its texture. 

The “one-click” scan the business advertises requires considerable calibration. The scanner’s included software, SOL Creator, is a 3D object scanning assistance.

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Creality CR-Scan 01

Creality CR-Scan 01 3D Scanner

We hope the CR-Scan 01's desktop-level performance and price tag (about $700) are accurate since the industrial sector may utilize such a product. 

According to the company, they want everyone to enjoy the benefits of 3D scanning, so they’re working to make the process more accessible to enthusiasts and designers.

This scanner for items up to around a meter in size may be operated either by hand or mounted on a tripod and turntable. It has a resolution of 0.5 mm and an accuracy of 0.1 mm. 

There is no need to manually insert mark points using the CR-Scan 01 3D scanner since it can texture map for high-fidelity color models. In about 10-20 seconds, you can scan an area around two meters wide.

According to Creality, its software and hardware technologies allow scanning an item as easy as using a washing machine.

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Structure Sensor Pro

The Occipital Structure Sensor Pro turns your iPad into a 3D scanner. This attachment has a built-in 160° ultra-wide-vision monochromatic lens tracking camera with excellent resolution and can be utilized indoors and outside. 

Occipital intends for this scanner to be used in the demanding healthcare setting.

Structure SDK, the manufacturer-supplied software, provides both advanced features and complete low-level access, enabling the creation of games, mixed reality applications, and 3D maps. 

In addition, it may be used to make accurate 3D models of items for other applications, such as 3D printing. The Pro is also compatible with various applications, such as those used in the medical field for scanning body parts to create orthotics.

While this 3D scanner accessory was built with iOS devices in mind, the developer provides “hacking” methods to let you use it with Windows or Linux if you really must.

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Handheld 3D Scanners

There are hundreds of different kinds of 3D scanners out there, ranging from cheap desktop models to high-end metrology equipment. However, portable 3D scanners have seen explosive growth in the market recently. 

Because of their adaptability may be employed in many different contexts, such as 3D body scanning and automotive, aerospace, design, and engineering.

Here are some of the best handheld 3D scanners in the market:

Artec Eva

In terms of portable 3D scanners, the Artec Eva is often regarded as the top option. From aerospace to orthopedics, it’s employed everywhere you can think of. The Artec Eva excels in medium-sized scanning items with high accuracy and speed in full color.

It is possible to set up several Artec 3D scanners to speed up or optimize the scanning process. It may be costly, but it highlights the device’s adaptability.

Because it uses structured light as its scanning technique, it is ideal for scanning humans and other animals without endangering them. With its tablet compatibility and lack of a warm-up period, the Eva makes the whole setup much more portable.

The portable 3D scanner is free, but the editing software that comes with it is not. Unfortunately, the Artec Studio application is the highlight of working with Eva. 

Since data can be exported, any other 3D editing program should be able to perform the job if Artec Studio doesn’t appeal to you.

FARO Freestyle 2

The Freestyle 2 is the most adaptable of the company’s coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and scanners manufactured in the United States. 

This portable scanner ranges from 0.4 to 5 meters and can record lifelike 3D reality, making it useful for capturing anything from construction sites to crime scenes.

The Freestyle 2 is popular among investigators, surveyors, engineers, and architects because of its portability, real-time display, and ability to function in a wide range of lighting conditions.

When used with FARO’s Zone 3D software, this scanner may provide a complete study of an incident and generate high-quality graphics, including accurate animations, 2D and 3D diagrams, and trial reports. 

The most current version, FARO Zone 3D Advanced, allows users to bring in point cloud information from sources like laser scanners and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Peel 2

Creaform, the world’s preeminent maker of 3D scanners, has a wholly-owned subsidiary called Peel 3d. To corner the market for inexpensive 3D scanners, they developed the first Peel 3D.

A higher resolution is available with this improved version of the peel 3D scanner, which can also record subtle color and texture variations. The peel 2-S version is optimized for scanning components between 5 and 50 cm in size. Hence it offers a reduced scan volume.

For those with no prior experience with 3D scanning, the Peel scanner is a great option. The Peel 2’s accompanying editing software is likewise very accessible and easy to use.

Shining EinScan HX

The EinScan HX is the commercial version of the EinScan H, sharing the latter’s full-color capabilities and hybrid light sources but expanding upon them in several ways.

Since it contains both LED light source and a blue laser, the heavy-duty EinScan HX is quicker and more precise than the H. This lighting setup dramatically reduces the scanner’s sensitivity to ambient light, allowing optimal performance while scanning shiny and dark objects. 

It has a built-in color camera to capture textures in their full glory.

The EinScan HX, with all its advanced features and professional uses, is surprisingly simple. Thanks to its plug-and-play architecture and intuitive software. This makes it suitable for both novice and experienced users. 

The 3D scanner includes a version of Solid Edge CAD software called Shining 3D, which has all the essential features for creating 3D models.

HandySCAN 307 (SILVER series)

The SILVER series combines old and modern concepts, bringing together the well-respected HandySCAN 307/700 with continually improved-upon, feature-rich software.

Except for its single laser line mode and somewhat improved accuracy, the HandySCAN 700 (HS700) is functionally similar to the HandySCAN 307. (0.03 versus 0.04 mm).

Ultimately, we think the HandySCAN SILVER Series is an excellent choice since it comes with a comprehensive and expert-level set of software. 

We like how the program stores all scan data and then lets you choose (reversibly) which scans to preserve and at what mesh resolution you wish to work with.

FreeScan UE Pro

Compared to the EinScan series, which is widely considered the gold standard in its field, the FreeScan series stands head and shoulders above the competition. 

Compared to its predecessor, the FreeScan X, FreeScan UE Pro improves upon previous iterations, including acquisition speed, scanning range, weight, and cost.

This 3D scanner can scan challenging surfaces in various settings and industries with metrology-level accuracy and reproducibility. 

This 3D scanner is widely used in several fields, including the automobile industry, transportation, mold inspection, power plant operations, aerospace engineering, and machine production.

Three different scanning modes are available on the FreeScan UE Pro, including one with 13 laser crosses for quick scans of big items, one with five parallel laser lines for scanning small details, and one with a single laser line for scanning deep holes.

SIMSCAN

As a portable 3D scanner, the SIMSCAN is very light at only 570 grams with a dimension of 203 x 80 x 44 millimeters. This makes it the smallest in its category. In 2021, SIMSCAN’s innovative design helped Scantech win a Red Dot Design Award.

After 3D scanning many different components with the SIMSCAN, we can confidently say it is a high-quality tool. SIMSCAN offers exceptional value for its price. 

The software may need some improvement, but it’s constantly updated, and you can send scanned documents to any program you choose.

Leo

When it was first released in 2017, the Artec Leo was one of the few wireless 3D scanners available. Everything has its CPU to store all data locally and a big screen to display in 3D in real-time.

Artec3D updated the artificial intelligence (AI)-based Leo with an NVIDIA Jetson TX2 CPU for its fifth anniversary in March 2022. Recently, Artec3D has begun offering the Leo for sale with a certificate of calibration to assure customers of the device’s precision further.

The Leo 3D scanner is an excellent choice, particularly in places that are difficult to access or where it may be challenging to connect to both the Leo and a laptop simultaneously. 

Bear in mind that the Leo weighs 2.6 kilograms, about five times heavier than the average lightweight scanner in the market. This is something to keep in mind for more typical usage scenarios.

iReal 2E 3D

The iReal 2E 3D was designed from the ground up to do 3D scanning of medium to large-sized objects, including the human body. It can accomplish its maximum performance in the scanning area, depth of field, texture reproduction, algorithm, capturing details, and detail capture. 

Additionally, it can achieve its top performance in the reproduction of textures.

The iReal 2E 3D body scanner is a solution for efficient, accurate, and rich texture 3D color measurement. Its features include cutting-edge algorithm capabilities, ergonomic design, easy-to-use software, portability, and durability.

Industrial 3D Scanners

Suppose you are looking for a scanner suitable for industrial applications, such as prototyping, reverse engineering, virtual reality, quality control, inspection, and maintenance. In that case, you should look no further.

Leica Absolute Scanner LAS

Hexagon’s newly released Leica Absolute Scanner LAS is a handheld laser scanner designed for 3D scanning applications. It is marketed as a user-friendly alternative to massive manual laser scanning.

Without spending time on surface preparation, LAS can provide comprehensive dimensions data on shining metallic or dark objects by automatically adjusting the laser intensity to react to changes in the material or ambient light. 

Thanks to the measurement profiles function, you may apply the optimal configuration for each component region without modifying the program.

To guarantee optimal scan results, the high-end functions include a built-in guiding light and three line-of-sight indications. Seeing, hearing, and feeling input from the scanner via visual, audio, and haptic indications ensures your operations are always accurate.

This scanner may be purchased with a version of Hexagon’s laser tracker, making it ideal for metrology (the science of precise measurement) applications. 

The measuring volume of the AT960-SR metrology device is up to twelve meters in radius, making it suitable for more constrained measurement tasks. There is also an XL version of the scanner.

Artec Space Spider

The Artec Space Spider is an advanced 3D scanner using blue light technology to collect high-resolution images of objects of varying sizes and complexity. Space Spider is an affordable industrial system for making high-quality, colorful 3D models.

This 3D scanner is an upgraded version of the Artec Spider. It’s made for seasoned CAD users who need a high level of accuracy for tasks like mass production, quality control, additive manufacturing, and reverse engineering. 

It can handle challenging characteristics other scanners struggle with, such as delicate ribs and sharp edges.

The fact that it provides the same level of quality as high-end mounted scanners yet is a portable device sets it apart from other similar products.

Hexagon PrimeScan R5 & R8

Hexagon Manufacturing offers an appealing entry-level option for the highly accurate 3D scanning of industrial components through the PrimeScan scanner series.

PrimeScan, like the company’s other commercial lines, SmartScan and StereoScan, uses  Fringe Projection Profilometry (FPP) to produce high luminous power and high-quality projection.

The PrimeScan is compatible with the OptoCat software and uses the same algorithms to generate high-precision point clouds quickly. 

Because of its small size and short range, the PrimeScan is an excellent choice for quick and painless scanning of medium-sized items and inaccessible areas of industrial settings. PrimeScan can be used with robots because of its sturdy construction.

The PrimeScan projector works well on shiny and dark objects without special preparation. The scanner’s built-in laser pointers make locating the item to be measured a breeze. 

Certain robots and add-ons make automatic measuring and straightforward data collection inside bigger volumes a reality.

Multiple camera resolutions and measurement fields make the PrimeScan versatile for various applications. The white light scanner has eight predetermined setups to choose from, so customers may choose the optimal solution for every given digitizing job.

Zeiss GOM Scan 1

Unlike many other professional desktop 3D scanners, the GOM Scan 1 has blue light technology and is optimized for dynamic lighting environments. The sensor’s narrowband blue light attenuates distracting background light throughout the photography process. Its bright light source allows for quick measurement periods.

Using the preloaded GOM Inspect program, you may generate accurate meshes that can be saved in many popular file formats, which allows you to refine thin and smooth polygon meshes, fill holes, and extract curvature lines.

EviXscan Optima+ M

Evatronix, a Polish company specializing in 3D scanners, has been in business since 2008. 

The newest model from the firm, the Optima+ M, has taken the position of the Heavy Duty Optima and is intended for accurately scanning medium-sized items (ranging from seven centimeters to one meter) for reverse engineering purposes, quality control, and fast prototyping. 

Additionally, it is far quicker than its predecessor and has almost twice as large a scanning area.

According to the manufacturer, the Optima+ M has an excellent accuracy range and a high density of scanning points. The scanner has a shorter distance between itself and the scanned thing to facilitate further use. 

It works along with robotized measuring systems from Kuka, HAN*S, and  Universal Robots.

The EviXscan series offers many desktop 3D scanners that may be used in various engineering settings.

In its most recent version, the Evatronix scanner no longer requires an HDMI connection; instead, it communicates with a computer through a USB 3.0 connector. 

The EviXscan 3D Suite software is also available, and it makes scanning simple by doing tasks like autoexposure, automated marker removal, and removal of the rotary table surface and surrounding regions.

Creaform Go! Scan Spark

The Creaform Go! is, in many aspects, the most remarkable scanner on our list. Yet, it is also the most costly. Scan Spark, which was developed to take the position of the Go! Scan the 50 and get going! Scan 20 had a comprehensive overhaul in 2019 and is now available.

Despite its portability, this white-light 3D scanner carries significant power. Additionally, it enables the item being scanned and the scanner itself to move freely while still producing geometries and textures of a professional standard, as well as taking 1.5 million points per second.

The system employs hybrid positioning to enable simple and quick handheld scanning of bigger items with a point-and-shoot workflow. Its accuracy can reach up to 0.05 mm, and its resolution can reach 0.1 mm. The system is accurate to within 0.05 mm.

The software that comes with the VXelements scanner has a variety of optimization tools that help clean up scans. 

These capabilities include automated hole filling, enhanced facet capturing, and the accurate portrayal of ribs (which is helpful for mechanical and structural components). You also can buy VXmodel as a standalone product, which enables direct integration of your scans.

Zeiss T-Scan Hawk

Lasers of both red and blue colors are included in Zeiss’s T-scan Hawk, which was produced in Germany by Zeiss and had three distinct laser sources and scanning modes. The speed with which red lasers can scan massive objects makes them perfect for this application. 

The red one is employed when scanning the inside pockets with just one laser. Additionally, blue lasers are more effective when used on nearby objects and for scanning fine detail at a greater resolution.

This portable and lightweight scanner has the GOM Inspect Suite software already loaded on it for your convenience. You can import 3D data independently of the measurement system since the software solution provides an all-in-one solution that is platform neutral. 

It assists the whole of your process, from reverse engineering and 3D printing through inspection, assessment, and reporting.

Evatronix EviXscan 3D Quadro+

The widely used HD Quadro 3D scanner from Evatronix has been re-engineered to improve its accuracy while scanning objects up close and at a distance.

Their latest dual-band scanner is called the EviXscan 3D Quadro+. The inner range is very accurate and tailored to scanning tiny parts (120 to 450 mm in size), while the outer range has a significantly bigger working field and is better suited to the rapid scanning of larger things (from 250 to 1000 mm).

According to Evatronix, adjusting the range of the scanner may now be done in the software, which means that recalibration is no longer necessary after adjusting the range. 

Additionally, scanning from two distinct scopes with Quadro+ allows you to merge them with the help of the EviXscan 3D Suite 2.8 software.

According to the company, this method speeds up the process of measuring items by a substantial amount. While measuring some portions of an object, scanning at a high resolution is essential. 

However, this is not required when scanning other parts of the object. According to Evatronix, the fact that this scanner can aggregate point clouds from two scopes dramatically expands the variety of applications for the device.

The Quadro+ has four high-resolution cameras, including two cameras with a resolution of 9 MP for the outer range and two cameras with a resolution of 12 MP for the inner range. 

According to Evatronix, the scanner has been updated with a new projector that utilizes a blue LED light source to produce images with a resolution of 1080 P. Because of its short wavelength, blue light can filter out surrounding light more effectively.

Additionally, the vacuum cast housing included on the Quadro + model is a new addition. This housing is substantially lighter than that made of aluminum featured on the prior model, allowing it to be compatible with a wider variety of robots and cobots.

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How to Choose the Best 3D Scanners?

Several different industries may benefit from 3D scanning. Features required to produce a high-quality 3D model vary depending on the intended use. The best 3D scanner is one that fits your needs and goals. 

Many considerations will determine the optimal 3D scanner for you, including the following:

  • 3D Scanning Field of Application
  • Type of 3D Scanned Object
  • Desired Resolution

3D Scanning Field of Application

The first factor to consider is the intended use of the 3D scanner. Consider the following as possible examples:

Professional use

  • Miniature Items: 3D scanning is an excellent tool for jewelers, dentists, and other professionals that work with tiny products.
  • Big Objects: Statues, archaeological sites, and structures are just a few examples of massive things that specialists in the architectural and archaeological industries may need to 3D scan.
  • Body Scanning: Professional applications for 3D body scanning are expanding rapidly, particularly in healthcare and the production of 3D figurines.

Personal use

  • As Needed: People may only need to employ 3D scanning in rare instances.
  • Regular Basis: You may use 3D scanning for various purposes, including creating customized items and replicas of family and friends.

Types of 3D Scanned Object

Here are the different factors you need to consider when scanning 3D objects:

Scan Area and Range

To determine which device is the “best 3D scanner,” you must first know the size and proximity of the things you need to digitize. 

A portable 3D scanner may not be the greatest choice for 3D scanning a very tiny and precise object, while a desktop 3D scanner cannot 3D scan a statue that is two meters tall.

Object’s Surface

However, not all 3D scanners can accurately capture color. You’ll need a scanner with photogrammetry capabilities to capture colors.

Objects with dark, bright, or reflecting surfaces may be challenging to photograph. Such surfaces used to be difficult for 3D scanners, but that’s changing as manufacturers hone their tools and methods. 

A white mattifying spray may be used in any situation when this becomes difficult.

Desired resolution

The resolution of 3D scanners varies greatly. Therefore, specific 3D scanner models are more appropriate than others depending on the quality required. Resolution and accuracy are crucial for various technical tasks, such as reverse engineering.

Different Types of 3D Scanning Applications

A 3D scanner is an excellent investment for various uses and markets. Each type is utilized for a different purpose. When selecting the best 3D scanner on the market, it’s vital to consider where it will be used.

Reverse Engineering

The term “reverse engineering,” which may also refer to “retro-engineering,” describes the method of examining an item or process via “backward” means. All the pieces of a dismantled item may be captured by a 3D scanner and utilized to make a 3D model. Afterward, the user may examine it digitally in three dimensions.

Jewelry

To make exceptional jewelry, jewelers increasingly turn to 3D scanning and 3D printing to generate castings.

Dental

Numerous dental tools are being manufactured by dentists and dental laboratories utilizing 3D printing technology.

Medical

In the medical field, 3D scanners have several applications, from prosthesis creation to posture analysis.

Metrology/Inspection

The manufacturing sector must ensure that all items coming from their plants are flawless and follow their specified reference dimensions. Accurate measurements of potential disparities are made possible using 3D scanners in the hands of trained personnel.

3D Selfies and Figurines

3D printed miniatures of people are becoming more popular. The process involves 3D scanning oneself and printing a small replica.

Architecture

Architects may utilize 3D scanning to efficiently display a space, building, or home to their customers.

Archeology and Museums

Researchers, curators, and archaeologists are increasingly turning to 3D scanning technology to better study and preserve artifacts from the past.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re an individual, a designer, or a member of a bigger organization, 3D scans will eventually dominate your world. 

We hope our list of the best 3D scanners will help you choose the tool that best suits your needs, whether you’re looking for a portable scanner or something bigger.

If you want to learn more about 3D scanners, contact us today, and we’ll help you find the best solution for your needs.

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