Nowadays, high-end 3D scanners can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Needless to say, not every individual or business can afford to buy the most accurate, quick, and functional 3D scanners on the market. The bad thing is that many people need good 3D scanners but don’t have the budget.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go that far up the various price ranges. There are plenty of excellent 3D scanners that won’t cost astronomical amounts of money. Aside from that, maybe you don’t need to buy a very expensive 3D scanner.
Top 10 Best 3D Scanners
1. EinScan SE 3D Scanner review
EinScan-SE could be an excellent choice for a precise, quick, and fairly inexpensive 3D scanner. While we can’t say that this thing is affordable since it costs quite a bit, it is much cheaper than some 3D scanners with comparable accuracy.
EinScan-SE can 3D scan objects with a single shot accuracy of about 0.1mm quite quickly: it takes 8 seconds or 2 minutes in free or automatic turntable scan modes respectively. The scan volume of the SE is also quite impressive, as this device captures up to 700 x 700 x 700 mm in free mode and 200 x 200 x 200 mm in auto mode. The minimum scan volume is 30 x 30 x 30 mm, which is quite good for scanning small objects.
Possibly the greatest thing about this 3D scanner is its software, XYZscan. It is designed to be automatically calibrated, first of all. Aside from that, the software appears to be stable, which is great because the weakest aspect of 3D scanners is usually the software. What may also be very important to you is that you could 3D print directly after the scan if you have a 3D printer connected.
2. EinScan-SP 3D Scanner review
EinScan-SP is pretty much identical to EinScan-SE. However, this 3D scanner is more precise and quick, which makes it a bit better for professional use.
When it comes to accuracy, EinScan-SP captures objects with an accuracy of 0.05mm, which puts this device on par with some of the most expensive 3D scanners on the market. EinScan-SP has also slightly different scan modes: it still has auto and free scan, but you can assign markers to any scanned objects. Aside from that, this 3D scanner is a bit quicker with 4-second and 1-minute scan time in free and auto modes respectively.
What may also be important to you is the increased scanning volume in free mode: 1200 x 1200 x 1200 mm. As for the auto mode and the minimum scanned volume, the numbers stay the same as with the SE model.
In terms of software, EinScan-SP doesn’t differ from EinScan-SE, meaning that you get the same easiness of use. What does differ though is the price: this scanner costs almost twice as much as the SE model.
3. XYZPrinting DaVinci Pro 3D Scanner review
XYZprinting 3D Scanner Pro is a relatively inexpensive 3D scanner, but this doesn’t mean that it has no features to boast.
Firstly, XYZprinting’s scanner is a portable handheld 3D scanner, which makes it much easier to use in free scans. Secondly, this 3D scanner has a reasonable accuracy of 1.0 – 2.5 mm. This stands nowhere near the accuracy of the more expensive scanners, but those numbers are very good for the price and the fact that this device is portable.
The scanning volume of this 3D scanner – 39.3″ x 39.3″ x 78.7″ – makes it quite suitable for larger applications. However, with a 2″ x 2″ x 2″ minimum scan volume, this 3D scanner would be not as good for smaller objects.
When it comes to the software, things seem to not be so good. The thing is that the software appears to be not very stable and crashes occasionally. Aside from that, it seems that it isn’t as easy to use as the software of the EinScan scanners.
4. Matter and Form MSF1 V2 3D Scanner review
If you happen not to need anything apart from automatic scanning, then Matter and Form MFS1V2 could be a great option for you. This thing isn’t exactly cheap but neither is it too expensive.
When it comes to one of the main properties of 3D scanners – accuracy – MFS1V2 is a great device. With an accuracy of 0.1 mm, this thing should be able to perform well even in some professional applications. Thanks to the included +Quickscan software upgrade for Matter and Form’s software MFStudio, the scanning speed of this 3D scanner is 65 seconds, which is moderate when compared to some of the other models we reviewed but by no means slow.
Interestingly, Matter and Form includes 4 worldwide power plugs with this scanner, making it a good choice for traveling. The main downside of this scanner is that it isn’t suitable for free scanning since its scanning head can’t be freely moved around.
5. EinScan Handheld Pro 3D Scanner review
If you want a handheld scanner to deliver excellent performance, then the EinScan Handheld Pro 3D scanner could be the right choice for you. Well, in case you are ready to spend a couple of thousands of dollars on a 3D scanner.
In terms of precision, the Handheld Pro scanner can scan as accurately as EinScan-SP we reviewed a bit earlier. However, in this scanner, the accuracy spans between 0.05 and 0.3 mm, depending on the mode you choose.
Speaking of the modes, EinScan Pro supports handheld HD scan, handheld rapid scan, automatic scan, and fixed scan. The speed of the scanning varies quite significantly from 90.000 to 550.000 points/sec in HD and rapid mode respectively. This device also takes only 2 seconds to scan in fixed and auto mode.
Unfortunately, the auto and free scanning modes are available only after the purchase of the optional Industrial Pack. However, if you do buy, you will get one of the best relatively 3D scanners available to mortals.
6. Occipital Wireless for Apple 3D Scanner review
Occipital Wireless 3D scanner for Apple iPad isn’t exactly a tool for fields requiring precision. This device isn’t about maximum precision at all. The accuracy of this device can be just considered poor. However, this 3D scanner would be pretty suitable for casual 3D scanning, AR gaming, or for mobile game development.
What makes this device suitable for game development? Well, it comes with a developer SDK to allow you to create 3D-powered apps and games. Aside from that, because this 3D scanner can be used with Apple devices thanks to the included Lightning cable, you could test your apps right away. And by the way, this thing should be able to work with Android devices, given that you have cables for them.
7. Artec EVA 3D Scanner review
If you are ready to spend whatever amount of money is necessary to get precision and performance, then Artec EVA 3D Scanner will most probably be the best choice for you.
When it comes to accuracy, EVA 3D is excellent but certainly not the best with its 0.1mm precision. However, it is the speed where this device should be miles ahead of the rest of the reviewed 3D scanners. Capturing 2 million points per second, this scanner should be one of the best 3D scanners on the market for high-volume professional applications.
Artec EVA 3D scanner also appears to be very good in terms of ergonomics. A factor strongly contributing to the convenience of this scanner is its weight: this thing weighs only about 2 pounds. Aside from that, this device is easy to use and doesn’t require markers or calibration.
Unfortunately, Artec 3D doesn’t include their proprietary Artec Studio software with this device. The software costs quite a bit on its own, though its price is nothing when compared to the price tag of the Artec EVA 3D.
8. Ciclop Open Source DIY 3D Scanner review
If you need a 3D scanner to get a 3D model with not too much detail, then the Kingprint Ciclop Open Source DIY Scanner kit could be a perfect choice for you. It is the cheapest option amongst our reviews, which makes it suitable for those on a tight budget. For example, this thing could be good for hobbyists or designers who only need to capture objects.
This device remarkably scans in a dual mode thanks to its two laser sensors, which should allow you to get fairly accurate models of small objects. Another notable advantage of this 3D scanner is that you don’t need to buy proprietary software to use the scanner.
Ciclop Open Source Scanner comes largely unassembled, so its assembly could take some time. Apart from that, it includes lots of small parts that could be lost if you are not careful. But these should be the least of your worries, seeing how much you can save on this model.
9. 3D Systems 391230 Sense 3D Scanner review
3D Systems Sense 3D scanner is yet another fairly affordable handheld 3D scanner in our reviews. This device is pretty similar to XYZprinting’s scanner, though there are some minor differences.
Having a precision of up to 1 mm, the Sense 3D scanner appears to be more accurate than the XYZ scanner. In general, this should make the Sense 3D scanner more suitable for professional applications that don’t require too much precision.
The maximum scanning volume of this 3D scanner is quite good, being 2000 x 2000 x 2000 mm. On the other hand, the Sense 3D scanner probably won’t be suitable for smaller objects since its minimum scanning volume is 200 x 200 x 200 mm.
Although this device is a handheld scanner, it appears to be not as convenient as the other handheld scanners we examined. It has a large opening for a handle, which appears to not be very ergonomic. Aside from that, it has a short power cord, which could make scanning larger objects complicated.
The software of Sense 3D appears to be stable but not very functional and intuitive. If you need functions other than basic trimming and cosmetics, you would need to buy better software.
10. David SLS-3 3D Scanner review
David SLS-3 3D scanner is quite a remarkable device. It is the only 3D scanner on the reviews that employ structured light technology. SLS-3 scanner uses a light pattern projector and a camera: the distortions of the light pattern on the object allow the camera to accurately capture the shape of the object.
The precision of this 3D scanner is 0.05 mm, on par with the accurate scanners we reviewed previously. However, when it comes to speed, SLS-3 could be far ahead of them. Because the camera scans multiple points at once rather than point after point, this 3D scan captures objects in a matter of seconds.
The manufacturer also writes that the structured light technology allows for better scanning of reflective surfaces, so you may want to get this scanner if you deal with a lot of such objects.
For increased precision, you could upgrade the SLS-3 with a second camera. Aside from that, you could get an automatic turntable to allow for automatic scans. This will probably increase the dent in your budget significantly though.
Our reviews demonstrated that you can find pretty good 3D scanners for very attractive prices. Sure, not all of the reviewed 3D scanners can be called cheap, but they for the most part don’t require a fortune from you.
The price tags of 3D scanners make research crucial. The cost of a mistake can be quite high, and you better be fully aware of what you need and what you are going for. Needless to say, you don’t need to go for such a pricey scanner as Artec EVA if you only need to get basic 3D models, for example.
So understand your needs, do your research, and you will find the best 3D scanner for your tasks!