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.
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).