3D scanning is the most accurate way to generate detailed 3D models of objects and items. This is modern software and engineering at its best – 3D scanning has earned a trusted place in design departments across industries as diverse as aerospace, automotive, education and medicine.
3D scanning has an impressive number of uses, but the major factor that often stops businesses from utilising this effective technology is the idea that 3D scanning is out of their price range. Any 3D scanning project is a business investment, but the truth is that modern 3D scanning equipment offers excellent value for money.
In this article, we explain why 3D scanning is always worth the expenditure, and explore ways to make this technology as cost-effective as possible for your business.
What Is 3D Scanning?
3D scanning is the process through which 3D scanning devices are used to collect 3D point cloud data of an object, which can be used to generate a 3D image. 3D scans can then be used to create new 3D designs for reverse engineering, 3D printing, and much more.
3D scanning can be used to generate models of small car components or entire vehicles. It can be used to create accurate 3D models of medical equipment, or to model a simple toothbrush for 3D printing. 3D scanning is versatile, it produces detailed computer-generated models, and has a wide range of applications.
Is 3D Scanning Expensive?
3D scanning sounds great, right? But surely all that technology is going to be incredibly expensive… 3D scanning costs vary, as there are a number of factors to consider in terms of cost and pricing. However, as technology has improved and 3D scanning has become more accessible, it’s also become very cost-effective, especially given the excellent results you can expect from the top-of-the-range equipment.
If you are interested in starting new 3D projects, then at a minimum you’re going to need to invest in or have access to the following:
? 3D scanning device
? Computer equipment
? 3D scanning software
In addition, you’ll need to have knowledge of 3D modelling and software such as CAD, as well as the skills to use the 3D scanning device.
While this might sound like a large investment, 3D scanning equipment is surprisingly cost-effective. Your image of a 3D scanner might well be one of a large piece of technical equipment that’s difficult to use, but this image is entirely outdated.
3D scanners are available in a range of sizes, including up-to-date portable scanners that are handheld yet still produce exceptionally detailed models. Likewise, 3D scanning software is compatible with standard computer equipment, including laptops, tablets and even smartphones – it’s likely that you already have access to this, anyway.
Renting vs. Purchasing 3D Scanning Equipment
Businesses can save costs by considering their long-term 3D scanning goals. While 3D scanning equipment and the necessary software and training are an upfront cost, if you’re only planning on undertaking a limited number of 3D scanning projects each year, it’s possible to rent equipment rather than purchasing it outright.
This is the most cost-effective option for a business that isn’t sure whether to invest in the technology yet or doesn’t have the need or capacity to run 3D scanning projects frequently. Renting is a great way to ‘try before you buy’, and a cost-effective way to explore the benefits of 3D scanning. Central Scanning offers cost-effective hire solutions that start from £900 for multi-day hire with training included.
Alternatively, if your business is anticipating a rise in demand for 3D scanning, then investing in 3D scanning equipment will save you money in the long run compared to renting. Central Scanning also stocks a comprehensive range of 3D scanning equipment and is able to provide the necessary training in their use.
If you’re purchasing equipment outright, then bear in mind that 3D scanning equipment and software can also be upgraded later on, allowing you to keep your 3D scanning capacity completely up to date and totally future-proofed.
Is It Better Value to Outsource 3D Scanning?
Businesses can consider a third option in addition to renting 3D scanning equipment or purchasing it. For many businesses, outsourcing their 3D scanning work can prove to be the most cost-effective option available.
While purchasing 3D scanning equipment is often the ‘cheapest’ way to invest in 3D scanning, the process still requires expertise, skills and experience for the best results. 3D scanners are becoming easier to use, but your company still needs an employee who is knowledgeable in the use of computer software such as CAD. You also need to consider what happens with the 3D models you generate. If your aim is to create 3D prints for example, you’ll also need to invest in a 3D printer. If your goal is reverse engineering, you’ll need the right software and someone who knows how to do it.
Outsourcing the entire 3D scanning process can be much more cost and time effective in comparison to purchasing equipment and training staff. Some businesses just don’t have space for storing equipment or the time to maintain it. So outsourcing offers an excellent solution.
Central Scanning offers expert 3D scanning services, which can be combined with other useful services such as 3D printing or reverse engineering. Our services can be entirely tailor-made to suit your 3D scanning projects and your 3D scanning requirements.
Contact Central Scanning Today for All Your 3D Scanning Needs
Central Scanning has more than a decade’s worth of experience providing services and equipment in the 3D scanning industry. We stock a fantastic range of products, all at affordable prices.
Our expert team offers a wide range of great value services, including 3D printing and reverse engineering. We’re ready to help you with your next project, so don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more. Contact Central Scanning today for all your 3D scanning needs.