The Top Professional 3D Scanners
3D scanning technology analyses a real-world object to collect data on its shape and appearance (for example colour) – this data is then used to construct digital 3D models of the object. For the 3D printing industry, 3D scanners have become an important, if not essential part of the process of designing and modeling a piece on 3D software. There are different types of 3D scanners on the market, they respond to different needs and therefore target different users. In our last ranking, we covered the best low-cost 3D scanners currently available. However, some users may need higher accuracy, resolution, or capture speed for professional applications. In this ranking we focus on professional 3D scanners, ranked by price. As there are many professional 3D scanners, we picked only handheld devices. This list is not exhaustive but will give you an idea of the best in the industry today! And, if you are unsure you can always read our expert advice on choosing a 3D scanner.
EinScan Pro 2X Plus
The EinScan Pro 2X Plus is a professional scanner, manufactured by the Chinese giant Shining 3D. It uses structured light technology and is a follow-up version of the well-known EinScan-Pro+. Shining 3D explains that this is a multi-functional handheld device, for a wide range of applications (such as reverse engineering, generative design, and simulation). It offers an enhanced handheld HD scan mode, an increased scan range, it also captures medium to large objects with high efficiency. It is able to capture up to 1,500,000 points per second with an accuracy of up to 0.04 mm and a resolution of 0.2 mm. The starting price is around $6,899.
The peel 2 handheld professional scanner from peel 3d – a Canadian manufacturer, subsidiary of Creaform – is on the affordable side of professional scanners. The peel 2 is the next-generation of peel 3d scanners that features the same ease of use but with enhanced features. This scanner provides higher measurement resolution, colour capture, enhanced tracking and better geometry capabilities. The peel 2 provides a resolution of 0.25 mm versus 0.5 mm with the original peel 3d scanner. It also comes with peel 3d’s data processing software (peel 2.0). The starting price is around $7,490.
The Freestyle3D X from the Florida-based manufacturer, FARO is a professional handheld scanner based on laser triangulation technology. It is the more advanced version of the Freestyle3D. Thanks to its great precision, this scanner is appropriate for scanning installations or properties that must be quickly measured from various perspectives. The applications of the Freestyle3D X are diverse, from construction, architecture, medical to industrial production and forensics. It is also a very lightweight device, weighing less than 1 kg (2.2 lb). It provides a resolution of 0.2 mm, a scanning volume of 8.1 cubic meters and fast scanning, from 0.02 to 10 milliseconds per single scan. The starting price is around $11,000 – $12,000.
The F6 SMART from the Israel-based manufacturer, Mantis Vision is a laser 3D scanner, handheld and portable. The manufacturer claims that this 3D scanner is appropriate for a range of applications, from architecture, engineering, construction, automotive, virtual reality and more. It presents a resolution of 1 mm and can capture up to 640,000 points per second. It is meant to scan big objects and large areas from short to far ranges (between 0.5 meters and 4.5 meters). The starting price is around $15,000.
The Eva professional 3D scanner from the manufacturer based in Luxembourg, Artec 3D is a handheld device for various applications such as reverse engineering, body scanning, or museum conservation. The Eva scanner uses structured light technology and can achieve up to 0.5 mm in resolution. It is also very lightweight, weighing only 0.85 kg (1.9 lb). It can capture up to 2,000,000 points per second. According to many in the industry, this scanner offers a good price to performance ratio. Artec 3D manufactures a range of 3D scanners, such as the Space Spider professional scanner, aimed specifically at CAD users and engineers – it has a resolution of 0.1 mm. The starting price is around $15,270.
Thor3D is the Russian manufacturer of the Drake professional 3D scanner, using structured light technology. This device is handheld and one of its most important features is that it has interchangeable lenses which allow the user to scan any sized object, from a penny to a yacht. The scanner has 3 different lenses (called ‘heads’), the Midi, Mini and Maxi. The price of the device depends on the number of heads you purchase. This device weighs around 2 kg (4.4 lb), making it portable for travelling and easy to use. It comes with a complimentary 3D scanner software, Thor3D Suite to facilitate data exportation and editing. It has a maximum resolution of 0.15 mm and can capture up to 1,200,000 points per second. The starting prices, depending on how many heads you purchase are, $16,800, $22,800 and $28,800.
The Trios 4 professional 3D scanner from the Danish 3Shape is meant for medical applications. It is a dental 3D scanner with various important features, such as a built-in fluorescence technology that helps in the identification of caries. Not just a simple dental 3D scanner, the Trios 4 comes with tools inexistent in the Trios 3 model: the caries diagnostic aid & monitoring tools and preventive care possibilities. Thanks to its open ecosystem feature, the Trios 4 is definitely a tool of professionals that goes beyond being a scan-only device – dentists can track patient’s progress for years. The starting price is around $23,500.
The Go!SCAN SPARK is a portable, professional and handheld 3D scanner from the Canada-based manufacturer, Creaform. This scanner is appropriate for many industries and applications, from CAD design, prototyping, tooling and much more. It has a resolution of 0.2 mm and can capture up to 1,500,000 points per second. Like its predecessors, this scanner uses structured light technology. Creaform claims that this device is user-friendly, plug & play, and portable to facilitate accurate scanning. One important feature is that it comes with proprietary software that includes scan-to-CAD and dimensional inspection modules to improve product development. The starting price is around $30,000.
The T-SCAN CS is a professional handheld 3D scanner from the German manufacturer, ZEISS OPTOTECHNIK. This is a fast, intuitive and highly precise 3D scanner, using laser triangulation technology. It has a resolution of up to 0.08 mm, one of the highest on the market. It is a modular all-in-one device, it includes a tracking camera, handheld scanner and touchprobe. The areas of application according to the manufacturer are quality and inspection control (by comparing to CAD data), mold and toolmaking, design modeling, rapid prototyping and reverse engineering. Finally, it is dedicated to 3D scanning large objects, up to 5 cubic meters. The starting price is around $50,000.
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