10 Best 3D Scanners in 2018

3D ScannerDo you need to collect 3D data? Do you know that you can do so easily using a 3D scanner?

A 3D scanner is a device that analyzes a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possible appearance. The collected data can be used to construct digital three-dimensional models or in a variety of applications including motion capture, industrial design, orthotics, prosthetics, reverse engineering, and prototyping.

If you are looking for a 3D scanner, you’re just on the right page. To save you time from researching, we compiled the best 3D scanners for you. Check out the list below.

3D Scanner

Xbox One Kinect Sensor
1.8 x 3.1 x
5.9 inches
3.2 lbs
Artec Eva
262 × 158 ×
63 mm
1.9 lbs
Occipital Structure Sensor
262 × 158 ×
63 mm
95 g
Matter and Form 3D Scanner V2
34.5 x 21 x
8.5 cm
1.71 kg
Artec Leo
163 mm
4 lbs
BQ Ciclop

450 x 330 x
230 mm
2.5 kg
Digitizer by Makerbot
16.2 x 18.7 x
8 inches
4.63 lbs
Fuel3D Scanify
10 x 9.6 x
1.3 inches
1.2 lbs
Sense 3D Scanner
5.08 x 7.08 x
.3 inches
1.2 lbs
EinScan Pro
1.76 lbs

#1 XBOX One Kinect Sensor

XBOX One Kinect SensorThe second version of Xbox One Kinect Sensor gaming sensory is a full-fledged 3D scanner, too.

It’s not the best 3D scanner on the market but it’s affordable and it produces decent outputs.

To use Kinect Sensor as 3D scanner, you just have to download a dedicated program from the company.

You can specify the dimension and the resolution. You can scan the object handheld or stationary.

📌Unfortunately, there are limitations. The program only works on Windows 10. You have to export meshes into the Microsoft 3D builder where you can choose a file format and access repair tools.

So, if you have a Kinect Sensor, and need a 3D scanner, you already have one at hand. Just download the program and do the necessary step to convert it into a working 3D scanner.

For best scanning using Kinect consider the following:

1. Calibrate the Kinect Color mesh by launching the Camera App
2. Use optimal sensor-to-object distance that is about 3 feet.
3. GPU quality: For optimal results use 20 frames per seconds (fps) or higher
4. Lighting quality: Make sure that the setting has no visible shadows. Also the colors are better with more diffused lights.
5. Background distance: Maximize the distance between the background and the object to be scanned. A non-reflective background is better as reflection can create noise around the scan.

Technical Specifications
Technology: Infrared
Camera: 1080p HD
Style: Handheld/Stationary
OS Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux
Video frame rate: 30 fps
Dimension: 1.8 x 3.1 x 5.9 inches
Weight: 3.2 pounds
Price: $99.95

  • Depth sensor
  • Color VGA video camera
  • Multi-array microphone
  • Not the best 3D scanner
  • Only runs in Windows 10
  • You need to download a software to use this as a 3D scanner

Xbox One Kinect Sensor

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#2 Artec Eva

Artec EvaArtec Eva is designed to be a fast scanner for professionals.

It has structured light which makes it ideal for a quick, textured and accurate 3D model of medium sized objects.

Eva is light, fast and versatile. This handheld 3D scanner scans quickly so you can capture precise measurements in high resolution.This doesn’t require calibration or warm-up time. Most importantly, it is compatible with.

Eva uses a safe-to-use structured light scanning technology to capture objects of almost any kinds including black and shiny surfaces.

📌Due to its performance, this 3D scanner has been very helpful in rapid prototyping to quality control. This is also used in CGI, heritage preservation, automotive industry, forensics, medicine, prosthetics, and aerospace.

This device is your tool to innovate, customize and streamline in the industry. Eva was also used to scan Barack Obama and the data was used to create the first 3D portrait of an American president.

Technical Specifications
3D Resolution: 0.5 mm
3D Point Accuracy: 0.1 mm
Accuracy over distance: 0.003% over 100 cm
Working distance: 0.4 – 1m
Linear field of view (closest): 214×148 mm
Linear field of view (furthest): 536 x 3711 mm
Video frame rate: 16 fps
Exposure Time: 0.0002 sec
Data acquisition speed: 2 min points/sec
Output formats: OBJ, PLY, WRL, STL, AOP, ASCII, Disney PTEX, E57, XYZRGB
OS: Windows 7, 8, 10 – x64
Processor: Intel I5 or I7
Dimension: 262 × 158 × 63 mm
Weight: 0.85 kg (1.9 lb)
Prince: $19,800

  • Good value
  • Fast and accurate
  • Faster post-processing
  • Safe to use for people/li>
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easier and smoother 3D scanning
  • No targets and calibration needed
  • Includes free Artec Scanning SDK for integration
  • Can read geometry and color of the object
  • Supports a wide range of file types
  • Long range scanning up to 1 meter
  • Not the best 3D scanner
  • Expensive
  • Texture capture upgrade is expensive

Artec Eva

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#3 Occipital Structure Sensor

Occipital Structure SensorStructure Sensor offers rapid 3D scanning of objects and people.

It can 3D map interior spaces and mix reality experiences with fantasy where it’s impossible to tell the differences.

Structure Sensor offers rapid 3D scanning of objects and people.

It can 3D map interior spaces and mix reality experiences with fantasy where it’s impossible to tell the differences.

Occipital Structure Sensor is a 3D sensor that you can just yoke to an iPad. Yes, just attach it to a bracket that you clip onto an iPad and start 3D scanning.

This iPad 3d scanner uses an infrared laser projector, an infrared sensor to acquire depth and color data. Aside from 3D scanning, you can view them in X-ray or Mesh mode and email the 3D files you create.

There are over 100 applications available for Structure Sensor on IOS. This is compatible with iPad Pro, iPad, iPad Air, and iPad mini models.

📌For best results, we recommend iPad (5th and 6th Generation), 12.9-inch, 9.7-inch or 10.5-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and the 4th generation iPad mini.

Technical Specifications
Resolution: VGA (640×480); QVGA (320×240)
Frame rate: 30/60 fps
Maximum Recommended Range: 3.5m+
Minimum Recommended Range: 40 cm
Precision: 0.5mm at 40cm (0.15%); 30mm at 3m (1%)
Field of View: Horizontal: 58 degrees, Vertical: 45 degrees
Style: Handheld
Technology: Structured Light
OS: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux
Dimension: 119.2x28x29 mm
Weight: 95 g
Color: Ice Blue, Silver, Dark Grey
Compatible with iPad Pro, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air
Price: $379 for iPad
Price: $499 for complete bundle

  • Very affordable
  • No object size limit
  • Decent resolution at close range
  • Export format can be imported to CAD software
  • Free and easy to use 3D scanning software (Canvas, Skanect, Structure SDK)
  • Can’t be used as standalone device
  • Scanning software doesn’t have many features
  • Scanning resolution decreases with distance
Occipital Structure Sensor

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#4 Matter and Form 3D Scanner V2

Matter and Form 3D Scanner V2If you are into 3D printing, this is the best 3D scanner to pair your favorite device.

This is designed to be a perfect 3D printing companion. You can integrate this seamlessly into your workflow.

Just scan, mesh and export your creation.

This device comes in a sleek and foldable design, so you can keep your scanner and workspace neat.

It has an integrated case that protects the turntable and the camera. Simply fold up the base when not in use.

With this 3D scanner, you can introduce digital techniques into your creative process. Whether you are new to 3D or already a digital pro, Matter and Form V2 can help you build an intuitive bridge between the physical and virtual medium to diversify your process.

Matter and Form comes with MFStudio software that lets you go through your 3D projects with ease. It also gives you full control over your scanning setup. You can upgrade this to +Quickscan that lets you complete geometry in as fast as 65 seconds.

The company supports education because they know that this 3D scanner is useful for:

● Creative integration of 3D objects into art
● Design experimentation and insight into interactive processes
● Rapid prototyping for advanced manufacturing production
● Video game design and programming with the ability to expand a virtual universe

Matter and Form offers educators 15% discount for their scanner purchases.

Technical Specifications
Accuracy: Within ± 0.1mm
Optics: HD CMOS sensor , 2x Class 1 eye-safe lasers
Connectivity: USB 2.0 high speed interface
Maximum size of object: Height: 25 cm; Diameter: 18 cm
Maximum weight of object: 3.0 kg
Software: MFStudio, +Quickscan
OS: Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64 bit), macOS 10.11+
File: STL, OBJ, DAE, PLY, glTF2
Dimension when open (HxWxL): 34.5 x 21 x 34.5 cm
Dimension when close (HxWxL): 34.5 x 21 x 8.5 cm
Weight: 1.71 kg
Price: $749

  • Sleek and foldable design
  • Excellent support
  • User-friendly software
  • Plug and play capabilities
  • 15% off for educators
  • Great for multiple applications
  • Gives you total control over your scanning setup
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • Scan duration
  • Multiple scan for best quality

Matter and Form 3D Scanner V2

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#5 Artec Leo

Artec LeoAnother smart and professional 3D scanner is Artec Leo.

This is the first handheld 3d scanner that offers onboard automatic processing.

It makes 3D scanning as easy as taking a video. You can immediately see the objected projected in 3D directly on the HD display real time.

The scanner is equipped with a touch panel screen. You can rotate the 3D model, check if you have captured all the areas and fill in any parts you may have missed.

Leo is the also the fastest professional 3D scanner with a 3D reconstruction rate of 80 frames per second. It can scan large objects and scenes quickly and accurately. For greater precision, you can place the scanner closer to the object to pick up intricate detail just like zooming in with a video camera.

Leo is quite expensive but it’s worth it for the following reasons:
● 3D HDR
● Smart 3D scanner
● Built-in SSD drive
● Designed for usability
● Enhanced color capture
● Fully mobile scanning experience
● Useful in different applications
● Unparalleled texture to geometry mapping

Technical Specifications
Display: Built-in half HD touch panel screen
Processing: On-board real-time processing
Volume capture zone: Over 3 times greater
Frame rate: 80 fps
3D Resolution: 0.25 mm
3D Point Accuracy: 0.1 mm
Color resolution: 2.3 mp
Structured Light Source: VCSEL
Position sensors: Built-in 9 DoF inertial system
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Data Transfer
Multi-core processing: NVIDIA® Jetson™ TX1
Dimension (HxWxL): 227x228x163 mm
Weight: 4 lbs
Price: $25, 800

  • 3D HDR
  • Smart 3D scanner
  • Built-in SSD drive
  • Designed for usability
  • Captures small details
  • Enhanced color capture
  • Full mobile scanning experience
  • Useful to multiple applications
  • Includes built-in touch panel surface
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Can scan large objects even quicker
  • Has unparalleled texture to geometry mapping
  • Large, professional grade lens system
  • Expensive
  • Texture capture upgrade is expensive
  • 3D scanner software not included in the price

Artec Leo

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#6 BQ Ciclop

BQ CiclopBQ Ciclop 3D scanner is a fully open source laser scanner. It is designed to help you scan objects for 3D printing.

For those looking for the best cheap 3d scanner, this is for you.

However, this cutting-edge scanner is recommended for professionals or advanced users only.

Why? Because it’s not that easy to use.

The kit needs to be assembled and I warn you, it’s not easy to do. However, experienced users can fully assemble this in less than an hour. Also, you need to use multiple 3d scanning software to convert your file into a printable STL file.

📌Since using this scanner requires effort, experience and knowledge, this is one of the low cost 3d scanners on the market. Those who are on a tight budget but are willing and ready to learn this will be a good start for your 3D scanning experience. But then again, this is recommended for advanced users.

Anyway, all the source files for the hardware and software of BQ Ciclop scanner are available online. So, you’ve got all you need. Also, there’s a big and supportive community that’s willing to help you anytime you need assistance.

Technical Specifications
Scan area: 250×205 mm
Scan speed: 2-8 minutes
Accuracy: 0.5 mm
Resolution: 0.5 mm
Triangles per 3D model: 80
Turntable drive system: Nema stepper motor (1.7 A 1.8 deg/step)
Maximum weight on Turntable 3kg
File: STL
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Lead time: 1 week
Connectivity: USB
Dimension: 450 x 330 x 230 mm
Weight: 2.5 kg
Price: $349

  • Cheap
  • Versatile
  • Open source
  • Huge community of users
  • Needs to be assembled
  • Recommended for advanced users and experts
  • You need multiple 3D scanning software to convert your file
BQ Ciclop

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#7 Digitizer by Makerbot

Digitizer by MakerbotDigitizer is another low cost 3d scanner that will surely please you. It’s one of the effective and user-friendly 3D scanners on the market.

This is fully assembled and inspected when it arrives at your door.

So, beginners will probably approve this because it doesn’t include the hassle of assembly despite its low price.

In addition, it works.

This includes a calibration that walks you through the process. You will calibrate the camera first, then the turntable.

The Digitizer software includes MultiScan technology that allows you to make multiple scans of an object from many angles. It also allows you to scan hidden parts that would not be available to the scanner otherwise. You can merge different views and create a full-object scan. With some polishing, you will be able to get an impressive 3D scan object.

Overall, MakerBot Digitizer is a great cheap 3D scanner due to its price and ease of use. It only requires light computer hardware and includes a free software. However, it doesn’t deliver the best scanning resolution.

Technical Specifications
Scan volume: Up to 20.3 (diameter) x 20.3 cm (H) (8 x 8 in.)
Dimensional accuracy: ± 2.0 mm (± 0.079 in)
Detail resolution: 0.5 mm (0.0197 in)
Triangles per 3D model: ~200K
Scan speed: Approx. 12 minutes
Optimal Light Conditions: Artificial indoor light
Maximum weight on turntable: 3 kg (6.6 lbs)
Included Software: MakerWare for Digitizer
Exported File Types: .stl
Operating Systems: Windows (7+) / Mac OSX (10.7+) / Linux (Ubuntu 12.04+)
Lasers: Two eye-safe Class 1 laser line generators
Camera: 1.3 megapixel CMOS image sensor
Connectivity: USB connection
Dimension: 16.2 x 18.7 x 8 inches
Weight: 4.63 pounds
Price: $799

  • Affordable
  • Free software
  • No-assembly needed
  • Light hardware requirements
  • You can make multiple scan in any angle
  • Poor scanning resolution
  • Difficult to create a proper scanning environment
  • Can’t run without computer
Digitizer by Makerbot

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#8 Fuel3D Scanify

Fuel3D ScanifyFuel3D Scanify is another affordable handheld 3D scanner.

This is perfect for product design, 3D printing and on-screen applications like animation and game development because it captures the finest and fullest details.

Another great thing about this is that it allows you do slight edits in the free Studio software before transferring the scan to the manufacturing machine, which helps you save a huge amount of time because you do not have to go into your drawing software to create the model in the first place.

Just scan and you have an instant model that is ready for 3d printing.

This scanner uses a combination of stereoscopic and photometric data. It has two cameras, three xenon and three LED tracking lights to capture highly detailed scans.

Scanify is as easy to use as your digital camera. This comes with a user-friendly interface that allows you to tweak and edit the object. Scanning an object and having a 3D printer-ready model can be done in just 10 minutes.

In addition, it has awesome features that you will surely love about it. Check out its technical specification to know what to expect from this scanner.

Technical Specifications
Scan volume: approx. 8 x 12 inches in a single capture.
Scanning technology: Fusion of stereoscopic and photometric data.
Operating distance: fixed at 14 – 18 inches
Light source: xenon LED flash bulbs.
Connectivity: micro USB cable.
Power requirements – AC power adapter.
Min. recommended computer specs: 2GB RAM, 1GB hard disk space, Dual-core processor.
Operating systems: Windows 7+ (32/64 bit, Mac OS
Dimension: 10 x 9.6 x 1.3 inches
Weight: 1.2 pounds
Price: $935

  • Pre-calibrated
  • One-click capture
  • Friendly user-interface
  • Software is simple to use
  • Ideal for capturing human form
  • Can capture detailed 3D shape and color down to 350 microns
  • Expensive
  • Flawed
 Fuel3D Scanify

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#9 Sense 3D Scanner

Sense 3D ScannerSense 3D Scanner is one of the best digital tools you can find in the market when it comes to 3D scanning.

This handheld 3d scanner is fast, practical and easy to use.

It can capture and process data in real time, generating a complete polygon mesh. It also speeds up the data acquisition process by over 60%.

This uses an HD color cameras and a highly-sensitive infrared projector that allows it for a closer scan range and a higher resolution.

This device can transform your work! This is fully integrated with the Cube 3D printer, so you can just scan an object and 3D print it instantly in a seamless workflow.

Sense has touchscreen editing capabilities that you can use to enhance the color, design, shape and size of your images to create replicas.

Sense 3D scanner is light and highly portable. It is small enough to fit in your laptop bag allowing you to scan while on the go. You can bring this with you on your trips and bring back your memories at home in 3D. This will also make a great keepsake or present.

Technical Specifications
Operating System: 64-bit Windows 8 or later
Minimum Scan Volume: 0.2m x 0.2m x 0.2m
Maximum Scan Volume: 2m x 2m x 2m
Minimum Operating Range: 0.2 m
Maximum Operating Range: 1.6 m
Depth image size: 640(w) x 480(h) px
Spatial x/y resolution @ 0.5m: 0.9mm
Depth resolution @ 0.5m: 1mm
Field of View: Horizontal: 45°; Vertical: 57.5°
; Diagonal: 69°
Operating temperature: 10-40° C
Maximal image throughput: 30 fps
Dimension: 5.08(w) x 7.08(h) x 1.3(d) inches
Weight: 1.2 pounds
Price: $499

Hardware Recommendations
Intel® Core i5™ 5th Gen or equivalent processor
RAM: 2 GB minimum
1280 x 1024 minimum screen resolution
4 GB available hard disk space

  • Affordable
  • Works well
  • Easy to use and manage
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Fully integrated with Cube 3D printer
  • Requires a little effort to make it work for the first time
  • Needs getting used to when scanning an object
 Sense 3D Scanner

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#10 EinScan Pro

EinScan ProEinScan Pro is among the best 3D scanner in the market today.

It’s great for both consumer and commercial applications in manufacturing, engineering, design, development, testing, artwork archival, animation and even in human form acquisition.

Another great thing about this is that it has high compatibility to 3rd party hardware and software.

It captures the exact size, details, texture and color.

This 3D scanner allows you to use the physical objects around you and conceptualize a better idea. With a 3D scanner, it’s easier to have a starting point for your CAD (Computer Aided Design) model.

Its scanning software allows you to create “open” models for reverse engineering in a CAD system or it can create “closed” watertight models that are ideal for 3D printing.

EinScan Pro is a multi-functional 3D scanner. It is portable and accurate thanks to its four versatile scanning modes that include the following:
● Handheld rapid scan
● Handheld HD scan
● Automatic scan
● Free scan

EinScan Pro is the most powerful scanner from the brand.

Technical Specifications
Price: $4,099 – $5,599

  • High speed
  • Cost-effective
  • Full color scan
  • High compatibility
  • Multi-applications
  • All in one versatility
  • Light and slick design
  • Good cost-to-quality ratio
  • Free and automatic scans are fast
  • Requires high-end hardware
  • Scanning in daylight or in bright light is difficult
  • Requires an additional module to scan color and textures
 EinScan Pro

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3D scanners are very useful in 3D printing, design, gaming and more applications.

So, if you need one, you can choose any of the brands mentioned above. These units are the best 3D scanner on the market. They have been proven to be effective and reliable.

However, these units come in different prices and specifications. Just consider your budget and requirements. You will always find one that suits your need.


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