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The 8 best 3D scanning apps for smartphones in 2019 (free!)


3D scanning apps (a.k.a. 3D scanner apps) are a fun way to learn about 3D scanning. In this article we cover the best 3D scanning apps in 2019 and explain how it works. We also keep track of discontinued apps and we have a special section for 3D photo apps.

What are the best 3D scanner apps for iOS and Android?

A 3D scanner app can turn almost any smartphone into a pocket-sized 3D scanner. 3D scanning apps are based on photogrammetry, a 3D scanning technology that creates 3D models out of 2D photos.

You take pictures of an object from different angles and then a software “stitches” the images together. This technology allows you to turn your smartphone into a 3D scanner.

With a 3D scanning app, you can 3D scan objects, rooms, and can even be used for 3D body scanning. You can use a 3D scanner app to create 3D objects for augmented reality. It’s also possible to create 3D models for 3D printing.

Of course, 3D scanner apps for smartphones are less accurate than actual 3D scanners. However they are a great, affordable way to learn more about 3D scanning without investing in complex hardware.

In this article, we provide a comprehensive list of the best 3D scanner apps for iPhone and Android smartphones. We also include the best 3D scanning apps for iPad.

The best 3D scanning apps for smartphones (free)

ApplicationCountryPriceOperating SystemExtra hardware needed
3DSizeMECanadaFreeiOSYes ($379)
3D CreatorSwedenFreeAndroidNo
CanvasUnited StatesFreeiOS (iPads only)Yes ($379)
Capture: 3D Scan AnythingUnited StatesFreeiOS (iPhone X)No
ItSeez3DRussiaFreeiOS (iPads only)Yes ($379)
QloneIsraelFreeiOS/AndroidNo
Scandy ProUnited StatesFreeiOS (iPhone X)No
Scann3DHungaryFreeAndroidNo
Our table shows our selection of the best 3D scanning mobile apps for iOS and/or Android devices. They are listed by alphabetical order.
3D scanning apps - Qlone

Qlone is a smartphone 3D scanning app from EyeCue Technologies.

How do 3D scanning apps work?

Photogrammetry 3D scanning technology

By definition, photogrammetry is “the science of making measurements from photographs”. Put simply, you take photos of a 3D object, and then the software stitches the pictures together. With this technology, the final 3D scan features color and texture.

3D scanning using a smartphone (iOS or Android)

You need to take several pictures of the object from different angles (usually 360° around the object) with your phone. 3D scanning apps provide you with tips and guidance to help you take the pictures properly.

The app then processes these pictures and “stitches” them together to form a 3D model. The 3D model is then available for export or editing using additional 3D software. In some cases, users may also print their 3D models with a 3D printer.

The above video demonstrates photogrammetry, although the photos are used by PC software and not an app.

Note: more information about 3D scanning is available in our 3D scanning technologies article.

3D scanner apps overview (iOS and Android)

Below we provide more insights on each 3D app from the list.

We divided the best 3D scanning apps into three categories:

  • 3D scanner apps that don’t require any hardware in addition to the smartphone
  • 3D scanning apps that do require extra hardware
  • and 3D scanner apps for iPad

You can download these 3D apps from the App Store (iOS) or Play Store (Android) depending on your operating system.

Scann3D tutorial and interface.
Credit: Scann3D

Free 3D scanner apps not requiring extra hardware

These 3D scanner apps are free and do not require any external hardware.

3D scanning apps Qlone

Qlone

  • Operating system: iOS/Android
  • Price: Free
  • Extra cost: Sketchfab export $0.99/3D scan
  • App Store rating: 4/5
  • Google Play rating: 2.9/5
  • Country: Israel
To use Qlone, you need to print a special black and white paper mat. The mat looks like a QR code and is used by the app as a marker.

Qlone offers a useful guiding system. A grey dome surrounds the object you’re scanning and lets you know which angle you need to capture next. The app generates the results locally (without going through a cloud platform) and almost in real time.

Users can easily share 3D scans via social media apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Exports to Sketchfab or Shapeways cost $0.99 per 3D scan.

3D scanner app Scandy Pro

Scandy Pro

  • Operating system: iOS
  • Price: Free
  • App Store rating: 4.2/5
  • Country: United States
Scandy Pro for iOS is a free 3D scanning app that turns your iPhone into a full-color 3D scanner. Within the app, you can edit your scans with various tools. This app is available for iPhone X/XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.

The 3D scans are easy to export in PLY, OBJ, and STL formats. You can also upload them directly to Sketchfab. In the free version, you get a free mesh save every week. If you need to save more scans, you can purchase single saves or get a subscription for unlimited saves. The Scandy Pro app is free and receives frequent updates.

Scandy developers also offer their Cappy app, which allows you to capture small 3D scans for augmented reality. You can’t export the scans though!

3D scanning apps Scann3D

Scann3D

  • Operating system: Android
  • Price: Free
  • Google Play rating: 2.9/5
  • Country: Hungary
Scann3D requires you to take about 20 to 30 photos of the object you wish to 3D scan. The photos must overlap and be taken in a continuous circle around the object. 3D models made with Scann3D are compatible with Sketchfab.

Scann3D boasts fast processing time thanks to the instant reconstruction feature. This means that the uses your phone’s processor rather than a web-based cloud service. It may cause your battery to drain quickly.

3D scanning apps Sony 3D Creator

Sony 3D Creator

  • Operating system: Android
  • Price: Free
  • Google Play rating: 4.2/5
  • Country: Sweden
3D Creator is Sony’s take at smartphone 3D scanning. This app used to be exclusive to Sony XPERIA smartphones. It is now compatible with all Android 8.0 and up devices.

With this app, you can easily 3D scan yourself thanks to selfie mode.

Capture: 3D Scan anything with your smartphone, by Standard Cyborg.

Capture: 3D Scan Anything

  • Operating system: iOS
  • Price: Free
  • App store rating: 4.2/5
  • Country: United States
This app is completely free to download and lets you export your scans for free, too. Export formats include PLY and OBJ. You can also send them via your social media accounts or use the web viewer to see your scans.

This app is only available for iPhones with a TrueDepth camera.

Free 3D scanning app requiring extra hardware

Although this 3D scanner app is free, you need to purchase extra hardware. The most popular are the Structure Sensor by Occipital and the 3D Systems iSense.

smartphone 3D scanning 3DSizeME

TechMed3D 3DSizeME

  • Operating system: iOS
  • App Store rating: 4.3/5
  • Price: Free
  • Hardware: Structure Sensor ($379, available on Amazon)
  • Country: Canada
3DSizeME is a 3D body scanning app developed by TechMed3D, a Canadian company. This free 3D scanning app works with a Structure Sensor and targets medical clinics and professionals. The 3DSizeME app provides precise body measurements.

TechMed3D can customize the app to specific professional needs and use cases.

iPad 3D scanner apps

3D scanner app Canvas

Canvas

  • Operating system: iOS (iPads only)
  • Price: Free
  • App Store rating: 4/5
  • Hardware: Occipital Structure Sensor ($379, available on Amazon)
  • Country: United States
This free 3D scanner app is ideal for professionals such as designers, architects, real estate agents, and more.

Canvas is easy to use– you only need to walk around the room while holding up your iPad. The app creates your 3D model in real time, and provides exact floor-plan measurements. Canvas allows you to save your scans on your iPad or e-mail them to friends or colleagues. This 3D scanning app also offers a Scan To CAD service for $29.95 per scan.

3D scanner app itSeez3D

itSeez3D

  • Operating system: iOS (iPads only)
  • Price: Free
  • App Store rating: 4.2/5
  • Country: Russia
This 3D scanner app offers quality 3D scans by processing the photos on its cloud platform. itSeez3D is able to capture people in 3D, a process known as 3D body scanning.

itSeez3D offers unlimited scanning, but exports cost $7 each. The two paid versions of itSeez3D offer a limited amount of free exports and other benefits. The “Scale Up” package at $250/month lets you export up to 1,200 models per year.

This application requires an Occipital Structure Sensor to operate ($379, available on Amazon).

3D scanning with a smartphone: special mentions

3DF Zephyr

3DF Zephyr, a 3D scanning software for PC, enables you to create 3D scans from your smartphone pics. You can then export the 3D scans in common 3D file formats.

Bevel 3D

Bevel launched on Kickstarter on July 28th, 2015 and was successfully funded only two weeks later. Bevel, a small dongle-like device, officially started shipping in April 2017 after almost 2 years of development. The app hasn’t received any updates since late 2017 but is still available.

Trnio

Trnio, developed in 2013, is one of the first 3D scanning apps to be released. This app used to be free but is now priced at $2.99. It is only available for iOS.

iPhone X 3D scanning apps

The iPhone X’s TrueDepth sensor has made it possible to develop a variety of selfie 3D scanning apps. Some interesting iPhone X 3D scanning apps include:

  • Bellus3D: the app itself is free, but you need to pay in order to export your scans. For three days of unlimited 3D scan exports, the price is $7.99. For more accurate 3D scans, users may opt for the Bellus3D Face Camera add-on (see on Amazon).
  • Heges: like Bellus3D, the app is free to download. However, the in-app option to export 3D scans costs $2.99.
  • 3D Scanner Pro: this iPhone X scanning app by Laan Labs targets professional use cases (real estate, architecture, etc.).
 

3D photo apps

3D photo apps are a recent trend and, although they don’t provide actual 3D scans, they are definitely interesting tools to play (or work) with.

What is 3D photo or spatial photography?

Spatial photography is a hybrid between capturing a video and taking photographs. 3D photos combine the perspective of a panoramic photo and the 3D features of a video.

Fyuse 3D photo app

Fyuse 3D photo app

  • Operating system: iOS/Android
  • Price: Free
  • App Store rating: 3.8/5
  • Google Play rating: 4/5
  • Country: United States
Fyuse is a free 3D photography app with millions of downloads that allows users to take interactive 3D photos. You only need to move around an object in a circular motion.
Life Lapse Vertical Stop Motion 3D photo app

Life Lapse 3D photo app

  • Operating system: iOS/Android
  • Price: Free
  • App Store rating: 4.7/5
  • Play Store rating: 4.5/5
  • Country: Canada
Life Lapse helps users take stop-motion pictures at the right angle.

This way you can create an “almost” 3D picture in the form of a video.

Differences between 3D photo and 3D scanning apps

3D photos are similar to 3D scans, at least in the way they are seen, but they are still both different:

  • 3D photos can only be stored and accessed through a specific viewing app
  • Spatial photography photos can’t be 3D printed
  • 3D scans can be edited
  • You can’t export 3D photos to external software such as Sketchfab

Discontinued 3D scanner apps

A number of 3D scan apps have come and gone. We list them here so you know what's been going on!

123D Catch

123D Catch, which was once the most famous 3D scanning mobile app, is discontinued since April 2017. 123D Catch was compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows smartphones.

Trimensional

Although Trimensional is still available on the App Store, it hasn’t been updated since late 2014.

Seene

Seene is a 3D scanning app for smartphones that has been acquired by Snapchat.

Pixelio

PIXELIO is a portable turntable that uses 123D catch, a 3D scanning app that was discontinued in April 2017. The creators of PIXELIO have yet to deliver on their promise.

3Dignite Scanner

This app was supposed to let you export 3D scans to the VR world (and to Minecraft). However, the company seems to be inactive since 2017.

EORA 3D

EORA 3D is an Australian Kickstarter project that launched in October 2015. Their website has disappeared and they are no longer providing support for their product.

Conclusion

In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of 3D scanning apps for smartphones. The market is still too small to create a ranking or leave out certain 3D scanning apps.

These apps and their accessories are able to create decent 3D models. However, they don’t offer the high quality that actual 3D scanners do. 3D scanning apps are a great solution for beginners, hobbyists and even professionals that don’t require much precision.

FAQ

Can 3D printers scan objects?

3D printers can scan objects if they are a 2-in-1 3D printer scanner combo. Very few of these machines exist.

How do 3D scanners work?

3D scanners capture 3D data of a given space or object. To do so, the scanner can use a laser, structured light, a photo camera, or a touch probe. See our 3D scanning technology guide for more information.

What is the best 3D laser scanner?

The best 3D laser scanner is the one that best fits your needs. Use our 3D scanner comparison engine and filter through your criteria.

Is there an app to create 3D models?

There are various apps available to create 3D models, as seen in this article. You can create a model by 3D scanning an object with your phone. You can also find thousands of pre-made models on STL file websites.

More resources

About this author

Ludivine Cherdo

Ludivine is Aniwaa’s Head of Content. Based in Troyes, France, she oversees the content strategy and ensures the content published meets the company’s strict editorial standards. Ludivine obtained her Bachelor’s from the ESC Troyes business school where she studied business administration with a special focus on Digital Marketing. She made the most of her gift for languages by completing part of her studies abroad, gaining valuable work experience in content production and branding along the way. She first joined Aniwaa in 2017 as an intern.