Tips: How to Choose a 3D Scanner?


Are you looking for a 3D scanner, but don’t know where to start?

This article will guide you in an easy way. Just try answering a few of the following questions.

3D scanners are not new, but for starters, it is often a problem as to which scanner to choose. Nowadays, this technology is produced in many forms, each with different prices depending on the function. Some of them can cost millions. If compared with the usage of each company, it may be a waste of budget.

So how do we choose? Here are three questions you can answer to help you rule out non-options.

1. Size

How big is the item you want to scan?

If you want to scan a room, a building, or a mountain, you need a very high-end scanner. Leica and Faro are priced at around $ 30,000 to $ 100,000 (about 900,000 – 3,000,000 baht), or slightly cheaper, the Matterport, which is more restrictive with a lower price.

If you want to scan items from approximately 1 cm onwards up to 10 m, look for a laser or white light scanner (white-light), which is both a size that can be held by hand and that must be placed on a tripod. Each brand has great differences in technology, price, and functionality, such as the popular Thor3D with a compact size and being sold in Thailand, 3DSystems, or Creaform, which has a price range from $ 500 to $ 70,000 (approximately 16,000 – 2,000,000 baht).

If you want to scan very small and highly accurate items for analysis and other applications, then you need to look for a microscope scanner such as Keyence. It posses a high resolution and precision, but are subject to digital limitations and specific uses. Another option is Nikon’s CMMs (Coordinate Measuring Machines) technology, but they can cost thousands of dollars. So not everyone will be able to use it.

2. Color

Is it necessary for the scanned files to be colored?

Most 3D scanners do not capture color, also known as texture. This is because 3D scanners were originally developed for use in engineering where it only required the shape of an object to be accurately digitized, which is the most important function of a 3D scanner.

However, over the past ten years, more industries have begun to add color capture functions to this device, as companies decide to use 3D scanners in their daily operations. For example, some museums want to build an “Online virtual museum”. Therefore, they wanted to capture precise details of various art pieces, including their colors or the criminologist who wants to capture the environment of the incident area so that it can be used as evidence in a trial. It also includes special effects graphic designers who need digital files, actors’ face shapes, and clear colors to recreate the most fantasy scenes.

If you want information on that color, lucky you because your options will be much narrower. Scanners that can capture color information on the market are few and of course very expensive as well. If you don’t need color information, the options are still wide. Let’s take a look at the next question to help cross out the options.

3. Money

What is your budget?

“Good Things Don’t Have to Be Expensive!” is not true and everyone should be aware of. If you want a quality 3D scanner then be willing to pay expensive. Take a look at the comparison image below and you can clearly see the difference. Having the most complete files can save you a lot of budget and editing time.

In a nutshell, for anyone looking for a 3D scanner, ask yourself if the ‘object’ you want to scan is large or small, scanned must be colored, how much is the budget. This will allow you to cut out a lot more options.

But if still unsure or do not know which brand to choose, you can try calling us at 02-865-2688, we are happy to advise by the No.1 expert engineer in Thailand.