We've been getting a lot of question about how much our 3D scanning services cost. So in this guide, we'll break down the factors that affect the cost of 3D scanning so you'll have a better understanding of the whole process.
The cost of a 3D scanning service can range from $150 up to thousands of dollars. An object with a simple geometric shape would cost $150, while a large sculpture with intricate design can cost thousands of dollars or even more.
Not all projects are equal. 3D scanning an apple can take less than a day. But 3D scanning a large and expensive artwork could take days to achieve the best result.
Sadly, a 3D scanning file isn't always perfect and ready for use such as 3D printing. Especially for complex projects such as reverse engineering a discontinued part.
There are parts from the resulting 3D model that would need to be modified to have a smooth surface. This would require an expert in 3D sculpting or a CAD designer to manually fix the file.
Some things are also almost impossible to 3D scan, so 3D modeling from scratch is the only option to replicate an object.
Miniature objects (28mm to coin size)
Hair. (This is impossible to 3D scan)
Dark objects. (We would need to cover this in washable white powder)
You might want to consider if it might be better to 3D model everything from scratch rather than 3D scanning the piece.
As laser scanning technology gets better over time, some of these issues become easier to deal with.
...which leads us to our next cost factor.
A 3D scanning service would sometimes consider the price of their equipment as well in pricing their 3D scanning service. Industrial 3D scanners can cost up to $100,000. As the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for". The same logic applies to 3D scanning technology. More expensive technology would produce better and more reliable results. You can't really compare 3D scanning from your iPhone with a 3D scanner like an Artec Space Spider. 3D scanning services with better technology would generally be a lot pricier compared to ones that use a cheap 3D scanner.
So if you want an accurate and high quality 3D scan, then it's your best to hire a 3D scanning service that uses a very expensive 3D scanner.
Industrial 3D laser scanners can cost anywhere between $25,000 to $100,000.
If there's no local 3D scanning service in your area, you might need to consider the cost of shipping your object to get 3D scanned. If it's a small object that might not be an issue, but for large objects, the shipping cost might add up. Add the fact that you need to ship it back to you as well.