A 3D scanner is very useful in analyzing the real-world object for collecting data regarding the overall appearance and shape which further helps in 3D modeling.
Although 3D scanners do not enjoy the amount of fame 3D printers do, it dies to hold great importance within the entire ecosystem of additive manufacturing.
The professional 3D scanner can be utilized for multiple applications such as industrial design, motion capture, prosthetics, etc apart from 3D modeling. The good news is that these are available at much lower prices, hence, getting more accessible to the general public.
A reliable 3D printer scanner, however, isn’t available in as many options as 3D printers are. This makes it difficult to find the best 3D scanner. It may be very challenging to find the one that gets you the best results.
Hence, it is a must to go through the reviews of a few of the professional 3D scanners to choose the one that is best.
How Does a Professional 3D Scanner Work?
There are various technologies on which professional 3D scanner works. For example, scanning is done through the projecting light patterns, by measuring the time of flight of the laser beam and a few others. However, the most common one is by determining the cloud point with the help of the laser beam.
Youtube: RangeVision 3D Scanners
The 3D scanners use laser and camera to create a point could of the object. These scanners work on two sets of information.
One is the data collected while the laser falls on the object and the other is through another sensor, usually, one moving camera or two stationary ones.
Based on the distance of the position of camera and laser source, the software combines the data collected to generate the model’s various points.
The camera helps in determining the point where the laser touches the object. Being the brightest line on the surface of the object, it is easy to detect the same on the camera.
While doing so, there are thousands of points noted. These points are capable of recording almost everything from the surface of the object to the texture and color.
The cloud points collected are meshed into a surface to form the digital object design.
What Are the Best 3D Scanners?
3D scanners come in many variants. Few are pricey and others are affordable. Some offer the best results while a lot of 3D scanners fail to meet the expectation of the users. Among all, it becomes frustrating to decide which one to go with.
So, hers is a list of professional 3D scanners that come with the best features and have been tested for various applications. Narrowing down the option gives one the highest probability of finding the one alternative that is best and fits the budget.
This professional 3D scanner is a very reliable option. It is fast and lightweight. The best part is that it scans quickly in order to capture measurements very precisely. You do not even require extra time for preparing the device for calibration.
The data captured is of high resolution, hence, it helps in designing the three-dimensional models with utmost clarity. The technology involves structured light scanning which is amazing when capturing the details of different objects.
Because of its versatile properties, the 3D scanner is utilized in rapid prototyping for critical projects. The number of industries that can be benefited by this product ranges from automotive to the aerospace industry.
When it comes to the price of the device, it falls in the mid-range costing around $19800.
EinScan Pro 2X Plus by Shining 3D
The company Shining 3D is known for providing a few of the most affordable products from the world of 3D printing. EinScan Pro 2X Plus is one such example. While many of the professional 3D scanners cost tens of thousands of dollars, this little and portable device comes for $6899.
The company has released this product as the variant of its most popular EinScan series. This variant has an advanced solid edge software. The software lets you create open models used for reverse engineering as well as closed models ideal for 3D printing.
The product is also capable of scanning colors and textures and is very well used for full-color 3D printing. The settings are also provided to scan small, medium and large objects.
You get four different scanning modes: Handheld rapid scan, Handheld HD scan, Automatic scan, and Free scan.
Professional 3D Scanner ULTRA HD by NextEngine
This is another amazing 3D scanner offered by NextEngine. The product is different from others on the list as it provides automatic turntable. In the case of scanning larger objects, you can complete scanning without a need for the turntable.
The scanner is also great at capturing colors and textures and is pretty cheap that various other models falling in the same category. It is priced at somewhere close to $2995.
However, you may have to compromise with the speed of the scanner. It can take up to 10 mins to scan an object. A lot of people can live with that as the printer is cheap and affordable and backed with some of the best features not available for a similar price range.
3D Scanner V2 by Matter and Form
The company started producing 3D scanners in 2014. Since then, it has provided users with the most affordable choices of a professional 3D scanner. As you can guess from the name of the scanner, this is the second variant of their flagship scanner, 3D Scanner V1.
Being at the lower price side, the 3D Scanner V2 by Matter and Form is very popular among hobbyists and beginners. However, it does offer some of the best features compared to the ones available with costly alternatives.
Boasting outstanding price to performance ratio, this option helps users scan fast and with precision. The company also offers Bevel dongle for those who wish to use it with a 3D scanning app available for android smartphones.
Polyga Compact C504
HDI Compact C504 though priced higher but completely justifies its worth. The best professional 3D scanner in its class and great at analyzing small objects.
You can scan objects with 1cm height and still maintain great precision and accuracy. Mostly useful in scanning miniatures, the product lineup does have other variants for medium and large parts.
If you are not very versed in setting the 3D scanner, this is the best choice for you. Completely a plug and play option and includes a FlexScan software.
The 3D scanner costs $19,990. If you can stretch the budget and wants a 3D scanner that works magic, get HDI Compact C504.
Sense 3D Scanner
If you are looking for a fast device that can expedite the entire process by more than 60%, you can go with the Sense 3D scanner. The device works with high HD cameras and a very sensitive infrared projector.
These allow the scanning of data with high precision. It also allows a closer range for scanning which is not possible with many other choices.
The professional 3D scanner works in real-time by processing the data while simultaneously generating the mesh. The scanner is compatible with the 3D printer by Cube. Hence, you can directly print the object after the model is created.
You get a touch screen interface with this device which makes the editing of setting related to the color, size, shape, etc.
The replicas of the scanned objects can be created in no time and can be progressed for printing without any hassle. The best part is the price that it comes for. You spend less than $500 in order to buy this 3D scanner.
We all know how popular Makerbot is when it comes to offering a few of the best 3D printers to the consumers. The company has not limited its creativity to producing 3D printers but also manufactures of the best selling 3D scanners.
Digitizer offered by Makerbot is user-friendly and very effective in scanning accurately. It does not need assembly and comes fully constructed when shipped. The price is low and is very handy for beginners as there isn’t much setting is required before starting the scanning process.
Based on Multiscan technology, the device scans an object by scanning objects from multiple angles. You can even get to the hidden parts that are difficult to reach through many other scanners available in the market.
The device has a calibration walking you through the entire process. After you calibrate the camera, you need to set the turntable.
By merging the views, one can design amazing 3D models. It is cheap and best for beginners who are planning to get real-time hands-on experience with 3D scanning.
This is a handheld professional 3D scanner, mostly used for animation, 3D printing, product design and much more. You can also make edits to the scanned data using the free studio software. Because of this affordable scanner, you can save a lot of time as designing the model from scratch is really time-consuming.
All you need to do is scan the object and you can 3D print it right away. With the involvement of stereoscopic and photometric data along with the two cameras, the 3D scanner copies the accurate and detailed data of the objects.
Because it is very easy to use and has an amazing user-friendly interface to make the changes to the settings of the 3D scanner, you can prepare a model for printing in just 10 minutes.
With minimum desktop specification, the scanner can be run on your oldest computer with just 2GB ram along with 1GB hard disk space and a dual-core processor. It would cost you around $935 and is cheaper than most of the choices available with similar features.
Available for $349, this is one of the cheapest option available online. Also, the 3D scanner is fast among all available in a similar price range. It takes from 2 to 8 minutes to scan the objects. However, the price range does not make it a great choice for beginners. It comes with a shortcoming of being difficult to operate.
Hence, those who are experienced using 3D scanners can utilize the scanner to its fullest. Moreover, you may have to go through various scanning software before generating the STL file.
Because working with this scanner requires efforts and a lot of knowledge, it is recommended for advanced users. However, it completely is a choice and those looking to learn can opt for this option.
However, it won’t be easy. So, expect a lot of brainstorming when buying BQ Ciclop. Or else, you can go with other professional 3D scanners that are easy to operate and can get you the STL file in few simple steps.
Occipital Structure Sensor
Small but mighty. The Occipital Structure Sensor is the perfect example of this phrase. To use the scanner, attach the Occipital Structure Sensor to the bracket clipped on the iPad and start scanning.
This scanner works with an infrared laser projector and an infrared sensor for acquiring data related to color and depth. You can even view the scanned object in X-ray or Mesh mode. These can be later emailed.
Although the start price is $379, you may have to pay a little extra for the complete bundle. The complete bundle comes around for $499.
3D printing is a huge field. The technologies involved are evolving with time. While 3D scanner can be associated with 3D printing, it does have other applications too. But, both these devices when used hand in hand can expedite many processes.
The different professional 3D scanner has different suitability in terms of application. Hence, choosing the right one can take some time. If you find the one that suits best for your scanning goals, you can do wonders with it.
All you need is some knowledge and a bit of experience to get accustomed to the working of a 3D scanner.