The 10 best 3D scanners in 2017 🏆

What is the best 3D scanner in 2017? Read our 3D scanner buying guide to discover the 20 best 3D scanners on the market, based on trusted 3D scanner reviews.

What is the best 3D scanner on the market?

3D scanners are less popular than 3D printers, however they are an important part of the 3D printing ecosystem. There are many 3D scanners available on the market, from desktop 3D scanners to handheld 3D scanners and advanced metrology systems. It can be challenging to find the best 3D scanner, given the high number of products on the market and the relatively low number of reliable 3D scanner reviews. 

Our goal is to cut through the clutter and showcase ten of the best 3D printers currently on the market. For this list, we focused on 3D scanners under $5,000 with available reviews and ratings. This means that 3D scanners which have launched recently or have not gathered enough reviews from trusted sources might not be included in this list.

Tip: if you are interested in getting the full picture on the 3D scanner market, we recommend to use our 3D scanner comparison engine.

The 2017 list of the best 3D scanners

Rank3D scannerRatingCategoryCountryPriceBuy
1David SLS-24.5DesktopGermany$3,275
2Shining 3D Einscan-Pro4.2PortableChina$3,990Quote
3Shining 3D Einscan-S4.0DesktopChina$987
4Occipital Structure Sensor3.9PortableUnited States$379
6RangeVision Smart3.5DesktopRussia€2,499Quote
5Matter and Form 3D scanner3.2DesktopCanada$499
8Fuel3D Scanify3.1PortableUnited Kingdom$1,490
7Cubify iSense2.7PortableUnited States$85
9bq Ciclop2.5DesktopSpain€240
10XYZprinting Handheld 3D scanner2.4PortableTaïwan$149
We made this list of the best 3D scanners available on the market, focusing on consumer-grade and desktop 3D scanners.

The best 3D scanners: our methodology

We put together this list of the best 3D scanners using the ratings available on Aniwaa. We aggregate 3D scanner reviews from reliable sources to calculate a meta-rating for each 3D scanner. We also carry out our own 3D scanner tests in our lab, following a strict protocol, and include our rating in the meta-rating we show on our 3D scanner product pages. For 3D scanners, there are much less reliable reviews sources than for 3D printers. We mainly rely on Amazon’s reviews and the results of our own tests.

This list of the best 3D scanners focuses on 3D scanners under $5,000, with reviews from reliable sources and available in many countries. The 3D scanner market is less developed than the 3D printer market, and there are fewer 3D scanners to rank. You can search and compare the entire 3D scanner market by using our 3D scanner comparison chart.

As usual, we strongly advise to get your information from various sources. Many of the best 3D scanner lists available online are designed to advertise specific products and do not provide unbiased 3D scanner information. Here are some additional resources to help you in your research of the best 3D scanner:

Overview of the best 3D scanners

1. Best 3D scanner: DAVID Structured Light Scanner SLS-2

  • Price: $3,275
  • Technology: Structured light
  • Category: Desktop

The DAVID Structured Light Scanner SLS-2 is well-known desktop 3D scanner, often among the top-rated 3D scanners on the market. The DAVID SLS-2 scanner is based on the structured light 3D scanning technology and comes with a HD Video projector offering a large focus range and stable glass calibration panels. The 3D scans can be exported into common 3D file formats (OBJ, STL, PLY) and used in a variety of fields such as rapid prototyping/3D printing, inspection, reverse engineering, archeology/cultural heritage, works of art, computer animations/CGI, or video games. A workhorse among desktop 3D scanners!

2. Best 3D scanner: Shining 3D EinScan-Pro

  • Price: $4,099
  • Technology: Structured light
  • Category: Portable

The EinScan-Pro is a handheld 3D scanner designed by Shining 3D, a manufacturer based in China. This multi-functional portable 3D scanner is a game changer in the world of handheld 3D scanners. It is versatile, light and easy to operate. By far, the Einscan Pro offers among the best price to performance ratio for portable 3D scanners. Color capture is available as an option, via an external texture camera which can be attached to the EinScan Pro, to capture objects in 3D with full colors and texture. No wonder this handheld 3D scanner is a best-seller!

3. Best 3D scanner: Shining 3D EinScan-S

  • Price: $1,199
  • Technology: Structured light
  • Category: Desktop

The Shining 3D EinScan-S 3D scanner is a desktop 3D scanner made by Shining 3D, a manufacturer based in China. This desktop 3D scanner uses a structured white light technology. A white light is casted by a projector on the object at the center of the rotating plate. During the 3D scanning phase, the table rotates so the object can be captured from all sides. The process takes around 5 minutes and also captures the textures (colors) of objects. The Shining 3D EinScan-S 3D scanner also offers a free scan mode where the user holds himself the sensor and moves it around the object. Overall, this desktop 3D scanner is quite affordable and among the best entry-level 3D scanners on the market.

More 3D printing resources

  • Do you want to compare all existing 3D scanners? Check out our 3D scanners comparison engine, we have more than 250 3D scanners listed.
  • Overall, what’s the best 3D printer on the market? Find out with out ranking of the best 3D printers.
  • On a budget? Here are 15 cheap 3D printers under $1,000.