Best 3D Scanner Reviews 2018

Gone are the days when 3D scanning was limited to architectural or industrial applications. 3D scanners have now become more available to consumers. Do you need a 3D file to send to your 3D printer? You can, of course, make a file, or better still, scan an existing object. The trouble is that 3D scanners are often expensive. How do you find quality, affordable ones? Don't worry. After long hours of research, we’ve put together a list of our top five from the best 3D scanner brands available to help you pick one that's best for you. While only one product from each brand is featured, all these brands have many other models if the featured ones do not meet all your specifications.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Scan Volume
Resolution
Scan Speed
Size/Weight
Our Top Choice
DAVID Vision Systems SLS-3 3D Scanner
DAVID Vision Systems is an exceptional brand, and its SLS-3 3D Scanner is of first-class quality.
No disruptive cables. Special lens for large focal range. Turntable makes 360° scanning easier.
Can be hard to use. Expensive.
Turntable and lever
60 – 500mm
Up to 0.05% of scan size
1 single scan in few secs
Info NOT provided; 42.4 lbs
Best Value
XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 3D Scanner
XYZprinting is a top manufacturer of 3D devices. Its da Vinci 1.0 3D Scanner is superb, giving you a real taste of what XYZprinting is all about.
User-friendly with new and intuitive calibration system. Top quality. Affordable. Lower chance of warpage.
Laser engraver has to be purchased separately.
Dual laser
100 – 400 microns
1.5 mm
 5 minutes
27 x 23 x 21.8 in; 60.4 lbs
eQUALITY Tech Rexcan CS+ 3D Scanner
eQuality Tech is a top player in the manufacture of 3D scanners. Its impressive Rexcan CS+ 3D Scanner is a professional-grade commercial scanner.
Time-saving. Simple set-up. Comprehensive data acquisition. Synchronization of model and camera views at the click of a button.
Quite expensive. But in this case, you really get what you pay for.
Turntable
Info NOT provided
2.0MP
3-4 minutes for 1 object
14.6 x 17.7 x 8.4 in; 11.02 lbs
Artec 3D Eva 3D Scanner
Artec 3D is a notable brand of 3D scanners. Its Eva 3D Scanner is a terrific handheld unit that is safe to use in scanning people for portraits.
Easy to use. Portable. Scans in vibrant colors and high resolution. Fast capturing speed.
Expensive.
 Handheld
Info NOT provided
Up to 0.5 mm
Up to 2 million points/sec
6.2 x 2.5 x 10.3 in; 1.9 lbs
Occipital Structure Sensor for iPad
Occipital is making a name for itself in the manufacture of low-cost 3D products. The Structure Sensor for iPad, the first of its kind, gives you a 3D scanner for a low price.
Affordable.
Low resolution.
Mobile devices
Info NOT provided
Info NOT provided
Info NOT provided
11.9 x 2.8 x 2.9 in; 0.21 lbs

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best 3D Scanner?

For every great 3D printing technology there is probably an even greater 3D scanning technology. So how does a 3D scanner differ in operation from your regular scanner? Not by much, but in a simple sentence: a 3D scanner takes many pictures from different angles of an object, stitches them together, and produces a 3D image on your computer screen that you can print from, you guessed it, a 3D printer.

Essentially, there are two types of 3D scanners. There’s the non-contact (laser) type and the contact type.

How do these different scanners work? The laser 3D scanner uses laser beams to hit the object in question. The beams bounce back to the scanner at different angles as more beams hit other parts of the object. These angles are what the sensors in the scanner use to get an accurate and exact representation of the shape and details of the object. Although a laser 3D scanner cannot successfully scan shiny or reflective objects for obvious reasons, they can still scan lots of cool stuff; you can even scan yourself! There are actually scanners available whose laser beams aren’t injurious to the eyes - let's not pretend that we all wouldn't find it a bit amusing to scan our own eye! The contact 3D scanner, on the other hand, works by actually touching the object using probes to get its image correctly represented on your computer screen. The contact method is great for objects, even shiny ones, and can be used for quality control checks or during other manufacturing processes like maintenance operations for consistency.

There are many Smartphone apps that boast about being able to capture and scan 3D images into your phone. However, for the fraction of the price, you will receive a fraction of the quality and accuracy that our chosen products can offer.

There really aren’t boundaries to the horizon of possibilities achievable with a 3D scanner. It can capture things as lofty as historical monuments, or things as divine as a recently received engagement ring to share with your friends and family...or even for a smug "accidental" email to the ex. The possibilities are endless.
Price
3D scanners are expensive, and trying go with a cheap version will turn out counterproductive as you will have to pay more when said product fails to deliver or suddenly goes kaput. The good news is that with the increasing demand for 3D scanners in the market, more and more budget friendly scanners are becoming readily available for purchase. The price range for 3D scanners is a full spectrum. It caps at the bottom at about $400 and at the top (of course for more bells and whistles) at about “just” $50,000. But then again you expected that, didn’t you?
Features
A 3D scanner isn’t something you should buy without careful consideration, so here are some important features to look at when making your choice…
  • Type
  • Resolution
  • Turntable
  • Size
  • Scan quality
These are the general features to look out for in an average 3D scanner. There are still many other features offered by 3D scanners that aren’t discussed here because they are unique to certain brands. Please go through our reviews for more of that.
Construction and Design
Different 3D scanners come with various resolutions and you should expect that since you know that 3D scanners are more like highly sophisticated cameras. So be sure to check out its resolution. There are some that have a resolution as low as 0.05, which means that you get higher precision in the detailing of your 3D image and subsequent model. If precision isn’t an absolute must, save some money and buy a scanner of normal resolution. You can always outsource that kind of job whenever it trickles in.

On the flip side though, if the resolution of your scanner is very sharp, you can be the one who is outsourced by someone who owns a scanner of less precise resolution. It’s really up to you, or more correctly, your pocket.

Now, the turntable is another feature of a 3D scanner to consider before purchase. This is the part that looks like a phonograph where you put your object that turns to capture as many angles of the object as possible. There are some turntables that can turn the full 360°.

Lastly, look at size. Just as with many other technologies, less is more. So, although 3D scanning technology is still relatively young, there are compact sizes available, and some are even handheld. Make sure that compact or not, your scanner delivers on your expectations.
Performance and Ease of Use
The kind of scanner you purchase should be closely adapted to your technical know-how. You don’t want to get something so esoteric that you need to spend extra learning time to use it — remember the 10,000-hour rule for learning anything; do you really have that time? You also wouldn’t want to end up dumping it somewhere and use external 3D scanning services. It defeats the entire purpose of buying your own 3D scanner in the first place.

So, check out the scanner very well in the first place. How easy is it to set up? How easy is it to actually scan? Is the procedure straightforward or quite complex for you? Find out the answer to these questions before making a purchase.

You should also ask about the scan quality. All scanners, even standard ones, cannot produce the same quality of scan. For instance, some 3D scanners will pick colors more vividly and vibrantly than others. This might be important in some situations – for example, if you want to scan a toy, you know that vibrant colors are an absolute must to attract the kids. Therefore, high scan quality is what you’ll be looking out for in your scanner.

Finally, to get the most out of your scanner, pair it with a great 3D printer (you can check out our review on 3D printers) and let your mind run wild! Action figures, the Eiffel tower, or your favorite little niece — you can make them all in 3D!

What is the Best 3D Scanner?

It’s been a long but pleasurable time putting this guide together just for you, so thank you for taking your time to spare a glance. Now that you know what to look out for in a 3D scanner, it’s time to make a pick. We present to you our top five 3D scanner makers and a subset of their finest 3D scanners. Feast your eyes!
Our Top Choice
Want to create a quality 3D file? Why not try DAVID Vision Systems? Its SLS-3 3D Scanner features an industrial camera with a high-quality lens. If you want a more affordable 3D scanner and don’t mind a lower resolution, you can try the DAVID SLS-2 3D Scanner.
DAVID Vision Systems 3D Scanner & TT-1 Automatic Turntable & FREE DSL-1 Desk Scan Lever

DAVID Vision Systems 3D Scanner SLS-3+TT-1+DSL-1


Features
DAVID Vision Systems creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. This shows in its wide variety of labor-saving products. One of these products is the DAVID Vision Systems SLS-3 3D Scanner.

The DAVID Vision Systems SLS-3 3D Scanner ($5,355 - Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) is a 3D scanner with a mesh density of up to 2,300,000 vertices per scan. It also has a USB drive with the renowned DAVID PRO software. Some of its other features include:
  • Video projector with special lens for large focal range
  • TT-1 Turntable that makes 360° scanning much easier
  • DSL-1 lever, scanner mount and table clamp to mount the SLS-3 right on the table
  • Resolution of up to 0.05% of scan size for images of greater precision
  • One scan in a few seconds, which helps to save time
  • Aluminum turntable and lever to prevent rusting
Best Value
Looking for a great deal on a 3D printer without compromising quality? Give XYZprinting a try. Its da Vinci 1.0 3D Scanner comes with a 3D printer and an optional laser engraver. Even your kids can join in the fun. Check out the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. that was made especially for kids.
XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro 3 in 1 (3D Printer/ 3D Scanner/ Laser Engraver- Optional Add-On For $199)

XYZprinting 3D Scanner 3F1ASXUS00k – 3D Printer


Features
Since 2013, XYZprinting has been committed to bringing affordable 3D printing to people and businesses around the world. XYZprinting is backed by one of the world’s leading electronic manufacturing conglomerates, Kinpo Group, which has more than 15 years of experience in developing and manufacturing printers for both private and commercial use. One of its products is the da Vinci 3D scanner.

The XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 3D Scanner ($888.18 - Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) is an affordable 3D scanner. It is capable of using third party 1.75mm ABS and PLA filaments. There’s more to this 3D scanner, such as:
  • New and intuitive calibration system that uses specially designed knobs and detection software to guide you in the right direction
  • Aluminum print bed for even distribution of heat, which decreases the chances of warpage
  • Dual-laser 3D scanning technology for distortion-free capture of desired objects
  • Fully editable finished scans; you can scale them, reposition them, and use different post-production software to give your prints a unique finish
  • Multi-scan function: scan your models from multiple angles, and the software will merge them into one image to provide the best possible results
  • Optional laser engraver module for engraving creative designs onto materials such as paper, cardboard, leather, wooden boards, and soft plastic surfaces
Need a professional-grade commercial scanner? eQuality Tech is a great place to start looking. The Rexcan CS+ 3D Scanner was made to deliver professional results at commercial scales. Looking for something smaller and lower-priced? Check out the eQuality Tech Rexcan DS3 3D Scanner.
eQUALITY Tech Rexcan CS+ 2.0 MP 100mm FOV Blue LED Structured Light 3D Scanner

eQUALITY Tech 3D Scanner CS+2.0100


Features
eQuality Tech is highly experienced in the world of 3D scanning. Its expertise has been proven in reverse modeling and virtual inspection within all facets of design.

The eQuality Tech Rexcan CS+ 3D Scanner ($49,900 - Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) is a 300mm × 800mm × 900mm 3D scanner with a blue LED light source. Targets are not required for scanning with Rexcan CS+. With the previously calculated information of the axis calibration, accurate alignment is carried out without the need for targets or manual registration. Other noteworthy features include:
  • Fully automatic scanning and synchronization of model and camera views at the click of a button
  • Integrated turntable with four degrees of freedom for simpler set-up and more comprehensive data acquisition
  • Flexible scanning path generation for repeat data collection and varying object sizes and shapes
  • Easily detachable scanner sensor for capturing larger and heavier objects
Looking for good handheld 3D scanners? Artec 3D has all you need. Its Eva 3D scanner captures accurate scans in high resolution. Want something more affordable? You can try the Artec Eva Lite 3D scanner.
Artec 3D Eva 3D Scanner – High Accuracy Up to 0.1mm & No Setup Required

Artec 3D 3D Scanner 990-0455-2


Features
Artec 3D was founded over a decade ago, and is now one of the leading brands in the manufacture of handheld scanners. Its scanners are widely used in industrial design, manufacturing, healthcare, education and many more jobs. The Eva 3D Scanner is a great example of its work.

The Artec 3D Eva 3D Scanner ($19,800 - Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) is a stylish handheld scanner that has earned itself a place in history. It was used to scan President Obama to make the first-ever 3D portrait of an American president! Other features that make this scanner great include:
  • Scans in vibrant colors and high resolution for precise images
  • Fast capturing speed of up to 16fps for conservation of time
  • Uses white structured light technology, making it totally safe for scanning people, as well as inanimate objects
  • Scans even large, featureless objects using color differentiation
Want an affordable 3D scanner? Try Occipital. Its Structure Sensor was specifically made for iPad. Need something even easier to use? Try the Occipital Structure Sensor 3D Scanner for iPad Mini Air 4th Gen.
Occipital Structure Sensor with Bracket for iPad Air 2

Occipital 3D Scanner ST01


Features
Occipital is a pace-setter in the 3D scanning industry. It is dedicated to creating innovative designs that will gradually usher in the future. It has a wide collection of products that do this, but the Structure Sensor does it exactly.

The Occipital Structure Sensor for iPad ($379 - Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) is the first 3D scanner for mobile devices. It enables 3D scanning, indoor mapping and mixed reality gaming. Its developer (SDK) lets you create your own 3D powered games and apps. It also includes a precision attachment bracket for iPad Air 2 for stability, and has a silver or gray anodized aluminum finish to prevent chipping and peeling of paint.

Get the Best 3D Scanner of 2018!

Now that you have finished reading all the reviews, we think you are in a better position to choose a 3D scanner. Place that order now and send us a mail of something cool that you used your 3D scanner to do, maybe!

Our Top Choice
DAVID Vision Systems SLS-3 3D Scanner
Best Value
XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 3D Scanner
eQUALITY Tech Rexcan CS+ 3D Scanner
Artec 3D Eva 3D Scanner
Occipital Structure Sensor for iPad