These days, you see ’em everywhere. From major industry to DIY home projects, additive manufacturing is all the rage.
We’re talking about 3D printers, one of the hottest new technological advances in decades. But a printer is only as good as its scanner, so if you’re looking to do some serious 3D printing, you need to find a top-notch 3D scanner.
Fortunately for you, we’ve done the legwork, we combed through 3D scanner reviews high and low, and we’ve assembled a list of the best 3D scanners in 2020.
1. EinScan Pro 2X Handheld 3D Scanner
This versatile little handheld 3D scanner packs quite a punch. It’s small and lightweight, which means you can carry it with you wherever you need to go, and it’s perfect for real-life applications.
It also comes with different scanning modes, including handheld rapid scan mode (in which it can capture up to 1.5 million points per second!), handheld HD scan mode, and a fixed scan mode that works with or without a turntable. Add to that the optional Color Pack accessory, which allows the scanner to pick up its subject’s color and texture, and you’ve got one of the most capable 3D scanners on the market.
When it comes to handheld 3D scanner options, the EinScan Pro series of handheld scanners is about the best there is.
2. Matter and Form MFS1V1 3D Scanner
This is an easy-to-use desktop three-dimensional scanner and is a great option for hobbyists and DIYers.
Matter and Form’s scanner comes with a complete user’s manual and has a setting that allows you to scan an object in under 45 seconds. There’s an included software package as well, which helps in cleaning up and retouching the finished product.
The scanner is fairly portable—though not nearly as much as a handheld scanner—but it may not have quite the same accuracy as other 3D scanners.
3. XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 Pro 3-in-1 Wireless 3D Printer/Scanner
If you’re looking to combine your three-dimensional scanner and printer in the same device, then XYZprinting’s Da Vinci pretty much has you covered.
It’s a bulky unit, but since it’s combining two features in one, this is less of a concern. It comes with dual-laser 3D scanning technology, and a 360° rotating turntable, which means accurate and error-free scanning of the object.
4. EinScan-SE White Light Desktop 3D Scanner
One of the best 3D scanners for 3D printing, the EinScan-SE series of desktop scanners by the Shining 3D company is incredibly fast and accurate.
In a nutshell, it can capture details down to 0.1mm and boasts scan speeds of under 10 seconds, and only two minutes for a 360° full-color scan.
5. XYZprinting Full Color Handheld 3D Scanner 1.0 Pro
If you’re looking for a cheap 3D scanner, especially of the handheld variety, XYZprinting’s 1.0 Pro series handheld scanner fits the bill. Using sophisticated Intel RealSense scanning technology, it makes a cinch of the whole business of three-dimensional scanning.
Of course, you have to be prepared to sacrifice some degree of accuracy, as its resolution is somewhat reduced—and a steady hand is a must, for obvious reasons.
6. BQ Ciclop
Probably the ultimate in DIY 3D scanning, the BQ Ciclop is fully open source—meaning you can download the files for the scanner and print out its parts from your own 3D printer. You can find the files on Thingiverse, and the scanner itself uses 10 3D-printed parts, as well as a Logitech C270 webcam, two-line lasers, a threaded rod, and a turntable platform.
So if you’re looking for a scanner that’s ready to go right out of the box, the BQ Ciclop probably wouldn’t be your best choice. But if you’re really into the DIY side of things, this one might pique your interest.
7. 3D Systems SENSE2
Another handheld 3D scanner, 3D Systems’ SENSE2 is a lightweight piece of equipment that packs some serious heft. It comes with an HD color camera and an infrared projector that greatly speeds up the capture rate, with high definition colors and real-time data processing.
However, like XYZprinting’s 1.0 Pro handheld scanner, you really need to have a steady hand to make the fullest use of this product…so maybe lay off the caffeine before using it.
8. David SLS-3
This is a higher-end 3D scanner, with uses in a number of different professions and industries, from gaming and healthcare to archaeology and aerospace.
The David SLS-3 uses a rail-slide system that enables the scanner to image the target object from many different angles, and then stitch together a full three-dimensional model. Oh, and it has a resolution of up to 0.05mm.
9. Occipital Structure Sensor MARK II
This is a nifty little device. The MARK II handheld 3D scanner is designed to be used with the iPhone and iPad, but it can also be jury-rigged to work with Windows products.
It’s very lightweight and portable and is easy to use. Connectivity and file transference is simple, using a USB cord, which makes the MARK II great for low-cost 3D scans in the field.
Another Shining 3D offering, the EinScan-SP is a desktop scanner that images and digitizes target objects at lightning speed.
It also features a tripod for a better scanning perspective and boasts an accuracy that can compete with some of the highest-end professional scanners.
11. Creaform Handyscan 700
We just had to wrap up our list with this piece of equipment.
Although it sounds like a cheesy infomercial gadget, the Handyscan 700 is actually one of the industry’s finest scanners. It’s an impressive device, capable of performing over 480,000 measurements per second when scanning.
But its price might be a little out of reach for most—it costs north of $50,000!
Finding the Best 3D Scanners in 2020
The good news is there’s a wealth of options to choose from when searching for 3D scanners. The important thing is to decide how you want to use the scanner, and which model best suits your needs and price requirements.
We hope this list will help you make your choice. And if you’re looking for more articles on the latest and greatest tech in 2020, please check out our home page for more great product lists and tech advice for your business.