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Best 3D scanners — review by Artec 3D

After reviewing the top 3D scanner lists available on the Internet, we noticed that most don’t include information about the key parameters of the objects you need to scan. Important categories such as object size and the application(s) you’ll be using the scanner for are not covered. This review aims to fill this gap and help you find the best 3D solution for your project.

If you’re looking for a 3D scanner to best fit your project requirements, finding the right one can be an overwhelming task. The Internet today is overloaded with dozens if not hundreds of “top 5-10-20 best 3D scanners” reviews and listings. Just having enough time to go through them can be difficult, not to mention dealing with all that tsunami of information.

After reviewing these listings, we noticed one common thread: the majority feature a limited list of very different scanners, selected by rather non-specific criteria. Most importantly, they don’t take into consideration what exactly you need to scan and for what purpose. So how do you know which one to choose if there are no clear parameters to compare them by? Let’s say, for example, that you need to scan a car, or an airplane wing or a human foot – which one will do the job best?

To answer this question, we decided to categorize our own 3D scanners based on object size, highlighting which device is the best tool for each range of object size. We hope that our review will help you choose the right solution for your project.

Best 3D scanners by object size

Artec Micro

Ideal for extra small objects

Artec Space Spider

Ideal for small objects

Artec Eva

Ideal for medium objects

Artec Leo

Ideal for medium and large objects

Artec Ray II

Ideal for large and very large objects

Other aspects to consider before buying a 3D scanner

Okay, now that you know what type of solution might best fit your object size, what other things do you need to think about when selecting a 3D capture device? Here are a few other questions to review:

  • What kind of projects will you be using this for? Will you need to capture only industrial objects? Or also vehicles? What about people?
  • Do you need a color 3D device? Or a textureless one?
  • How accurate do you need the final scans to be?

To give you an idea of what your decision-making process might look like, let’s consider a few project types and a few key characteristics, to see which Artec 3D scanner would fit the job. 

3D scanning technologies

If you’ve made it to this part of the review, you’ve probably learned that there are multiple 3D digital capture technologies out there. From laser and structured-light scanning, which have been mentioned here, to others such as photogrammetry, contact-based 3D capture, and more.

We believe that there are no good or bad 3D scanning technologies out there; all of them work well for different applications and scenarios. In the end, it doesn’t entirely matter which specific solution you choose, because it’s simply a question of what type(s) of object(s) you need to work with and the results you want to achieve.

If you want to learn more about the hows and whats of 3D digital capture technology, we recommend checking out our in-depth review of “What is 3D scanning?” in the Learning Center.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are several important factors to consider when selecting the right 3D scanner. And as we’re coming towards the end of our review, let’s sum them all up here:

1 First check and see if the model you’re looking at can capture the exact size of the object(s) you need to scan. Will you need to scan very small objects only? Or also objects of different sizes? Then make sure the unit can capture objects in your size range, or perhaps consider purchasing two separate scanners to digitize your objects most effectively.

2 Then be sure to check that the scanner is suitable for capturing your type(s) of object, whether it’s a human being, vehicles, buildings, industrial equipment, or jewelry.

3 The next step is to check the accuracy of the scanner, to see if it meets your project requirements. Will you be using the scanner for reverse engineering, quality control or dentistry? If so, then accuracy should be one of the key parameters on your scanner wish list.

4 And last but not least, confirm if the scanner can capture objects in color, and look carefully at the quality of its texture resolution, if this is a crucial point. Most scanners today deliver color 3D models, but the resolution can vary significantly. So make sure to try scanning the object with different scanners and see which one provides the best quality.

To read the full article, click here.

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