Are you looking for the best 3D scanner? This article contains a list of the seven best options to consider when purchasing a 3D scanner.
3D printing, also referred to as additive manufacturing, entails creating 3-dimensional physical objects (by adding material layer by layer) from digital models using a 3D scanner. 3D printing technology works in different industries, such as manufacturing, architecture, and custom art and design.
You can use it to design and make jewelry, motor vehicle parts, sculpture, and human body parts like the skull, nose, and ear. Ideally, 3D printing technology lets you create anything you can think.
However, there are different types of 3D scanners out there that it can be almost overwhelming to choose one that aligns with your needs. You’ll need to take the time to scour the internet to find the best one for you. Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Here is a detailed list of the best 3D scanners to consider.
Best 3D Scanner Choices FAQs
Below are some common questions about 3D scanners.
What is a 3D scanner?
A 3D scanner is an innovative machine that can make copies of any real object in 3 dimensions. Ideally, the device collects data (shape, and appearance) from the real object to construct digital 3D versions of the object. The digital 3D objects can make other real 3D objects for various uses, such as medical, manufacturing, geographic discovery, artifacts, and archiving arts.
What is a 3D scanner used for?
Is there any difference between a 2D scanner and a 3D scanner?
Yes, there are differences between a 2D scanner and a 3D scanner. 2D scanners can create digital copies of pictures or documents. However, they can also create physical objects to make digital 2D images. 3D scanners scan physical 3D objects to create digital 3D models.
The other difference is that 2D scanners use light to scan pictures, documents or artifacts, while 3D scanners use reflected laser to scan 3D objects.
Should you buy a new or used 3D scanner?
3D scanners are expensive. It takes about 9 to 12 months to manufacture a new 3D scanner. That means they can be out of reach for those with shoestring budgets. If you need a 3D scanner and you have a limited budget, you can go for a used 3D printer.
The downside to buying used 3D printers is that they don’t come with a warranty, which means when they experience a technical glitch, you can’t contact the manufacturer to repair or exchange it for a new one. Regardless of whether you buy a new 3D scanner or a new one, do your due diligence to avoid cons.
Overall Price Range of 3D Scanners
The price of a new 3D scanner ranges from $$ to $$$$
The 7 Best 3D Scanner Choices
Here is a rundown of the best 3D scanners for creating physical models quickly
- ▌Not Compatible with Mac ▌ Single Capture Accuracy: < 0.05 mm, Single Shot Size: 200mm x 150mm
- ▌Not Compatible with Mac ▌ Scan Speed: < 4s & < 1mm for fixed scan & auto scan with Align Mode by Default
- ▌Not Compatible with Mac ▌ Max scan volume: 1200mm x 1200mm x 1200mm for fixed scan, 200mm x 200mm x 200mm for auto...
he Next Engine 3D Scanner ULTRA HD is a top-of-the-range 3D scanner manufactured by Next Engine, a company based in the U.S. that deals with the production of Desktop 3D Scanners. This 3D scanner utilizes laser triangulation technology to scan real 3D objects to create digital 3D images for various purposes.
If you’re searching for a 3D scanner that can work with or without a turntable, this is a perfect choice. The 3D scanner projects rays of laser beams on to the physical rotating object to scan it and create a digital 3D image of it in a matter of seconds.
Where to Buy
You can buy EINscan 3D Scanner ULTRA HD from Amazon or eBay.
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Shining 3D EinScan-Pro is a portable 3D scanner manufactured by Shinning 3D, a leading high-tech company based in China. It’s the newest version of the EinScan-Pro and comes with much-improved features and benefits.
Where to Buy
You can buy this 3D scanner on Amazon or eBay.
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DAVID Structured Light Scanner SLS-2 is a structured light 3D scanner that allows you to capture objects in 3 dimensions. The 3D scanner company based in Germany is famous for its quality scanners. The 3D scanner works with Windows 7, 8 XP, and Vista
The 3D scanner comes along with a camera with a top-quality lens; an LED video projector (with a unique lens for large focal range scans), tripod, sliding rail (for quick setup), calibration board (for multiple scan volume) and turntable. The USB drive comes with DAVID Pro 4 software.
Where to Buy
You can by DAVID Structured Light Scanner SLS-2 on Amazon or Bay.
3D Systems SENSE2 3D SCANNER
Artec Eva is one of the fastest 3D scanners out there. It’s by Artec 3D, a company with a record of accomplishment for the production of high-quality 3D scanners. It’s ideal for professionals and those who are in 3D printing to make money. It’s the bestselling handheld 3D scanner out there.
Occipital’s Structure Sensor
- Dozens of apps for 3D scanning, mixed reality and more
- Includes precision bracket to attach to your Apple iPad
- Built-in battery for up to 4 hours of active scanning per charge
When we talk about portable 3D scanners that can scan people and objects, Occipital’s Structure Sensor perfectly fits the profile. Occipital, a software startup based in the U.S., manufactures this 3D printer. It works for iPads, and it can capture an entire room and even lets you play with some enlarged reality games.
Occipital’s Structure Sensor is not like most 3D scanners that are contained units with moving cameras and spinning platforms. It attaches to your iPad and accesses a 3D scanner.
Where to Buy
Grab this portable 3D scanner on Amazon.
The RangeVision Smart
- Profesional 3D scanner ideal for schools, FabLabss and small companies based on structure-light technology
- Light weight - Range Vision Smart and its accessories is very lightweight, at less than 2 kg, allowing easy...
- Ready to scan products from 4 cm to 1 m in resolutiuon 0,12 mm with turntable or industrial markers - 3 scanning zones...
RangeVision Smart is a top of the range 3D scanner manufactured by RangeVision, a Russian company that specializes in the production of structured-light 3D scanners. They are ideal for scanning objects at a distance of 4cm to 1 meter.
The scanning process might take long since the 3D scanner doesn’t come with a turntable. That means you’ll have to rotate the object manually after every scan.
Where to Buy
You can buy RangeVision Smart 3D scanner from their site ‘’rangevision.com.’’ You’ll only need to enter your name, email address, country and type a small message and they’ll direct you on how to buy it.
MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner
- Quickly turn the things in your world into 3D models that you can modify, improve, share, and 3D print
- Includes MakerWare software: simple, yet sophisticated software to create clean, watertight 3D models with just two...
- Scan volume: Ability to digitize physical objects up to 8" in diameter and 8" tall and up to 3 kg (6.6 lbs)
People love this Digitizer by MakerBot because it’s pocket-friendly. The exciting part about Digitizer by MakerBot is that it comes already assembled to alleviate the hassle of having to set it up from scratch. Ideally, you can have this 3D scanner working in minutes.
Where to Buy
You can buy MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner from their official website ‘’makerbot.com. Alternatively, you can buy it from Amazon.
If you’re looking for a 3D scanner that is affordable and offers the same capabilities as the high-end ones, then it’s a good idea to go with The Occipital’s Structure Sensor, which we feel is the best 3D scanner available today. However, if you’re looking to start a 3D printing business, then you’ll need a robust 3D scanner. It’s a good idea to go with the Artec Eva 3D scanner here.
Last update on 2021-06-18 at 16:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API