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How to Choose the Best 3D Scanner for 3D Printing

The global market for 3D scanners currently stands at a whopping $3.29 billion. Like most 3D tech niches, 3D scanning and printing have gained considerable traction in the modern market. This figure will increase two-fold in the next five years as more people embrace the critical benefits of using 3D scanners for printing purposes.

Are you looking to buy the best 3D scanner? Well, this can be an uphill task if you are not well-conversant with the features and functionality of 3D scanners. But don’t flinch. 

Here’s a guide on how to choose the best scanner for 3D printer. 

1. Resolution

From a technical point of view, resolution in a 3D scanner refers to the minimum possible distance when comparing two given points. A 3D scanner’s resolution is useful in ensuring the most precise replica of the original object. Consequently, the higher the resolution, the greater the chances will be of capturing a detailed scan of the original. 

But even while considering the resolution, you must also have an equally powerful computer. With 3D scanners, the higher the resolution, the more time it takes to process. This means that a higher resolution 3D scanner will also require a computer with correspondingly higher specs.

2. Accuracy is King  

When deciding on a 3D scanner, accuracy is at the center of it. After all, getting an accurate virtual copy of the original is the reason behind 3D printing’s current popularity. Accuracy relates to the closest a 3D scanning device can get to create a replica virtual copy of the original.

Accuracy is of extreme importance, especially in contexts such as industrial applications of 3D, where precision is not an option. You need to check if the scanner is calibrated because this enhances accuracy. For some modern 3D scanners, onsite calibration is possible, which gives you the option of manually adjusting the accuracy settings

If you’re keen on the highest level of accuracy, you should go for professional 3D scanners. While they are pricey, you’ll get to enjoy some of the highest standards of accuracy possible. You only need to check the device’s specs to confirm their highest possible accuracy levels.

3. User-Friendliness 

You don’t want to waste so much time trying to figure out how to operate your recently acquired 3D scanner. That’s why the ease of use is of dire importance.  The best scanner for 3d printer should be one that helps you maximize the output.  

But with limited information on how to use such a 3D scanner, you might end up not utilizing the 3D scanners’ full potential. At times, you want to capture large objects in quick succession. But depending on how hard it is to use the device, you may end up failing to achieve such set targets.

You can go for mid or upper range 3D scanners if you want an easy and intuitive option. But if you settle for professional 3D scanners, you may experience quality outcomes, with the help of user-friendly software. Whichever the case, you have more than one option to decide from when considering the ease of use. 

4. Speed 

The speed when capturing an object is what makes 3D scanners superior. Before settling for a 3D scanner, you must consider its maximum speed of capture. Some of the most advanced 3D scanners only take a fraction of a minute to make 16 frames and to capture 2 million points of the original object.

But there are ultramodern handheld scanners with the capacity to capture 80 frames per second. Such handheld 3D scanners can capture up to 4 million points on an object in a millisecond. Such speeds may vary depending on the object and the distance between the scanner and the object. 

A fast 3D scanner makes the capture and processing of an object’s core information quick. Such scanners eliminate additional costs, especially when undertaking projects with stringent turnaround time.

5. Portability Is Imperative When Choosing Scanner for 3D Printer

The world has quickly evolved into everything portable. You certainly don’t want the inconvenience of owning a bulky 3D scanner. Considering the evolution in the research and development in 3D scanning, you can now acquire a fairly portable scanner. 

If your work involves extensive movement, then acquiring a portable 3D scanner is not a choice. Portable handheld 3D scanners are among the newest sensations in the field of 3D. If you are looking for the best portable 3D scanner, then handheld devices are the perfect match.

You’ll get to enjoy higher levels of control and have considerable flexibility when capturing objects. You’ll also be able to reach most of the hard to access points when capturing objects. This makes it possible for you to effortlessly maneuver past the tightest locations when capturing objects.

6. Maintenance

When buying a 3D scanner, your focus should not end at the initial purchase price. It would help if you considered other factors, such as the recurrent maintenance cost, just like most other advanced equipment, you need to consider the expense and inconvenience of routine check-ups.

While such check-ups are necessary for optimum functionality of the device, they may cost you money. You need to follow up on specific models and settle for the one with the minimal demand for recurrent maintenance.

7. Price 

Last but not least, you ought to consider the price. One of the critical arguments made concerning technological devices is that you should never compromise on performance to save on cost. You can still get the lowest priced 3D scanner if you decided to focus on the price as the primary factor.

But such a decision may compromise your intention to get the highest levels of resolution and accuracy. The more advanced a device is, the more costly it’s likely to retail for in the market. Depending on your anticipated use of the 3D scanner, you can shop around and compare prices before settling on what fits your budget.

The Future Is 3D, Don’t Be Left Behind

The world is yet to experience the transformation that 3D scanning has in store. But with the purchase of a scanner for 3D printer, your definition of accuracy, speed, and maximum resolution is about to change. With these tips on choosing a 3D scanner, you can now acquire a device that suits your needs.

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