3 Affordable, Upcoming, Crowdfunded 3D Scanners for your Smartphone

3 Affordable, Upcoming, Crowdfunded 3D Scanners for your Smartphone

The market for 3D scanning is changing and is no longer limited to industrial measuring purposes. Now that services such as Sketchfab make it easy to share 3D models through the (Mobile) Web and in Virtual Reality, both consumers and (creative) professionals are starting to see the benefits of presenting their physical work, products or finds in 3D. This group is also realizing that they don’t have to spent thousands of dollars on a industrial-grade 3D scanner, but can instead capture 3D with their Smartphone—with the help of Free Photogrammetry Apps.

Manufacturers are noticing this and are currently creating a completely new, innovative breed of affordable devices that make 3D scanning faster, more precise—and simply more fun! But can these benefits make them worth their price?

In this post I’ll take a look at 3 upcoming devices that are all crowdfunding successes—and will become available in 2016: The eora 3D, Pixelio and Bevel.

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XYZ printing 3D Scanner Review - Header

XYZprinting 3D Scanner (Intel RealSense F200) Review

The most affordable 3D Scanner that works best with Software from its competitor


The 3D Scanner I’m reviewing here is made by Taiwanese 3D Printer manufacturer XYZprinting. It’s simply called the XYZprinting 3D Scanner, although the supplied software refers to it as the XYZscan Handy.

At €199 / $199 it’s probably the most affordable 3D Scanner on the market today and it’s widely available through resellers such as the Dutch 3D Printer and Scanner store 3DNINJA that kindly provided me with the review model.

It costs half as much as the first generation 3D Systems Sense I reviewed earlier. And while that device captured the geometric shape of objects in a surprisingly good way, its color capturing was completely useless due to the RGB camera with a resolution just 320 x 240 pixels.

The question of course is: can a 3D Scanner for less than $200 be any good? Let’s find out!

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Fuel 3D Scanify Review

Fuel 3D Scanify – 3D Scanner Review

Fuel 3D is a UK-based manufacturer of 3D capturing technologies. If you keep an eye on the 3D market like I do, you might have read that the company recently received € 1.7 million EU Horizon 2020 funding to develop a 3D capture solution for eyewear. And just last month, it announced the CryoScan3D—an enterprise-level foot scanner specifically aimed at the orthotic market.

What I’m reviewing here is their $1500 / €1200 (ex VAT) handheld 3D scanner launced in 2015—the Scanify—kindly provided to me by Beglian reseller (thanks, Wim!).

The Scanify is an interesting product, because it’s very different from other scanners. And although it’s marketed as an allround 3D scanner, it’s only usable for a few specific purposes. But it does so in an impressive way.

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3D Scanning in Gotham Visual Effects

Sometimes you stumble across content that resonates with you in a special way, because it contains a combination of things you like. In this case it’s a combination of Visual Effects (VFX), 3D Scanning and Batman.

I’m not just fan of everything Batman (allright, most things since the v. Superman movie)—I am Batman.

I also really like Visual Effects. So much I wrote my Masters thesis about it once. VFX-heavy movies like Star Wars, Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park are pretty much what got me into doing 3D work. I did some VFX work over the years and liked making my own VFX Breakdowns. That’s of course nothing compared to those of studios that make high-end effects on a full-time basis, like this VFX Reel from Gotham—the popular Batman-based TV series—by CoSa VFX: Read More

Free 3D Scanning Apps Comparison: 123D Catch vs. Trnio vs. Scann3D vs. Seene

3 Free 3D Scanning Apps that don’t require extra Hardware

Photogrammetry Apps Comparison:
123D Catch vs. Trnio vs. Scann3D vs. Seene


3D Scanners are getting more mobile as we speak. The Structure Scanner I reviewed recently can be attached to an iPhone 6 with a special case.  And Matter and Form has developed a 3D Scanning add-on for Android and iOS smartphones—the Bevel—that will be available soon. And this summer, you can buy the first phone (allright, phablet) made by Lenovo with Google’s depth sensing technology—Project Tango—integrated.

It makes sense: we’re already capturing the world around us in 2D with our smartphone cameras while our dedicated devices lay in a drawer somewhere. So it’s natural that we want to capture 3D wherever and whenever we want and share it directly online.

But while depth sensors are indeed getting small enough to be pocketable soon, pure-software photogrammetry solutions that can generate 3D objects from regular 2D photos are getting smarter and faster, too. So I started asking myself:

do consumers actually need dedicated 3D capturing hardware on their phones if software can do the trick?

To test the current state of software-only mobile 3D scanning, I tested four different smartphone photogrammetry apps: 123D Catch, Trnio, Scann3D & Seene on the same object under the same circumstances.

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Shining 3D Einscan-S 3D Scanner Review

I learned about the Chinese manufacturer Shining 3D in late 2014—back when I was still reviewing 3D printers—when they released their Einstart-S Desktop 3D Printer. And although I wasn’t actively blogging in 2015, I did notice thesuccessful Kickstarter campaign for their first 3D Scanner, the Einscan-S, which was released in July 2015.

I actually forgot about it until I read about their new Einscan-Pro a few months ago. When I contacted them for a review unit, I heard it wasn’t out yet (it will be in June 2016). But they kindly sent me the Einscan-S to test in the meantime. I’ve also reviewed the Einscan-Pro an compared it to the Einscan-S in every aspect—read my Einscan-Pro Review here.


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Structure Sensor Review Part 2 – itSeez3D

In Part 1 of this Review I tested the Structure Sensor—or  iSense—hardware and the apps build by the manufacturer. In this second part, I’m focussing on a third party app. While the name might sound a bit funny, itSeez3D is very powerful and polished 3D Scanning app. The iPad version is specifically designed to be used with the Structure Sensor and there’s also a Windows version designed to be used with Intel’s RealSense R200 sensor. And it’s free for non-commercial use (more about commercial use later).

itSeez3D has many benefits compared to Occipitals own Scanner app, but there are a few downsides as well. Keep reading and you’ll find out if the pros win from the cons.

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Structure Sensor 3D Scanner Review - iPad Mini

Structure Sensor Review Part 1 – Hardware & Occipital Apps

If you’ve read my previous 3D Scanner Review of the 3D Systems Cubify Sense you know that I was impressed by the ease-of-use and geometric details for a device priced below €450. But the quality of the color information — or textures — the Sense captures are completely underwhelming.

In this Review I’m testing the Sense’s mobile brother, the iSense*. At least thats how 3D Systems rebranded the device. Its original name is Structure Sensor made by a Occipital. I’m testing that original version, which I got from the Dutch 3D Printing and 3D Scanning Store MakerPoint.


*I’ve updated this review after Occipital released new apps that make use of its new SDK. It’s greatly improves the scanner’s resolution, but drops support for the rebranded iSense device.


Cost-wise the Structure Sensor a bit more expensive than the Sense: The Structure Sensor itself costs €440, but you’ll need a €60 bracket to attach it to a compatible iPad. And then you’ll need a compatible iPad of course! It’s compatible with all iPads newer than the 4th Gen iPad and iPad mini 2 (previously known as “iPad Mini with Retina Display”) — including recently added support for the iPad Pro 9.7″ & 12.9″.

I’ve tested it with the least powerful compatible device, the iPad mini 2, which has a 5 megapixel camera with an aperture of f/2.4. Since this camera is used to capture color details, it’s safe to say that using a newer iPad will result in better texture quality. This iPad Pro 9.7″, for example, has a 12 megapixel camera with a faster f/2.2 lens. That being said, I think that testing with an iPad mini 2 is a great benchmark and this iPad is still being sold for €265, bringing the total minimal costs of the Sensor + Bracket + iPad to €765 — which is still a lot less than many other 3D Scanners. (All prices I mention are in Euros and include 21% Dutch VAT).

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Autodesk Recap 360 Photogrammetry Review

Autodesk Photogrammetry Review Trilogy — Episode II: ReCap 360

In the previous part of this review trilogy I tested 123D Catch. Autodesk’s combination of an easy-to-use mobile app to create reality captures and cloud service to manage them works great for many purposes. On top of that I was impressed by the results taken with my old Nexus 5 phone in everyday circumstances.

In this part I’ll focus on the next step up in Autodesk’s cloud-based “Photo to 3D”—or Photogrammetry—offerings: ReCap 360. Whereas 123D Catch is targeted at consumers, ReCap 360 is targeted at professionals. It has a few extra bells and whistles. Read on to find out if that means better results.

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3D Systems Cubify Sense Review

3D Systems (Cubify) Sense 3D Scanner Review

This Review is based on the original, first generation Sense 3D Scanner.

In April 2016, 3D Systems (quietly) released the Next Generation Sense 3D Scanner—also referred to as the 2nd Generation, 2nd Gen, Sense 2—which uses the new Intel RealSense SR300 3D Camera hardware and promises better color textures, among other things.

I’ll review this new version soon!


Very excited to publish my very first 3D Scanner Review! As you might have read I started exploring Reality Capture, both in the form of Photogrammetry—which is more of a software approach—and 3D Scanning—the hardware way.

In this post I’ll guide you through my discoveries with the Sense 3D Scanner. It is sold by 3D Printing company 3D Systems. It used to be part of their consumer-focussed Cubify line of products that also included the Cube 3D Printer, but the complete Cubify brand has been discontinued in December 2015. I’m sure they won’t be producing new ones, nor update the software, so this review is probably the final state of the product.

The Sense retails for about €400-€450 here in the Netherlands. The question of course is: is it worth that money? And what are the advantages compared to capturing objects with a free mobile app—which I found out works really well.

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