There are a number of key factors that influence the price of a 3D scanner. When looking to purchase a 3D scanning system, it is important to determine your requirements to figure out which scanner would be best suited for your needs and your budget.
Accuracy is the quality of being close to the true value of the object. High accuracy is appealing although it is the single largest factor influencing price. You should go with the lowest accuracy you can tolerate as that will generally minimize how much you spend on a 3D scanner.
Resolution measures the amount of detail you want to acquire from the object you are scanning. Similar to accuracy, the amount of resolution you need will have a direct impact on the price of the 3D scanner. Higher resolution scanners that capture more detail will generally cost more.
Scan speed is how fast a scanner is able to capture all the information from the physical environment to generate a 3D scan. For scanning human faces and body you will require the scanning speed to be faster than scanning a static object since humans have a tendency to move. Normally the faster scan speed is associated with a higher price.
Most 3D scanners are optimized to scan at a particular scanning window or object size ranging from approximately a few inches to two feet. The further you deviate from this size, the higher the price the 3D scanner will likely be.
Most 3D scanners work well in an office lighting environment. If you require to scan in more challenging environments such as outdoors or in a moving vehicle, that will increase the cost of a 3D scanner.
3D scanners that are dedicated in scanning a specific subject matter (ie. dental scanner, body scanner) require a level of integration with related applications and workflows to make sure the scanner serves that particular purpose. As a result, dedicated 3D scanners usually cost more when compared with standard 3D scanners.
Sometimes you might need special features/accessories that are not included in a standard system like color texture capture, a rotary table for automated 3D scanning, or integration with a particular application. Most 3D scanners have the ability to include these additional features/accessories but extra costs would be involved.
While it is easy to get caught up with wanting a top-of-the line 3D scanner with a high price tag, you need to consider what your specific needs are and what budget you have to work with for this purchase. Hopefully these factors will get you started on figuring out what you need out of a 3D scanner before making the final purchasing decision. Our team composed a list of questions you should ask yourself when purchasing a 3D scanner. These questions are available in our white paper on Choosing the Right 3D Scanner to Make Your Project a Success.
This blog post was previously posted on Wed, May 2, 2012 on 3D3 Solutions blog. LMI Technologies acquired 3D3 Solutions on May 1, 2013. 3D3 Solutions website will be redirected to LMI Technologies website.
Posted by Pauline Tang