The V2 has two functions: It can scan the geometry of an object using its lasers and it can pick up the texture of objects using a camera. We’ve split this section into two parts to address the performance of each separately.
It comes with a calibration card and a blue rubber duck to get started. The calibration process is very simple and clear. And scanning is also very simple — the software also allows you to move an object around, for scans of every single angle you can think of, and then can align it to create a complete model.
Texture in the 3D scanning world essentially means color. When it comes to picking up what an object looks like on its surface, rather than what its volume and matter are, the V2 is pretty adept.
If you generously ignore the areas where we could have moved the scanner around some more to fully complete the scan, you can see the V2 was even able to pick up the tiny writing on the hand sanitizer bottle.
Similarly, it was able to pick up the fine details of a 3D scanned miniature bust of my colleague, Matthew.
Where we did have some issues was with maintaining consistent lighting when not using +Quickscan. (If you buy this scanner we cannot recommend the +Quickscan enough. It’s really a game changer compared to the much, much slower normal scanning option and the results as far as we could tell were the same.)
As you can see with the mango below, there are areas where it is much darker and others where it is very light. This is because someone in our testing lab turned off the lights when they exited the room. A wonderful gesture to the environment, but in this particular case rather unfortunate for the world of 3D scanning.
Perhaps the most important takeaway is that when it comes to lighting — and this really only applies to the texture aspect of scanning — it’s tough to get it exactly right. The V2 on its own isn’t really sufficient to ensure optimal lighting conditions and you need to think outside the box — or create some kind of lighting box or enclosure — to really make the product work best.
But if you’re down to fiddle around a bit and create makeshift enclosures to keep the lighting consistent and not too bright, but not too dark (we used an old box and sat it on top of the scanner), you’ll find your scans quickly become a lot more impressive.
Though the V2 can pick up fine detail, when it comes to turning that data into a 3D printable model, it may need some additional work. Some post-processing is definitely required, depending on what you’re scanning and possibly hoping to 3D print, to fine tune the models it churns out.
We tried to replicate a 3D print of Fallout’s Vault Boy. Though some of the very fine details like the etched eyes and smile and the full thumb were lost, the scanner did a pretty good job.
We also tried scanning an antique ring, which has both shiny surfaces (tougher to get accurate texture) and very fine details. Though the scanner did a pretty good job of picking up the details, when it came to turning it into a 3D printable model, a lot of the details got lost — like the full band.
So, in order to print the ring at all, we had to reduce the detail way down. The result was a lumpy, too small, misshapen ring.
Though we thought the 3DBenchy was a torture test for 3D printers, it turns out it’s an even better torture test for 3D scanners. Those tiny windows are extremely hard to get the laser into, which means when you use the meshing tool, those semi-covered holes, due to the way the meshing algorithm works, turn into big blobs where it fills in the missing data as best as it can.
The workaround is to get as much coverage as possible, moving an object around many times to try and give the laser the most data, but it’s not always so easy.
Overall, the scanner was good at handling geometries, but it definitely had its quirks. For a professional looking to use this software, it may not be robust enough, however, for hobbyists and educators, it should be sufficient.