low cost 3d scanners you can buy

interested in owning a 3D scanner but can't afford one? Here are a c couple low-cost options for you to consider

If you’re completely new to 3D scanning services, it can be a tough business to get into. Your best bet is to start small and check out the most widely used affordable scanners that are available on the market. Not only because they have the most feedback and online discussion in helpful places like forums, but because they serve as a great introduction to the variability that exists in the world of 3D scanning services as a whole, and as a consequence the variability in their applications. Even if you don’t want to spend too much there’s a little something for everyone, including those who would like to scan people, objects, interior spaces and more!

The truth is that there are quite a number of models that you can choose from even if you have a tight budget to work with, and if you do your homework right and try get down key terms you’re sure to settle on one that can do more than what you initially had in mind. There are many reasons why so many people are drawn to scanning and it’s for this reason that it is worth noting where common denominators stick out. In a number of respects the market speaks and this is why it pays to look to the models that have seen the most success and to answer the question why as best we can. Oftentimes there is a lot that can be learned when we learn about the company history and align it with certain models that seem to be resonating the most with consumers as a whole.

For many, 3D scanning technology came way out of left field and we are more than eager to see where it can go and what uses we have yet to discover for it. So if you don’t know much about it, read a bit about it and how it is being used across society. In the mean time here are some examples of models that are really moving on the market and as such as targeted towards ordinary people who have a passing or relatively simple straight forward interest.

If you would like something that you can attach directly to your Apple tablet, the 95 gram Structure Sensor has gained quite the following in this regard and as such may sway you. It’s also popular due to its .5 mm degree of precision and how it boasts a number of uses that include mixed reality gaming, indoor mapping and of course 3D scanning services. It appeals to a lot of people because of its size that encourages users to carry it with them no matter where they go which captures the true spirit of scanning as a hobby, or as a means of selling 3D scanning services.

A lot of newcomers to scanning have found that the Ciclop 3D scanner by BQ is a great place to start. At only $400 it is an Open Source 3D scanner that comes with the Horus software for working captured data. It’s a very attractive route to take as all the information with respect to its software, design and electrical components can be found for free online. So if you would like to really learn about what makes up the 3D scanning process you can’t do much better than the Ciclop for the price.

It is a platform based design that features a scanning area of 205 x 200 x 200 mm and can scan objects in just under 8 minutes. It’s rather easy to use thanks to the step-by-step guide that it includes so if you’re curious about scanning this is a fine place to start.

Another platform based scanner is the Einscan SE from the Chinese company Shining3D that delivers high quality results by relying on invisible light and structural light technology that are sure to leave you impressed and scanning for years to come. This is a wonderful option if you have some serious plans for scanning, be they for business or education, you can’t go wrong with this relatively new and improved model that offers accuracy of .1 mm. Another thing that makes this model special is that you can scan objects as large as 700 x 700 x 700 mm. Certainly nothing to sneeze at.

While this last one is the most expensive scanner listed, at around $1,200 which is still a modest price, it is clear how it is a real step up from the rest. The reason for its quality is that it is part of a natural progression that has fairly consistently come out from the Einscan company. If you would like to see where scanning is headed, keep your eye on the latest models to come out of this company.

Certain brands and models have really taken off and as consumers we should make a real effort to try to understand why it is. This could prove to be particularly fruitful down the line as certain models are sure to be more effectively marketed to specific groups of interests so that we don’t have to compare extensively across the board. This is what happens with most Innovations that really take off as companies are encouraged to take care of most of the technical considerations so that potential consumers don’t have to wade through all kinds of waters of information and misinformation on their own.

There are many possibilities that you can choose from and they will increase over time. What will be a very positive thing to see happen with respect to the more affordable end of 3D scanners is the bridging of the gap between scanning technology and printing technology. Meaning finding models that are meant to be used as steps in printing that also include useful software that you can wrap your head around. At the moment, the merging of the two is very limited, particularly due to the complexities that are required to take a scanned image and ready it so that a decent version can be utilized in additive manufacturing.

There are so many reasons why scanning popularity is revving up in a fairly incessant fashion and it is the hope that companies will compete for the benefit of those of us who are quite taken with and what it is able to do. While we may not understand the exact science of how it works, consumers are the ones who will dictate how this technology will evolve and better serve us.


At the end of the day, when you’re talking about those who make up the consumer base for affordable 3D scanning technology they tend to have several common interests, and it these interests that are going to be reflected in the most common models that you’re going to find in customer reviews.


Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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