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3D Printing Certification

Which 3D scanner is the best for you?


Lucie Gaget on Mar 27, 2019 |

Using a 3D scanner can be a good solution to start your 3D printing certification process. Indeed, to 3D print, it is necessary to get a 3D file! Several possibilities are available: you can design your own 3D design using a 3D modeling software, or get one from the internet. But you can also start by 3D scanning objects!

We want to help you find your way through the many 3D scanners options, so we’ve combined what we believe are the best ones: from low cost to the professional 3D scanner, there’s a 3D scanning option for every budget. Start making the most of 3D scanning right now!


What is a 3D scanner?


First, do you know what 3D scanning is? This technology allows capturing the physical shape of a physical object, to get its three-dimensional representation. The scanner analyzes a real object, collects data, and creates a digital 3D model from it. 3D scanners can use different technologies, industrial computed tomography or structured light 3D scanners can create a 3D model, without any destructive testing.


Your 3D scanner choice will depend on your project. What scan volume do you need? What resolution? Do you need to do a 3D body scan or to scan objects? There is a wide range of different 3D scanners on the market, and scanning technology is improving really fast, offering a lot of new possibilities.


These 3D laser scanners can help you create your 3D files. Do you need to create 3D scans for 3D printing certification? Once your 3D files are ready, you can upload them on an online 3D printing certification service, and receive your parts in a few days! Thanks to this service, you could try plastic, resin, or metal 3D printing certification, think about it! But first, let’s choose your 3D scanner. Give yourself the one that matches your needs to use the files for 3D printing certification. We have ordered them by price, so you can find one that goes with your budget.


Low cost 3D scanners



The Xbox Kinect is used to enhance gameplay. It was not intended as a 3D scan but, using some easily found DIY guides and a 3rd party software (there are several free options, like ReconstructMe), you can turn this little device into… a 3D scanner. This might be a good option for you if you are interested in DIY and looking for an inexpensive option for 3D scanning.

Price: $99.99

Resolution: 0.051 mm


FabScan is a DIY 3D scanner developed by Francis Engelmann in 2010. This laser scanner is synchronized with a rotating platform. Building a 3D scanner on its own is a really good way to learn how 3D scanning works, and it’s quite cheaper than purchasing a 3D scanner.

To get this open source 3D scanner, check the FabScan website right now!

Price: Around $200


Occipital Structure Sensor

This scanner can be fixed on your mobile device (it’s best suited for iPad). It is light and easy to use, and it has very good resolution. It can be used for large shapes, you can get full body scans using the Occipital Structure Sensor, but also outdoor scans.

You can also use it with specific apps that make use of Occipital’s SDK. It will improve the scanner’s resolution and gives you access to specific applications, like the room scanning option.

Occipital Structure Sensor

Price: $379

Resolution: Up to 0.5 mm

Precision: Up to 4 mm


Handheld 3D scanner: Cubify

3D scanners can be quite affordable and easy to use and carry if you choose the low-cost portable version. The Cubify is a very good option for that: it gives a relatively good resolution. However, it’s not sophisticated enough to provide texture scanning: it’s best to use this scanner when you want to print with only one color.


Price: $399

Resolution: 0.9mm

Depth Resolution at 0.5m: 1mm


Desktop 3D scanners

Matter and Form

If you want to go to the next level in terms of quality, you can invest in a desktop 3D scanner. This one is compact, easy to use, and has good resolution, especially considering its cost. This scanner is great for educational or demonstration purposes, but it is not an advanced 3D device. The scanning process uses laser beams and an automatic turntable. It takes about five minutes and captures textures as well.

Matter and Form

Price: $519

Resolution:  0.43mm

Capture size: ±0.25mm

XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 pro

This low-cost device combines a 3D scanner and 3D printer. The quality of the prints is not very high, but the price is very low for a device that combines both uses, which makes it a no-brainer if you are a beginner looking for an affordable scanning and printing option.

Price: $700


3D scanners for professional uses


Best quality for price portable 3D scanner: Fuel3D Scanify

Very simple to use, intuitive, and comfortable to hold, this scanner will allow good precision and quality of textures. The only limit is that the capture area is limited: it’s excellent for small objects but is not designed for a full body scan, for example.

Fuel 3D Scanify

Price: $1490

Resolution: 0.35mm

Precision: Up to 0.3 mm