As futuristic as it may seem, 3D scanner technology has a lot of various different uses for different fields today.
You can scan a person or an object and then use the analyzed data to build a CGI model for use in animation or film production. You could make 3D prints of tools or materials you need for whatever project you’re working on.
The global 3D scanning market is expected to grow every year by 8.4 percent between 2019 and 2025.
So how much will a 3D scanner cost in 2021, and what are some things you need to know before you invest in one?
3D Scanner Uses
With 3D scanners, you can capture high definition details of an object. Rather than a static photo or even a series of photos, the scanner will gather data on every curve and angle of an item.
You can then render the program on your computer in three dimensions, produce a copy with a 3D printer, or use that data to construct an identical copy.
This can be especially useful with generating prototypes for the automobile and defense industry, as well as in the medical field, such as generating an identical prosthetic limb.
What Are the Types?
Previously, if you wanted something scanned, you’d need a large device or chamber to get a 3D image. Now, a 3D scanner is often handheld and portable, and some models are small enough to fit on your desktop.
One example of a professional portable 3D scanner is the Einscan HX, which uses a blue laser and has better performance with reflective and dark surfaces. This type would be ideal for automotive, shipbuilding, machinery, and even educational use.
Scanners that use infrared light are better suited for scanning the human face and find more use in the healthcare industry.
Smaller desktop versions are more aimed at reproducing small objects. These capture 3D data quickly and easily, and pair well with a personal 3D printer.
3D Scanner Cost
Depending on the size and intended use of your scanner, the price could vary pretty wildly. A desktop 3D scanner could cost anywhere between $600 and $3000.
A higher-end portable scanner, such as one you might use in the medical field, could run you $7000 or more. Finding more exact estimates would require more information on the consumer’s part.
As for why prices vary so much, there are multiple factors.
There are the expected costs, such as warranties, but 3D scanners require software to use them that while free for the consumer, costs money to maintain to create and update.
As they rise in popularity and use, the price of 3D scanners should decrease in turn.
Don’t Skimp on Price and Quality
When you have a 3D scanner, you have the power to replicate whatever you want, big or small, organic, or inorganic. Use them for your research purposes or replicate the materials you need for your engineering job. Don’t skimp on your 3D scanner’s price or quality!
And while you’re here, check out some of our other articles on tech, health, and more!
Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.