Appearing at the end of the 1970s, laser triangulation technology paved the way for new technology capable of 3D scanning objects. Usually reserved for industrial applications, this tool has gradually evolved over time, allowing us to easily find low cost 3D scanners to use for ourselves. Today, there are two main technologies for 3D scanning objects, structured light technology and laser triangulation, and two types of devices, handheld and desktop.
The Best Low Cost 3D Scanners of 2020
Most of the 3D scanners in our listing are under $1,000, with some as low as $500. You will notice that finding an affordable 3D scanning solution is more difficult than finding a low cost 3D printing solution. In the listing below you will find 10 low cost 3D scanners, ordered by price, that offer great capabilities.
1. 3D Scanner 1.0 A from XYZprinting
XYZprinting offers two 3D scanners in its range, the 1.0 A and the 2.0. The 1.0 A is the most affordable solution from the Taiwanese manufacturer, offering four modes of scanning. It uses Intel RealSense Camera technology, similar to structured light, to scan areas of 60 x 60 x 30 cm, 80 x 50 x 80 cm, 100 x 100 x 200 cm or the size of a human head.
The scan resolution is between 1.0 and 2.5 mm, keeping in mind that the operating range is 50 cm. The manufacturer also provides XYZScan Handy, a scanning and post-editing software to edit your models after scanning. The starting price for this machine is $229. You can find more information HERE.
2. Sense 2 from 3D Systems
The Sense 2 from 3D Systems is an affordable 3D scanning solution for small and medium-sized objects. The leading 3D printing company has released this newest version of the Sense, which works on shorter ranges than its predecessor but provides better performance.
In fact, Sense 2 uses structured light technology, and includes two sensors, one for capturing the size of the object and the other for the colour. The depth sensor has a 640 x 480 px resolution and the texture has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The starting price for this machine is $499.
3. Structure Sensor from Occipital
The Structure Sensor solution adds precise 3D vision to your mobile device, enabling 3D scanning among other features. The only equipment you will need for this 3D scanner to work is an iPad, then once you have downloaded the app Skanect Pro, it will work instantly.
The new version of this device is smaller than the last, 109mm x 18mm x 24mm, and weighs about 65 g. It is recommended to use it on a 0.3 m to 5m scanning range. Some other features on this device include indoor mapping and virtual reality gaming! The Structure Sensor retails for $527.
4. SOL 3D Scanner from Scan Dimension
This scanner was developed by Scan Dimension, based in Denmark, and is essentially a hybrid solution. It uses a combination of laser triangulation and white light technology to 3D scan real-life objects. The SOL 3D scanner can provide a resolution of up to 0.1 mm. The 3D scanning process is automated and you can choose between a near and far scanning mode.
The SOL 3D scanner also includes software to simplify your entire workflow. In a few steps you will be sending your 3D model to your 3D printer. This is a solution meant for makers, hobbyists, educators and entrepreneurs who may not have the most experience with 3D scanning devices but still want to achieve great results. The SOL 3D scanner retails for $699.
5. V2 from Matter & Form
The Matter and Form V2 3D scanner is a desktop 3D scanning solution powered by MFStudio software. Based on laser triangulation technology, the accuracy on this device can reach 0.1 mm, which is definitely impressive considering the price. It enables scanning an object with a maximum height of 25 cm and a diameter of 18 cm. The 3D scanner is available from $750.
6. EINSCAN-SE from Shining 3D
The Einscan-SE scanner from the Chinese manufacturer Shining 3D is characterized by its short scanning time and ease of use. The scanner has a 1.3 megapixel camera that can capture the colors and surfaces of the object being scanned. For a single scan, the machine takes about eight seconds, and a 360° scan in the auto scan mode takes two minutes.
Objects up to 700 x 700 x 700 mm can be scanned in the free scan mode, and up to 200 x 200 x 200 mm in the auto scan mode. This is the most affordable 3D scanning solution from the manufacturer. The starting price of the EINSCAN-SE is $1,399. You can find more information HERE.
7. RangeVision Smart
RangeVision Smart is a 3D scanner based on structured light, developed by the Russian manufacturer, RangeVision. Practical and affordable, it provides an accuracy of 0.1 mm, a resolution of 0.12 mm and a scanning speed of 4 to 12 seconds. It has been designed to scan pieces between 4 cm and 1 meter, leaving a wide choice to the user. At 1.25 kilos, it is easily transportable and can operate for 1 hour offline.
It is equipped with two cameras and an autofocus, making it easy to calibrate. In terms of applications, the RangeVision Smart 3D scanner is perfect for cultural heritage restoration and preservation projects, education, rapid prototyping and decoration. This 3D scanner costs around $2,750.
8. SLS Pro S3 from HP
The SLS Pro S3 from the American giant HP is a professional scanner based on structured light technology. It is a further development of the DAVID SLS-3, originally manufactured by DAVID Laserscanner, a brand that was taken over by HP in 2016. With a scan size of approximately 30-500 mm and a resolution of up to 0.05 mm, the scanner can perform single 360° scans within seconds.
With extensive color capture, users can obtain full-color 3D scans with this scanning solution. Besides a full-HD camera, the package includes adjustable metal stands and a tripod. The device is currently available for purchase at a starting price of $3,995.
9. iReal 2S from ScanTech
iReal 2S is a professional handheld color 3D scanner manufactured by ScanTech. The company specializes in developing, manufacturing and selling intelligent visual inspection equipment and counts an entire range of 3D scanners for various applications and sectors.
The iReal 2S color 3D scanner uses blue light and infrared light to scan objects from a scanning range between 300 and 600 mm. The company has created a 3D scanner that maximizes performance in texture reproduction, accuracy and detail capture, capable of reaching 0.1 mm in accuracy. Finally, its design has been made user-friendly, and it features a fully automatic post-processing algorithm.
10. Eva Lite from Artec 3D
Artec 3D, based in Luxembourg, offers with the Eva Lite its cheapest option for 3D scanning. This professional scanner is specialized in the digitization of complex geometries, such as the human body, and is therefore increasingly used in the medical field. It works on the basis of structured light technology and, although it does not have the ability to capture colours and textures like most scanners of the brand, it has an accuracy of 0.5 mm.
This 3D scanner works with the software package Artec Studio. Artec Studio is a powerful tool for an optimized 3D scanning process. This software is able to perform, assemble and repair 3D scans. It is currently available at a price of $9,800. You can find more information HERE.
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