Obtaining a 3D file for printing can be done in a number of ways. On the one hand, you can download special platforms free of charge or for a fee. On the other hand, you can model a 3D file from an adapted CAD software or using a 3D scanner. Today, there are a variety of home 3D scanning solutions, ranging from handheld devices to larger devices designed to capture large objects. However, such a device can be quite expensive to purchase and complicated to use due to a lack of technical knowledge. For this reason, some industry participants have developed mobile scanning solutions that are available directly on the smartphones. 3D scanner apps are designed to be practical, accessible and always at hand. But how do the different 3D scanner apps work? Which 3D scanner app to choose for what? We’ve made a list of some of the best 3D scanner apps available for iOS and Android, organized in alphabetical order.
Canvas was developed by a US company called Occipital, well known for their 3D scanning hardware and software. It allows scans with all Apple devices that have the LiDAR scanner (for example the iPad Pro). Devices that don’t have the LiDAR scanner must be equipped with Canvas’ Structure Sensor, which costs around $400. The app is great for makers and DIYers, but also for professional uses like interior design. Canvas is very user-friendly, with an intuitive interface and a straightforward scanning process. The app is able to create a 3D model of a room in real time. All the user has to do is walk around the room with their iPad. Canvas offers a Scan to CAD service that allows users to turn their 3D scans into CAD files for as little as $29. Besides, the app also allows users to share their scans via email.
Capture 3D scanner app
Capture is a free 3D scanner app compatible with iOS devices equipped with TrueDepth cameras. The scanner app is suitable for creating and sharing 3D scans without any accessories. The app uses the smartphone’s camera and sensors to create a structure of connected points that represent the depth of the scanned object. Capture then creates a complete 3D model based on this structure. You can view the scans in a preview mode. Also, the capture scanner app allows you to save your scans to its platform for free and in multiple file formats. Please note when using this scanner app that you can only scan with the front camera.
Hege’s 3D scanner app
Heges is a 3D scanner app only available for iOS devices (iPhones and iPads). It enables scanning of people and all kinds of objects – from small and complex parts to an entire car. Once the process is complete, the models can be exported as PLY (with color) or STL files for later 3D printing. If you want to share the file, you can also do so through a built-in Wi-Fi server, the iOS Files app, or through iTunes. You can also find recommendations for quality scans and tips on preparing your models for additive manufacturing in the FAQ section of the Heges website. A big advantage of the Heges 3D scanner app is that data protection is very important. The app provider promises that no data will leave your device unless you choose to share it.
With the itSeez3D app you can easily capture and share models. To download the app you need a compatible device and a Windows + RealSense or iOS + Structure Sensor 3D (both available on the app’s website). The operation is quite intuitive and simple as you only have to perform three steps. The first thing you need to do is scan the desired object or person with the device and follow the instructions. Next, you’ll get a preview of the scan, which you’ll send to the cloud and then process to get the better quality 3D model. Finally, you can download and edit your 3D model via modeling software. Of course, the model can also be 3D printed. The app maker states that a medium-sized object can be scanned in about 3 to 5 minutes, while a full body takes 5 to 10 minutes.
Of course, we mustn’t forget the new generations of apps – especially those related to Apple’s LiDAR scanner. In general, while there are many 3D scanning apps now becoming available thanks to this incredible technology, many of them are not really used for 3D printing yet, which is why they are not included in this list. However, we wanted to highlight one popular app that has been making waves, not least because of its ability to be used with 3D printing. Polycam is currently supported on the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max and the 2020 iPad Pro. Unfortunately, the app is not yet available on Android devices. Polycam can export to a variety of files including OBJ and STL. With the app you can quickly create color 3D scans of objects and rooms. Thanks to LiDAR, Polycam is faster than many other scanning apps, allowing users to scan a single room in just a few seconds. The base app is free, but exporting requires a one-time in-app payment.
Qlone 3D scanner app
For all those who want to scan without using complex software, Qlone offers a user-friendly alternative that is designed to make 3D scanning of small objects child’s play. Qlone was originally designed for 3D scanning of toys. Eyecue Vision Technologies, the company behind Qlone, has already worked with manufacturers such as Playmobil, LEGO and Bandai, but was also able to convince hobby printers with the idea. In order for the 3D scan to succeed, the Qlone Mat, which is placed under the object, must first be printed out. Then two different sections of the same object are created and merged with the smartphone. The user also has the option of modifying the 3D model created by the smartphone – such as the texture or the size. The scanned object can then be exported to a variety of popular 3D file formats: OBJ, STL, USDZ, GLB, FBX, PLY and X3D.
Scandy Pro 3D scanner app
Scandy Pro is a 3D scanning app developed in the USA and first launched in 2014. It is only compatible with iOS devices, specifically iPhone X, 11 and 12 and iPads Pro 2018 and later. The functions are numerous: adding a colored background, light settings, augmented reality view, noise filter and much more. 3D scans can be exported in PLY, OBJ and STL formats, making the app ideal for 3D printing. Please note that Scandy Pro includes LiDAR on the latest iPhone models.
Developed by the Hungarian company Smart Mobile Device, the Scann3D app is based on photogrammetry technology to enable the capture and reconstruction of 3D models using a smartphone or tablet. In other words, once downloaded to your mobile device (only Android is compatible), your device becomes a tool that converts the captured images into 3D models. The resulting 3D models can be saved, shared and edited by other users. The same 3D models can also be used in augmented or virtual reality applications. This includes sharing with SketchFab. You can export any model to Scann3D in different formats like OBJ, STL or PLY.
Trnio 3D scanner app
Trnio is a mobile phone application that turns your device into a high-quality 3D scanner. The platform is very simple and has three scanning modes. The first mode (Photo Import) allows you to turn the photos on your phone into three-dimensional models. The second (ARKit mode) uses Apple’s ARKit technology to guide you through the scanning process. Finally, Object mode is ideal for scanning objects to get the best textures and colors. Once Trnio has generated a 3D model, you can easily export it to other 3D editors for further customization. Trnio only works for the iOS operating system and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store.
3D Creator by Sony
The 3D Creator was developed by Sony so that you can capture objects and people with your smartphone and convert them directly into high-resolution 3D models. There are five scanning modes on 3D Creator: Selfie, Face, Head, Food and Freeform. Depending on what you want to scan, the app will automatically suggest the right mode for you. As with other scanning apps, 3D Creator also allows you to scan your 3D models with other applications such as B. Use augmented reality. These models can also be easily exported for 3D printing. However, remember that you need a Sony phone for the app to work. It comes preinstalled on Xperia 1, Xperia XZ1, Xperia XZ1 Compact, Xperia XZ2, Xperia XZ2 Compact, Xperia XZ2 Premium and Xperia XZ3. The Xperia XZ Premium will receive the 3D Creator as part of the Android 8.0 (Oreo) update.
3DsizeMe by TechMed3D
The mobile application 3DsizeMe was developed to digitize the human body in 3D. The app is available on the App Store and uses the Structure Sensor 3D scanner, which must be purchased separately. The 3D scanner captures any data from any part of the body, which works particularly well on plantar surfaces such as a leg, foot or torso. 3DsizeMe is aimed at the medical field to learn more about a person’s anatomy. The app is equipped with an ergonomic interface that allows you to consult all your data as well as current projects. It is compatible with iPhone and iPad and requires at least iOS 11.0. The resulting files can be read directly into TechMed3D’s MSoft software and exported in STL or OBJ format for 3D printing.
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