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THE BEST 3D SCANNING APPS FOR IPHONE AND ANDROID | LITH TOKEN
The future of 3D scanning has arrived and we’ve rounded up the best apps for iPhone and Android. These 3D scanners will give you all of the next level technology without much effort on your part. So what are you waiting for, get downloading now and start exploring how to digitize your physical NFTs!

3D scanning is an amazing way to capture the physical form and structure of anything, from large objects in our world, down to microscopic samples in a petri dish. It’s also used for creating digital copies that can be replicated using 3-dimensional printing technology or computer numerical control milling machines.

Professional 3D scanning has been around for a while, and there are two main categories: contact, which uses a touch sensor to physically probe the surface of an object; and non-contact, which uses light or ambient radiation to scan an object without physically touching it.

3D scanning has been a major breakthrough in technology and it’s only getting better with time. One of the most popular methods for 3-dimensional capture, photogrammetry, has been gaining recognition because it can be used with a smartphone! This technology makes 3D scanning accessible to anyone with a smart device and internet connection.  Just download an app and start capturing beautiful 360° images right away.

SO WHAT IS PHOTOGRAMMETRY, ANYWAY?

Photogrammetry is a process that uses photographs of an object to create a 3D digital image. It takes multiple images taken from different angles around an object and stitches them together to create a 3D point cloud.  While this method has many advantages, it does require some time, patience and effort to achieve quality results.  Depending on the complexity of the object, anywhere from 50 to 1000 images may be needed.  It is also important to consider the quality of the photographs.  Better quality images, with bright and even lighting, taken with a high resolution camera will result in a more accurate rendering.  That being said, the quality of many higher end smartphone devices is more than sufficient to create excellent 3D scans using one of the many apps that employ this technology. 

Now let’s dive into the best 3D scanning apps available to you!

1. HEGES

Heges is a fantastic app that uses Apple’s FaceID or lidar technology to capture absolutely anything from body parts to entire cars. Scans can then be exported as PLY files or shared with other iOS users.

The Heges app is great for scanning large, stationary objects like large paintings, cars or buildings. It also uses precision settings that can be adjusted depending on the size of the object you’re trying to scan – keep in mind that slower movements produce better scan, and that the more times an object is scanned the better the overall outcome will be.

The app’s infinite scanning capability is particularly useful for scanning large spaces or objects as it will not limit the size of your scan. Thus, it allows for continuous scanning only limited by the amount of memory on your device. Additionally, sharing information between devices has never been easier so long as they are connected to the same Wi-Fi networks and both equipped with a TrueDepth camera.

The app has some great features but could do with the addition of an editing function. This means you may need additional software to get exactly what you want from your scan.

  • Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • Platform: iOS
  • App rating: 2.9 stars
  • Aimed at: Hobbyists and beginners
2. TRNIO

Trnio is a 3D scanning app that lets you capture anything from the tiniest objects to an entire environment with just the push of a button. It has various modes including Photo Import, AR Capture, and ARKit that work for all types of scanning.

Photo Import and AR Capture work best for scanning small or medium objects or for capturing people or faces.  Photo Import even allows you to convert photos from your library into 3D models.  If you want to scan larger objects or environments, ARKit mode is ideal, however, this mode is only available on ARKit enabled devices. 

The app has many capabilities but does require some setup to get quality results. Ensuring that you have good lighting is crucial and it is recommended to place objects in front of a blank background as anything with pattern or texture can interfere with the scan. 

Trnio’s scans can be exported directly as OBJ files. Using a program like MeshLab is necessary if you want to convert to other formats such as STL or PLY. Users also have the option to touch up files using Meshmixer or Blender to use for 3D printing. 

  • Cost: ~$5
  • Platform: iOS
  • App rating: 3.8 stars
  • Aimed at: Beginners and outdoors enthusiasts
3. 3D SCANNER APP

If you have a device equipped with LiDAR like iPad Pro, iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro,  3D Scanner App may be a great option. It allows users to process photos and video in real-time creating high resolution and textured models. Another benefit of this app is that it is free. 

Files can be exported in a variety of formats, including OBJ, STL and USDZ and can also be shared via iMessage! Their support page also contains a useful tutorial guide on the most common tasks when scanning. 

  • Cost: Free for the basic platform (contact Laan Labs for commercial pricing)
  • Platform: iOS
  • App rating: 4.5 stars
  • Aimed at: 3D and CAD designers; architects; AR, VR, and XR hobbyists and professionals
4. ITSEEZ3D

ItSeez3D is a 3D scanning app for iPad that allows users to create 3D models of people or objects with professional results. A Structure Sensor, may be required if using this app with an older device. 

The app makes scanning objects incredibly easy by providing guidance and instruction through the entire process. The user walks around the sculpture or person they wish to scan, following directions on how to best position their device for optimal results. Completed models can be edited within the app or exported for editing offline. 

Users are able to share the models they create with other users directly in the app or on social media. They can also export files in OBJ or PLY format for 3D printing.

  • Cost: Free to download, then ~$7 per export (subscriptions available)
  • Platform: iOS (iPad only)
  • App rating: 3.8 stars
  • Aimed at: Hobbyists and professionals
5. SCANDY PRO

The new Scandy Pro app allows you to virtually try on anything from shoes, clothes or even furniture before buying! The instant feedback means there’s no need for any further research online. You can also save time by scanning multiple items at once and choosing which one best suits your taste—all without leaving this convenient mobile site.

The Scandy Pro app has an intuitive user interface that starts capturing objects automatically once the process begins. To ensure a successful scan, you need to keep your phone stationary and rotate it (ideally on a turntable). This way, images stay in view during entire scans so there is no distortion or loss of information from any angle.

Once the scan is complete, you can edit and export it in one place. You have two options for where to go from there: either use built-in tools or take advantage of other platforms that offer more flexibility like Meshmixer with its STL files.

  • Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • Platform: iOS
  • App rating: 4.3 stars
  • Aimed at: Users of all experience levels
6. CAPTURE

Capture, from Standard Cyborg, is a 3D scanning app that works with iOS devices equipped with TrueDepth cameras. Users simply need to rotate around an object and it will be captured in its entirety, making for easy sharing options across messaging apps like iMessage or Slack where people can view 2D images as well as those scanned directly from their smartphones using AR mode.

The 3D models can be shared through messaging apps like iMessage or Slack in an easily downloadable format. You first check them out on a web viewer, then export the object files for OBJ file types which are compatible with most 3rd party software packages available today.

  • Cost: Free
  • Platform: iOS
  • App rating: 3.8 stars
  • Aimed at: Users of all experience levels, though the SDK developer requires programming knowledge
7. EM3D

If you have an iPhone with FaceID, it can run EM3D. This app’s mission is to make 3D selfies a thing! Reviews rave about the usability and fact that “it just works.” After scanning your face in-app via TrueDepth camera enabled iPhones (not available on Android), you’ll be able export as STL, OBJ, or PLY files–even point clouds if desired.

With the EM3D app, you can easily create videos from scans and export files. You’ll be able to toggle meshes in your scene or reorient it according to how they look best for YouTube-style footage; remove any geometry that isn’t necessary with just one click when needed (useful if there are lots of clips running at once), slice up large models into smaller ones so it’s easier on both computer resources AND battery life during post production time–and finally mirror what’s been recorded before, instead of flipping back.

  • Cost: $6.99 unlocks single file type export (e.g. STL or OBJ), $19.99 unlocks all features
  • Platform: iOS
  • App rating: 4.3 stars
  • Aimed at: Hobbyists
8. QLONE

Qlone’s 3D scanning app is a one-stop shop for all your needs. The user can scan an image, edit it and export the digital file in seconds without sacrificing quality – even if you’re looking to do something as delicate as 4K scanning.

Think of the app like this; you need to use a special mat that can only be printed from their website on standard printing paper. The big downside? Well, your printer’s size limits what kinds of things it’ll print because by using these mats they create domes with an area inside them, where all noise is removed and becomes focused solely on whatever object sits underneath.

Users can enhance the 3D image through alterations such as adding text and merging two different scans. They might also resize it before uploading to a website or exporting an object model (OBJ or STL) for printing on specialized printers that work with this app!

  • Cost: Free (with in-app purchases) for iOS, ~$20 for Android
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • App rating: 3.4 stars
  • Aimed at: Hobbyists and beginners
9. POLYCAM

Polycam is a game changing app that will change the way you interact with your mobile device. Scan in 3D models from photos or use lidar on any platform to quickly create scanned spaces. Export them as OBJ files for accuracy, GLB formats so they can be used by other apps like loom VR paint engine etc., FBX which allows users greater control during importation and even DAE if preferred instead of STL – all at once through one user-friendly interface.

The Polycam software is a powerful tool that can be used for both photography and 3D scanning. The photogrammetry mode takes longer but produces higher quality results, while lidar requires less time to process but offers lower quality mesh objects in return.

In general, we recommend exploring both before making any hasty decisions about your next project!

  • Cost: $7.99/month ($4.99/month for a year subscription)
  • Platform: iOS (Android photogrammetry compatibility)
  • App rating: 4.8 stars
  • Aimed at: Hobbyists and professionals
10. CANVAS

The Canvas 3D scanning app is great for anyone looking to model an interior space. It works with the iOS platform, allowing you to take a picture of your room or object then create detailed instructions on how it should be designed in modeling software like SketchUp.

Users can come back to the scans anytime they want and it’s a good tool for designers not just because it’s fast, but also due to reducing errors. The app will capture every detail of space allowing user overlook any measurements when scanning with Canvas

  • Cost: Free (~$0.15 per square foot to export to CAD)
  • Platform: iOS (different apps for iPhone and iPad)
  • App rating: 3.8 stars
  • Aimed at: Design professionals

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