New 3D Scanners Are Coming Out All the Time

With new 3D scanners hitting the market, like the Kinect Solution and accessories that can turn your iPad into a 3D scanner, are you thinking about bringing 3D scanning in-house?

The cost of buying and maintaining 3D scanning equipment is high, and when we read about the new scanners and their lower costs, we were very excited. As we investigated further we found the lower cost does not actually include a quality scan. The reality is, quality comes with a price and it would be difficult to bring a lower quality scan to a professional environment.

Here are some issues we found with the lower cost 3D scanners:

1. The measurements, distance and size are not a close enough match to the model or object and there is little detail in the scan data. Although our artists would be able to sculpt something out of these scans, our customers on occasion ask for the raw data. With the data the lower cost scanners put out, only some scaling can be done based on camera lenses, but not much more.

LIDAR SCANNED BUILDING, 3D SCANNING2. Unable to provide texture maps. We provide texture maps to our customers from a system that captures non reflective looks and detail for texturing back onto the model or object to make it look realistic. The data the new scanners capture is not detailed enough to provide any type of map. Production studios at times require the final product to be shown on 4K x 4K screens.


The lower cost scanners are good for smaller projects or specialty items that do not require a lot of detail, and will be challenging if you are looking to create a professional digital asset. Because we work with 3d scanning equipment everyday, we wanted to let you know our thoughts on the lower cost scanners. Please share any ideas or insights you have if your findings are different than ours.

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