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5 Factors to Consider When Choosing 3D Scanners

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Published in Business Articles

We’re in the early stages of a new decade, and 3D printers and scanners are what everyone’s talking about.

What started out as an unorthodox and revolutionary piece of equipment in the 1980s is now available in retail stores for as little as $500. However, don’t let the price fool you; even the most affordable 3D scanners pack years’ worth of breakthrough technology and innovation from the worlds’ leading scientists.

3D scanning is a fairly new phenomenon and is yet to attract a large market base. However, if you’re in the market for a 3D scanner, choosing 3D scanners from the plethora of options can prove a tad challenging. If you’re looking for a 3D scanner and have no clue on how to go about the entire affair, we’re here to help.

In today’s post, we’ll be highlighting a few crucial factors you need to consider when getting a 3D scanner.

1. The Accuracy

The accuracy of a 3D scanner depends on its technology. Typically, the higher the accuracy, the more expensive the 3D scanner will be. You’ll have to break the bank if you want a high-accuracy 3D scanner.

Of course, the accuracy you need depends on what you’re using the 3D scanner for. High precision operations like high dynamic range extension and gray level transformation require ultimate precision. If you’re using the 3D scanner for such, you’ll have no choice but to break the bank.

If accuracy isn’t too much of a concern, you can go for the less accurate models. That way, you can save some cash that you can use for other project activities. However, if you’re using the scanner for high precision operations, never compromise on the scanner’s accuracy, or your project will flop.

Comparing 3D scanner costs between 3D scanner providers is always a good idea. That way, you can find the most affordable scanner that meets both your accuracy and budget requirements

2. Portability

3D scanners come in various types and sizes. Some scanners are stationary, meaning they can’t move from the position you install them in. Cabled 3D scanners are much more portable, but you can’t move them around too much.

Wireless 3D scanners are the best portable. However, most wireless 3D scanners are only suitable for smaller projects. That said, if you need something more portable, then a wireless 3D scanner is just what the doctor ordered.

3. Volume and Coverage

The area that a 3D scanner can capture depends on the type of 3D scanner you settle for. You need to find a 3D scanner that can meet your size and resolution requirements. As you’d expect, the more the scanner’s coverage, the higher its price.

With handheld 3D scanners, you can manually move them around the object you want to capture until you get every inch. These types of scanners can capture anything from the size of a baseball to the size of an entire room. What’s more, you can plop them into your briefcase and carry them anywhere you want to go.

Desktop 3D scanners have limited coverage, but the high-end models have winder range and can still maintain pinpoint precision. Most desktop 3D scanners use turntables that rotate the 3D scanner around the object to capture everything apart from the top and bottom.

Some scanners can move around multiple axes, but they typically cost a fortune. If you prioritize coverage over accuracy, a handheld scanner will do just fine.

4. Speed

If you’re running on a tight deadline, you don’t want a dreadfully slow scanner. Scanning speed is also a crucial factor to consider when looking for a 3D scanner. Scanner speeds vary significantly with the type of scanner you opt for.

For larger projects, it’s a good idea to look for a scanner with a high-speed ratio. This means a scanner that can handle millions of points per second. That way, you can fast-track your project and meet the deadlines.

5. Cost

As mentioned earlier, 3D scanners have different price points, depending on their size, accuracy, and portability. You can get 3D scanners for as low as $500, but the high-end models can cost as much as $38,000.

Before you craft your 3D scanner budget, you first need to consider all the above factors. Make sure the 3D scanner you want can meet all your project requirements. Explore all your options, then settle for a 3D scanner that checks all the boxes and matches your budget.

What Are the Benefits of 3D Scanners?

What’s all the fuss with 3D scanners, and why are engineers, product designers, and researchers itching to get their hands on one? Well, 3D scanners have been immensely beneficial in plenty of fields. Here are a few benefits of 3D scanners.

Great for prototyping: 3D scanning is an integral part of most prototyping processes. It helps reduce the number of prototyping design cycles in the development phase, which results in faster product rollout.

Helpful in designing: 3D scanners capture a physical model and render it from CAD designing. This is especially useful when designers need to improve existing objects. It also helps when designers need to fit their design to objects that already exist.

Simplify conceptualizing: The idea or concept phase is one of the most challenging phases of product design. However, 3D scanners help simplify the process for seamless conceptualizing.

Most concepts start with a clay model of the product. A 3D scanner scans and digitizes the object for easier manipulation of the product. This helps take a huge load off project designers during the conceptualizing phase.

Choosing 3D Scanners Made Easy

The information above should make choosing 3D scanners for your project a breeze. Remember to take all these factors into account for the best results. Also, only purchase your 3D scanner from a reputable vendor to get your money’s worth.

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