Best 3D Scanner: 5 Picks For Capturing 3D Models

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The 3D scanner market is a highly diverse space and it comes with its very own wide range of products. One that comes in all manners of open source 3D scanners and objects, especially with regard to shapes capabilities, sizes, and prices.

Such choice amongst the desktop 3D scanner market is a great thing in itself. However, it can certainly make sorting the best 3D scanners from the not so good 3D scanners a bit of an arduous chore.

It does not matter, if you are looking for that picture perfect entry-level 3D scanner suitable for casual consumers or hobbyists. Alternately you may be looking for a best 3D scanner; a more powerful machine that has better software and workflows.

You may even be looking for an industrial-level 3D scanner that can easily handle advanced tasks such as reverse engineering, quality control, and maintenance. In any case, you can rest assured that you can find a 3D scanner in this list that will be up to the task as well as the budget at hand. Let us see how.

Best 3D Scanners

1. Artec Micro

If you really need or want to scan very small and teeny tiny objects such as very small and fine mechanical parts or for that matter, even dental implant components or small pieces of costume jewelry, take a closer look at the Artec Micro.

The Artec Micro is a state of the art and fully-automated desktop 3D scanner. Unlike some of the more common 3D scanner solutions available in the market today, this model does not require you to hold the 3D unit it in your hand and basically walk all around the object that you are trying to capture. Instead of that, you will simply have to mount the object itself, onto the Micro’s scanning platform before you start scanning.

The Micro features its own cutting edge dual-axis rotation system created for the express purpose of capturing objects at every possible angle. It does this both seamlessly and automatically and via an entirely hands-free operation mode.

The Artec Micro 3D scanner will by itself easily choose the best and most effective path to capture each and every surface as well as angle of the object being captured for subsequent 3D printing. In this case there is no human brain involvement required whatsoever, at any point in time.

Tech Specs

The Artec Micro can see 3D data within a 324 cm³ capture zone. Apart from that, it can also scan it with an ultra-high precision that can go up to 10 microns. Finally it offers a resolution of up to 0.029 mm.

This is a handheld 3D scanner that is made in Luxembourg for $19,800.

Check it out here

2. Einscan Pro 2x

EinScan Pro 2X Plus Multi-Functional Handheld 3D Scanner,Versatile/Align Scan Modes,0.04 mm Accuracy,Rapid/Fixed Scan Mode,10fps to 30fps Scan Speed,0.7 to 0.25mm Resolution,Built-in USB Cable

The Einscan Pro 2x is part of a recent duel product launch of desktop 3D scanners (as successors to Shining 3D’path finding Einscan S 3D scanner. The Shining 3D’s EinScan-SE system now offers a complete and well-rounded package for not just beginners to the 3D scanning world, but also educators who are looking to get acquainted with high output quality 3D scans with little fuss or bother.

Here the main difference between both of these 3D scanners is their overall scan area as well as stand-off 3D distance; the EinScan Pro 2X Plus is somewhat more convenient for large objects. Apart from that, the 2X also comes in a light steel grey color while the 2X Plus is available in black only

When in hand, the EinScan 2X Pro Plus typically feels pretty robust and ergonomic too. The product’s overall finish is quite clean and it further reinforces its sturdy, industrial 3D look. The Start 3D scanning button is ergonomically placed, as well as all of the other functions.

In order to start 3D scanning of an object, a simple short calibration setup is usually recommended. The process is not difficult but very intuitive, and you can watch the video via the software, without logging on to the net. Albeit, YouTube tutorials are also available online.

This 3D scanner has 3 different 3D scan settings that include the following:

  • Fixed Scan
  • Handheld Rapid Scan
  • Handheld HD Scan

Once the desired mode has been selected, the software will proceed to automatically launch the proper mode and instructions in order to get started with the 3D scanning process.

This 3D scanner will 3D scan from different distances and also at different angles. The software on this 3D scanner then proceeds to display a “calibrating” message. After that, it will do detailed calculations for several minutes and tabulate the results in terms of megapixels.

Last but not least, it will automatically measure overall accuracy that will also require a single step before it proceeds to display the results. Once all of the calibrations are complete, it is now possible to choose the desired 3D scanning mode in the menu. Once that happens, you can then proceed to directly start 3D scanning the desired object.

Tech Specs

  • Product: Shining 3D EinScan Pro 2X
  • Style: Stationary 3D scanner
  • Technology: Structured Light
  • OS Compatibility: Windows 7-10 (x64), Mac (beta)
  • Market Price: $1,399.

3. Matter and Form 3D Scanner V2

Matter & Form Mfs1V2 3D Scanner V2 +Quickscan, 65 Second Scans, Black

This is the designated successor to the Matter and Form V1. The M and F 3D Scanner V2 essentially retains the basic hardware of its V1 version but it introduces usability improvements too. Think of it along the lines of the optimization of the core V1. This is one 3D scanner that together with its up to date software does a truly admirable job for its price point.

This 3D scanner comes bundled with the all new MFStudio software. This means that the M & F Scanner V2 is quite capable of capturing the 3D scanned object’s geometry much faster than before. This is particularly true when used alongside the usual optional +QuickScan software upgrade.

As with the V1 that preceded it, the USB connection to the system makes the Matter and Form V2 a state of the art desktop scanner through and through. But it has many characteristic that are similar to hand held 3D scanners. It is foldable so you can easily collapse it all the way down for easy portability.

At just under $750, the Matter and Form V2 3D scanner is a suitable option for educators artists, , and hobbyists. In other words people who want a high-resolution 3D scanner at a fairly low price. However, it cannot be classified amongst professional D scanners as such. As far as price goes, this scanner is one the lowest price options in this list. It also offers fairly decent scan volume for its price, thanks to its advanced structure sensor, which is one of the very best in its class.

Laser triangulation is a very important part of any handheld 3D scanner since it can scan an object very quickly indeed. You can’t go far wrong with a scanner 3D with laser triangulation capability.

Tech Specs

  • Model: Scanner V2
  • Brand: Matter and Form
  • OS compatibility: Mac OS, Microsoft Windows
  • Output formats: DAE, OBJ, PLY, STL, XYZ

4. EinScan Pro

2023 EinScan Pro HD Multi-Functional Handheld 3D Scanner, 0.045mm Accuracy, 0.2mm Resolution, Solid Edge CAD Software for Reverse Engineering, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Research, Art and Design

As far as structured light scanning solutions go, the EinScan series of 3D scanning devices really make the grade. The handheld 3D scanner is a good accompaniment for 3D printing duties.

The EinScan as well as its EinScan-Pro+ counterpart are both exceptionally multi-functional 3D scanners. This duo can easily capture objects both big and small. Apart from that, you can use it as either a fixed or for that matter a handheld 3D scanner. This Shining 3D scanner offers both rapid as well as HD scanning modes. Overall, it is eminently well-suited for a large variety of diverse 3D scanning situations.

The EinScan series Scanner typically uses lots of white light 3D scanning technology. This enables this 3D scanner to work with very high accuracy as well as speed. This professional-grade 3D scanning system can also utilize good color texture capture via various top notch features ranging in size from 0.03mm all the up to 4 meters or so.

As a general rule, structured light scanning provides the best resolution and accuracy amongst handheld and even desktop 3D scanners.

Though the Pro has been recently succeeded by the newer Shining 3D Pro 2X line, nonetheless the original Shining 3D Pro model scanner systems still offer plenty of value for money; they are just not as fast or capable as the newer models. This desktop 3D scanner is a great addition to all of your 3D printing activities. It is a good way to 3D scan any object with a high degree of accuracy.

Tech Specs

  • Desktop 3D scanner mode : Handheld scanner mode
  • Single Shot Accuracy: 0 1 mm
  • Scan Speed: 90,000 points per sec
  • Point Distance: 0.2 – 2 mm
  • Align Mode: Markers Alignment
  • Texture Scan: No
  • Maker: Shining 3D

5. Artec Eva

Artec Eva Lite 3D Scanner

You can use the scanner to scan all kinds of medium sized 3D printing objects. The Artec Eva is an integral part of any 3D scanners buyer s guide due to its high regulation scanning capabilities and affordable price.

It offers good accuracy and it can capture high resolution images due to its real world product design. All at a nominal price. This scanner is a great way to move up a notch towards structured light scanning laser scanners.

The Artec Eva is well suited to all kinds of medium sized objects (including busts), and it can also capture with high accuracy full-color 3D scans quickly and reliably thanks to its structure sensor.

It’s also possible to set up more than one Artec 3D scanner so as to speed up or for that matter improve the whole 3D scanning process. While this is an expensive proposition worthy of industrial 3D, but a pretty welcome one since it showcases the overall versatility of the device.

The Artec Eva used structured light for its 3D scanning method for any individual object. Unlike many industrial 3D scanners this makes it particularly safe for scanning not just objects but also people and animals too. The Artec Eva requires neither calibration whatsoever nor warm-up time to enhance accuracy.

Its scanning software is compatible with various 3D printing machines and tablets. This makes it a very portable 3D scanner unlike various other large objects to make the whole system easier to lug around.

Here, it is pertinent to note that it’s editing and scanning software is not free, however, and it will not be part of the handheld 3D scanner as it is shipped from the factory where it is built. But in terms of sheer accuracy for 3D scanners alone the Artec Studio software is by far and large the best part of using this particular scanner.

In fact, it makes it stand out amongst the best 3D scanners around. However, if Artec Studio‘s scanning professional 3D software is not your cup of tea, there is no need to fret as such.

This is because all the scanned object data from the 3D scanner can now easily be exported; In fact just about any third party 3D editing and scanning studio software should be able to get the job done right, the very first time over. As a general rule professional 3d scanners when used in collusion with a 3D printer tend to be very expensive.

However, there is no need to buy such professional 3d scanners in the first place if you can make do with the accuracy of a professional 3D machine for your 3D printer.

This 3D scanner can scan 3D models and other objects with ease. This is a far cry from any number of high end high price handheld 3D scanners for scanning various objects. The fact the price range of this 3d scanner is less than many of its competing brands make it a pretty viable choice for all of your 3D scanning needs.

While it’s almost $10k price tag may be steep and it is not exactly an affordable 3D scanner, but it does offer full color scanning capabilities for even small objects. It is also pretty easy to use and you just have to make sure that you take extra care when scanning objects. It offers good results in real time for your 3D print needs. The open source design allows for considerable accuracy with any object you 3D scan. It is a good investment, in spite of its price and that is why it is included in this buyer s guide.

Tech Specs of this 3D Scanner

  • Object size: Starting from 10 cm.
  • 3D point accuracy: Up to 0 1 mm
  • 3D resolution: Up to 0.5 mm.
  • 3D accuracy over distance: Up to 0.03% over 100 cm.
  • Structured light source: Flashbulb (no laser 3D)
  • Colors: 24 bpp.
  • Texture resolution: 1.3 mp.
  • Scanning technology: Structured light.


3D Scanner Buying Guide

3D Scanners are a really important part of the entire 3D printing ecosystem. As a matter of fact, many different types of 3D scanners certainly do exist, from desktop 3D scanners all the way to handheld 3D scanners, not to mention advanced metrology systems.

Laser triangulation of any 3D model can help to speed up the scan process. This holds true for many a scanner 3D model. Especially 3D ones.

Today’s large number of handheld 3D scanners and other 3D scanning machines are even more prolific now and can easily be used for an extremely large range of diverse applications running the full gamut from 3D body scanning or even online retail sales.

As of now, they are becoming considerably much easier to use and what is more, there is now a whole lot of low cost 3D scanners. And yes that also includes even professional 3D scanners, all of which are available at considerably lower prices than ever before.

However, there is an issue here. Given the already low number of highly reliable 3D scanner, it can be a tad challenging to find that best 3D scanner out there.

There are other scanners available, but few can handle the 3D printed object with such ease. This makes it difficult to fine one of the best 3D scanning machines out there, especially when it comes to scanning a 3D object in actual real time. If you want to scan a 3D object with the best scanners around, you can take a look here for all of your structure sensor 3D scan needs.

Thanks to advancements in cutting edge technology with regard to the best 3D scanners around, it is now possible to basically cut through all the clutter and offer some great reviews regarding what is available both in and on the market this year.

We will also run through different 3D scanning technology and applications (reverse engineering, 3D inspection, architecture, to see which one is best for the job at hand. We all also take a look at different 3d scanners and provide brief explanations of the different types of 3D scanning capabilities and apps that exist today.



This, in a nutshell is the current list of best 3D scanners around including large size desktop 3D scanners as well as small size and medium size object scan capable hand held 3D scanners. They are all easy to use and can help you to capture objects with accuracy. This list also includes large objects scanning devices too.

If you want to know more about the wonderful and fascination world of 3D scan capable machines, you may follow us here for more information regarding this otherwise fascinating subject. You will be sure to find that just right machine in your price range for scanning objects in 3D.

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In 2019 Shabbir bought a Tevo Tarantula and fell in love with 3D printing. He now shares his tips and love of 3d printing with the world exclusively through Maker Shop. Here's how he builds Ender 3s that can print at over 1000mm/s (25x stock!) for under $600.