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  1. #1

    What is the purpose of 3d scanners

    I am a 3d modeler (I use Blender since 2.67). But I've seed an ad of a 3d scanner (I don't even remember which one it was) so I started to research them. I was mostly interested in reviews, but when I google it, almost all what I've find is "top 10 3d scanners in blabla year" or "top 10 cheap 3d scanners" or top 10 whatever, that doesn't provides much about user experience and actually looks kinda advertising. The only real reviews I was able to find was this cool guy 3d Scan Expert and he really seems to be an expert and a guy (or guys) who simply call themselves 3dscannersreviews.com, and they have, well, decent reviews. Also what I've found is that almost all manufacturers says, that 3d scanners are the easiest and fastest way to get a good 3d model. But, when I search for examples of 3d scans, most of the models had very messy mesh, detailed but messy, sometimes fused to the ground or rotating table and very simple textures, just color map, that contains all reflections, shadows, etc.
    Well, to be usable they need retopology, and complete redo of textures. This is not "the fastest way to get a 3d model" you would spend same time for retopology as you would spend to model a proper mesh from start.
    For 3d printing? yes, I think they can be used for 3d printing, but how often do you need to print a copy of something? If you need to replace a broken part, well, I see that scans has topology with lot's of small imperfections, so a simple 3d model from any CAD of just blender has much cleaner shape.
    So what is a advantage of 3d scanner after all? The only Idea that came up to me is a scan of a human face, if you need a digital copy of this exact face, then yes, with all this messy mesh it still would be faster.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    3d scanners are amazing - as long as you have very deep pockets indeed.

    The 'cheap' ones aimed at hobby 3d print enthusiasts, are largely - useless for anything requiring proper accuracy.

    The industrial ones, on the other hand are ansolutely amazing, and start at around £20,000.

    I've bought a few cheap scanners over the years, and they are a complete waste of money.

    I can generally replicate a part with digital calipers and openscad much faster than scanning, and with complete accuracy.

    But if you have the money .....
    Then your ocean really is full of oysters !

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    3d scanners are amazing - as long as you have very deep pockets indeed.
    But do expensive scanners provide cleaner results? I mean the better the resolution is, the better scanner can capture small surface imperfections.

    And what about photogrammetry? I was researching scanners, but stepped into this explanation - https://www.artec3d.com/learning-cen...photogrammetry the fun thing it's from 3d scanners developer, so I was expecting they would say "Photogrammetry is useless, buy a scanner instead" - but it seems that photogrammetry can achieve pretty same results, but much much cheaper. ?ctually it seems that some types of 3d scanners are in fact photogrammetry devices, just more automatizes.

  4. #4
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    The 3d scanners create a point cloud which is then interpreted into 3d geometry with quality depending on the software used. Use case is very important.

    Retopology may be required for specific use. Same for photogrammetry.

    I've played around with cheap scanners and for still renders can give amazing results. Again it all depends on use case. The models would not be good candidates for animation, modding or 3d printing without retopologizing.

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