3d scanners

Hello everyone,
i am not a big writer, but a I am a frequent reader of this fantastic forum. I have a question concerning 3d scanners. Is this technology affordable to own? My researchs bring me to Faro and Handyscan and it’s not (affordable). There is an affordable option and it’s called next engine. Did any of you have tried this thing? (https://www.nextengine.com/indexSecure.htm) I had comments that it’s not accurate at all, but I was looking for a second thought.

many thanks and have a great week end,


It depends on your definition of affordable. If you’re a professional firm who is spending $50k on CAD licenses each year - then sure, a decent digitizer is affordable.

If you’re a casual designer/home user who wants to scan stuff for whatever purpose, not so much.

It comes down to what kind of work you do and whether or not it can pay for itself like CAD software does.

I’ve used the NextEngine, as well as a lot of other scanners (everything from Polhemus to Cyra (now Leica) to a scanner I built myself).

For what it is, it is very, very good. Both the scan quality and the software (for merging the different views) are excellent. There just isn’t anything even close at this price range, literally. And it does a better job in many situations than systems costing 10 times as much.

If you have small models to scan, this is the best way to go.

If you have larger models, well, that’s another story.

many thanks guys,
these are the good opinions I was looking for.

wow… 2500 bucks. I want to hear more about this little guy!

NextEngine scanner provides good bang for the bucks yet data accuracy is pretty loose (0.2 - 0.5mm and above from what I hear depending on measurement volume / object size). The few people I know who own a system have it seat on a shelf and rarely use it, if they even do at all.

I use Imetric 3D structured white light scanners (www.imetric.com) which provide some of the best and most accurate data out there. The data accuracy goes from bellow 10µ up to about 30µ with measurement volumes up to +300mm. The level of details captured is usually quite stunning but this comes with a price point of about 10-15 times more than NextEngine system.

I guess they are different scanners for different needs which one need to assess first.

I’m pretty amazed that $2500 can get you scans within .5mm. I’m thinking this might be a worthwhile pickup when I graduate and have a little money to throw around.

The next engine thing is fantastic - its cheap its dirty and it does a job… there are some software upgrades avaialble, but they bring itmore inlien with other scanners out there… there are some homebrew scanner hacks out there, but for the cost, the nextengine is pretty hard to beat…

Just to make it clear (and in response to dacct’s post):

Does the project use the word “metrology” anywhere? If so, the Nextengine is totally inappropriate. Though one might ask what were you thinking tryng to cover it with a $2500 scanner.

Typical data does seem to be in the .2-.5 mm error range. In my experience the error seems to be gaussian distribution, zero mean. Which means that (on “average”) your reconstructed surface can be more accurate to the original than the data.

Again, if you want to scan small ID mockups/protoypes which are often not dimensionally acurate anyway, this is a fine way to go. But it’s not close at all to the capabilities you get with a Polhemus of Creaform hand scanner ($20k-%50k), or any of the larger laser or structured light systems ($70k-$200k).