10 Best 3D Laser Scanner: Affordable and Reliable

December 18, 2020

3D scanners are a very useful device. Being used for many applications across numerous industries, the 3D scanners have gathered huge demand in the last few years.


The technology is evolving and making room for better development. 3D scanners are based on different technologies and laser scanners are one of the most commonly used ones.

Are you still stuck with the scanners that are used for scanning bar codes? Rise above! The technology has gone too far and can even scan an entire room by creating a digital file for the same.

These devices can scan any physical object in seconds by saving the digital file on the desktop. The process is easy and can be operated smoothly.


It is very helpful in reducing the time consumed during 3D modeling as well as for many research projects. With an increase in demand, the number of 3D scanners is surging too.

There are many products in the market and it is difficult to find the one best for your task. Some are highly expensive and some are affordable. However, not every 3D scanner is reliable.

If you turn in to buy a 3D scanner you must look for the right 3D scanner which is affordable and reliable at the same time. Hence, we have sorted out the list for you with some of the most amazing 3D scanners which can help ease your job.

XYZPrinting 3D Scanner

One of the most affordable options available in the market that can scan amazing models using its sleek design that can be attached to your laptop and can be used anywhere.


This mini machine that can even fit into a bigger pocket of your pants is capable of doing some most amazing job. The scanner costs around $250 and is widely available across many e-commerce platforms.

The device is designed for keeping consumers in mind. Hence, it is affordable and performs decently. The device, in short, is an Intel RealSense F200 depth sensor. Boxed in an amazing slim body, this 3D scanner also flaunts a blue-lit button.

The shape of the device is perfectly designed to ensure there is no problem hanging it onto any laptop screen.

Talking about the laptop, the website says that the laptop with the 4th generation Intel Core i5 processor along with a 4GB RAM is required to use the 3D scanner. To connect the scanner, you can use the USB with a USB cable.


This also triggers the device. Once the USB cable is inserted into the USB drive and the scanner, the device turns operational. One can start scanning models right away.

The company has provided software known as XYZScan. With the device, you also get an SD card that has the installer for the software. Installing the same on your laptop, you would be able to operate the device using simple steps.

However, the quality of the software could have been better. You can also use this device with other scan software, if compatible. You may get different results.

This 3D scanner is lightweight and weighs nothing more than few 238 grams. It is 15.7 cm long which means you can carry it anywhere you go. The scanner features an RGB camera, infrared laser projector and infrared camera.

These two cameras provided with XYZPrinting 3D scanner is provided with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. You can scan a minimum volume of 5 x 5 x 5 cm and can go up to a volume of the 60 x 60 x 30 cm using this device.

This clarifies that the product is developed to scan the smaller objects at home. A teacup or a small size teddy bear could fit just right in front of the scanner.

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CowTech Ciclop

CowTech Ciclop

Like 3D printers, few 3D scanners also belong to the open-source community. And, this one, my friend, is one from that list. You get all the parts together in a box.

Once you assemble them using the instructions, you can start scanning the device. The best part about being from an open-source community is that it is open for changes. You can upgrade it and make it better if you wish.

It is a stationary 3D scanner that has a rotating platform connected to it. Anything that can fit inside the platform can be scanned. The platform is circular and measures 9.8” x 8.0”.

It has a dual laser setup which means that each side of the platform has a laser installed. These lasers are high precision and when used alongside the camera featured by this device, can scan accurately even up to 500 microns details.

When it comes to the camera, you can expect a decent option coming along the way with CoeTech Ciclop. It features Logitech C270 HD Camera. The reason why this camera has been chosen is that it is low-priced still reliable.

Being a budget camera, its capabilities aren’t limited to a few pixels. Capturing videos with 1280 x 720 pixels is not something every inexpensive camera can provide.

The advanced features like VGA image sensor and RightLight technology which enables capturing of clean and sharp images even in the low light areas make this camera worth the spending.

The scanner is compatible with Horus software. It is a multi-platform software and that is why the right partner for an open-source device.

The software can take care of the communications happening between the scanner and the laptop or computer. It even facilitates the capturing and syncing of data.

From calibration to image processing, everything is taken cared of by this software. Being designed for open source community, this one caters to the complete functionality required for 3D scanning.

You can expect the software you provide you with ease of advanced calibration facilities. Again, you can put efforts into the improvements of the software through the GitHub platform. Or, if anyone does that, you can take complete advantage of an improved solution without paying anything extra.

Using this 3D scanner, you can scan a model and make changes to it. Once you are done modifying the model, you can print it using any nice 3D printer.

It is available for around $200 and is very affordable. You may not find it extraordinary, but for such a price tag, this one makes quite an impressive entry.

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Structure Sensor MARK II by Occipital

Structure Sensor MARK II by Occipital

The first version which also was a masterpiece by Occipital was released in 2013 for iPads. Structure Sensor Mark II is the next version of their prior release.

This time, they have reduced the size to half, however, increasing the capabilities even higher. Structure Sensor is meant to be strapped to an iPad for making it operational.

With this new generation 3D scanner, the company has replaced the old 640×480 sensor to a 1280×960 resolution sensor.

The company has also increased the distance between the cameras that the device owns. This has been done to get better accuracy than the ones possible with the older version.

The structure sensor mark II is usually used for body parts scanning and room scanning. Increasing the scanner resolution helped in the prior one to make it more precise.

To further improve the quality of the later application, the company has introduced a fisheye lens. This helps the device to widen up the structure view, helping to scan better in the small rooms.

With that said, the numbers are all here to check the claims. The scanning range which was limited to 4m has been increased to 10m using this new device.

To make the device fit for outside scanning, the Occipital has also added built-in accelerometers, a global shutter as well as a pair of IR depth cameras.

These additions have increased the capabilities of this new generation Structure Sensor Mark II manifold.

The device has a built-in battery to provide extra power required for scanning which iPads alone cannot provide at the moment.

One can connect the device to the iPad using USB 2.0. The company is offering an advanced and further modified firmware to use the device at its best.

Structure Sensor Mark II literally defeats the features of the prior version exponentially in terms of quality, accuracy, and application. One can depend on this device for doing a lot of useful tasks.

It is also a handheld device and can be carried anywhere along with an iPad for 3D scanning purposes. It is available for $400. Expensive than the ones available for $200, but definitely adds more fun and quality to your job.

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Matter and Form V2 3D Scanner

Matter and Form V2 3D Scanner (1)

As we have been talking about a high-resolution 3D scanner, this option does have a say. Matter and Form V2 is the improved version of its prior release V1. Being on a bit on the higher side, it may not be suitable for those only wanting to experience new technology.

However, one of the best fits for artists, enthusiasts, hobbyists and educators who are looking for a high-resolution 3D scanner at a comparatively low price. Although it has a lot of great features, it still is not designed for professionals.

The first good thing about this 3D scanner is the simple assembly. The device is easy to install and with few clicks, you would be able to start your first scan. Only remember to place it in a decent place with favorable lightning conditions as it works best that way.

The scanner offers a lot of great features. The company has taken care of the safety as well. Being an eye-safe scanner, it can be used inside homes and around kids without worrying about anything.

While most of the 3D scanners lack when it comes to scanning different surfaces, Matter and Form boasts about their device being able to capture a wider range of materials.

The scanner is fast as well. It can complete the scanning in as fast as 65 seconds. Doesn’t that sound impressive? It does. And, there are many users who feel it as one of the fastest scanners with such price tag.

Coming back to the software that can make and break the reputation of any hardware, here is what the company has to offer. A powerful tool that comes backed with color texturing, cleaning tools and many more features.

The best part is that the interface is easy to get accustomed to. The software has the tips and instructions for using each selection.

With all the great things in hand, the software does have a limitation. It makes the machine on which it runs, slow. So, if you are at all planning to scan and work on the same machine, you may have to either drop the idea of buying this scanner or working alongside the scanning process.

This 3D scanner is a huge addition to those who are really aiming at gaining high-quality scans by paying just a few extra bucks. The device is compact and can help you bring decent designs into action.

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BQ Ciclop

CowTech Ciclop

Adding one more to the open-source community, here we present BQ Ciclop. The 3D scanner has proved itself many times and has been able to attract many users by posting thousands of scanned designs on Thingiverse.

It is a reliable product and can be purchased by paying less than $200. The device needs assembling and can be put together in an hour, following the instructions religiously.

BQ, a manufacturer based in Spain, is popular for many electronic devices including mobile phones, tablets, and many such products has come up with this amazing option for those looking to witness the stunning world of 3D scanning.

If you are already into 3D printing, you would love to add one more master to the profile. This device would ease your 3D modeling process and can help design any object that fits the scanning platform.

The 3D scanner is based on laser triangulation technology and is decent while scanning models placed on its scanning platform.

The self-rotating platform is attached to the body of the scanner to provide 360-degree coverage for scanning.

It has a dimension of 450 x 330 x 230mm and can scan models measuring a maximum size of 250 x 205mm. On the other hand, models less than 50 mm won’t be scanned by the device.

Regarding the software that it uses, we have already discussed Horus. This is a great software for most of the open-source devices. And, is suitable for accomplishing every task related to 3D scanning.

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Sense 2 from 3D Systems

Sense 2 from 3D Systems

A handheld 3D scanner that is very easy to carry and operate. This is the second version of an already existing predecessor, Sense 1.


It can be connected to the window’s system for starting the scan. The device is compact and a handle to hold the scanner makes it easy to carry and work with.

It uses the USB drive to connect with the computer. Being a competent and clever solution for capturing models with details, this device is very popular among consumers.

The 3D scanner is backed with amazing object tracking feature that makes the device a great option for many applications that need relatively high-geometry alongside great texture quality.

And, can be accomplished as quickly as possible. The device is a sure winner for those looking to enhance their 3D designing projects by adding more options to their work.

With an operating range of 20cm to 160cm, the device is capable of capturing anything within a 45-degree field of view. This configuration does make this 3D scanner a pro among most of the devices within the same range. It is also equipped with full-color images capturing.

The quality is decent and the 3D scanner is capable of amazing users with its surprisingly great features.

However, if you are expecting a perfect companion as a 3D scanner, you must multiply your budget. Otherwise, for this price range, you are getting what best is available.

3D scanners work on structured light technology in order to 3D scan them, models. To use the scanner, the company has provided its own ‘Sense’ 3D software. It is again a nice application to take care of most of the tasks related to 3D scanning.

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RangeVision Smart 3D Scanner

RangeVision Smart 3D Scanner

RangeVision is a Russian manufacturer and has got huge experience in designing, tuning, art, jewelry, and manufacturing. The RangeVision Smart 3D scanner by this company is created to cater to the needs of different applications.

From educational purposes to 3D services, reverse engineering, art and sculpture, and many industrial designs are possible with the help of this smart 3D scanner.

As the name suggests, the device is smart and can capture great details. Based on the smart structured light 3D scanning, the device is accurate and precise.

It is also easier to calibrate the 3D scanner to capture detailed and accurate images. Autofocus and dual camera combination is the reason why calibration feels like a breeze.

The integrated software available with the scanner is simple and provides a user-friendly interface to work with.

With this device, you get an automatic turntable that can be operated using the software the company provides with the device.

Alongside the basic features, the 3D scanner also features a blue light add on. This helps in scanning objects in bright light or when kept outside in the sun.

You can choose between three colors that the scanner is available with Red, Grey, and Yellow.

Once the images are scanned, the 3D scanner can generate PLY, WRL OBJ, STL, and ASCII 3D files for further processing.

Talking about the specifications, the device has an accuracy of 0.1 mm boasting a resolution of 0.12 mm. The nearest scan surface compatibility measures 150 x 112 mm while the farthest one stays at 500 x 375 mm.

It can be used by professionals for many jobs. One can easily get used to handling this device because of the advanced features it carries with itself.

The software further adds to the ease of work that the device is capable of providing. All in all, this is a top scanner for many professional applications.

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Einscan SE from Shining 3D

Einscan SE from Shining 3D

Shining 3D, a company based out of China is engaged in manufacturing 3D printers as well as 3D scanners.

Einscan SE can be considered among a few of the elite scanners that do not overprice themselves but tries to best of both worlds. In short, you can enjoy a relatively cheap scanner and can experience a few of the advanced features available with the expensive ones.

The device boasts the scan accuracy of up to 0.1 mm. Moreover, it claims to be able to detect a huge number of colors and textures.

To be precise, the scanner is a complete package. From offering the best quality of the scan to accurately depicting the colors of the models, this device is a great option.

The scanner can be set to an automatic scan. With this setting, the scanner can capture objects measuring up to 200mm x 200mm x 200 mm.

If you wish to scan larger objects of size up to 700 mm³, you can do that by setting the fixed scan feature.

To make sure all the settings are well monitored and engages, the company has come up with an easy to use a software named EinScan software.

You also get an extra feature of this amazing device. To expedite the process of scanning, all you need to do is mount the scanner head on top of a camera tripod. This can help to scan faces or any other non-moveable objects.

To capture the ‘mesh-only fixed scan’ the scanner would take up to 10 seconds. In case, the colors are also needed in the scan, you can expect a time frame of 30 seconds to complete the scanning process.

However, in case, you wish to calculate the time for a complete rotation, an automatic scan will depend on the number of phase selection you make, ranging from 8 to 180.

The time is directly proportional to the number of steps you choose. However, if the time taken is longer, the precision would increase as well.

One more factor that greatly affects the scan time is the HDR option used. In short, you get the freedom to select the quality of the scan you need. If you prefer speed over quality, you can complete the rotation with the smallest step. Definitely, a lot will depend on the test and trails.

As mentioned before, the scanner has a very intuitive software coverage. This means that the performance is doubled with the help of the stable and reliable software that is a part of the purchase package.

The software can make the scanned images watertight. There are many such features that make this software a great companion for this amazing scanner.

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ScanTech iReal 2S 3D Scanner

ScanTech iReal 2S 3D Scanner

The 3D scanner is developed by ScanTech. ScanTech is a well-known manufacturer of 3D intelligent visual inspection equipment.

The 3D scanner has adopted the global innovative features that demonstrate double scattering speckle technology. In other words, the company is using blue light alongside the red invisible spectrum.

This is being done to enhance the performance while reproducing the object texture while maintaining the best accuracy and detailed precision. One can easily scan human bodies even including the details of eyes and hairs.

On top of everything, the entire process is easy to learn and operate. With its user-friendly and innovative design, one can utilize its fully automatic post-processing algorithm to achieve the best results.

The device boasts an overall super HD texture capturing capacity. It also can be used for wider area scanning with the fastest scanning speed.

The intelligent alignment and few more extra features add to the awesomeness of the device. It is known in the space of 3D scanning for streamlining the workflows as well as for creating hassle-free color measurements.

Being a handheld device, it can be carried anywhere. It is compact and lightweight. You can operate the device using a single hand. It fulfills most of the expectations of the users and is best for professional tasks.

There are many other amazing plus sides of this device. You can only check the same when using the 3D scanner alongside other similar devices to understand the edge it offers to the users.

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Scan in a Box-FX from Open Technologies

Scan in a Box-FX from Open Technologies

The 3D scanner called Scan in a Box-FX has been developed in Italy by a 3D manufacturer company known as Open Technologies. This scanner is a very portable and designed keeping in consideration the demands of highly modular professional-grade 3D scanners.

The scanner is operated with first-rate structured light 3D scanning technology and is very precise.

With its capabilities to capture a diverse set of models and objects, the device has been equipped to handle dimensions ranging from 10 mm to 3000 mm.

The company has also included a few of the advance and new features such as improved curved cameras with video projector support in order to improve overall reliability.

When talking about this scanner, we cannot forget to mention the processing software. This software includes features that aren’t available with most of the 3D scanners.

Direct object alignment, mesh defeature and resilient scan mode are a few to name. The device, however, is the most expensive among the list of scanners listed. It costs a little more than $5,000.

This comes under industrial-grade scanners, however, if one is very particular about accuracy, it can use the same within small scale corporations and setups as well.

Definitely, not suited for home use, the 3D scanner can accomplish applications such as design studies, cultural conservation, reverse engineering, and many others.

The overall design and ease of operation make this stunning 3D scanner a rock star among similar choices. The 3D scanner captures like a pro and helps users achieve the highest level of accuracy without spending much time scanning the objects.

The best part is the packaging. It comes packed in a beautiful box that makes it seem very easy to carry wherever one likes to.

If you are looking for a cheaper price range, you can anytime opt for the predecessor of this device, known as, Scan in a Box (without an -FX). This is available within the price range of $2000 to $2500, depending on different resellers.

This is also a great option for professional scanning who want to keep the price on a lower end. This scanner is also equipped with color coverage and is precise when it comes to capturing the details of the models.

With an automatic turntable and a lot of other amazing features, a predecessor is also a nice option.

The Conclusion

3D scanning has come a long way since it was first invented. There have been many developments around the technology to make it robust and effective for various advanced applications.

There are many reasons why companies look for a 3D scanner instead of just depending on the 3D modeling tools. And, the device is able to suffice those reasons with ease.

This wonderful technological innovation has helped many businesses in making huge leaps professionally as well as added new skills to the kitty of consumers who love to learn more and crave for more.

Hence, the companies and manufacturers of 3D scanners always concentrate on serving both the user base.

Either its about developing the best of best features for 3D scanners to help professionals or its about letting the basic, still astonishing features together to amaze users who fancy about getting their hands dirty with newer technologies.

It has become affordable for almost every tech-savvy enthusiast to buy a 3D scanner without spending tons of money or spending the entire saving. Choosing the 3D scanner for hobbyists isn’t difficult as there are many nice options available.

However, focusing on the right set of qualities can help every individual cut the traffic that may discourage the entire excitement of buying a 3D scanner.


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