Although 3D scanners have already become a ubiquitous device in many fields, myths and misconceptions still surround them. In this article, we want to cover some false expectations of the novice users.
1. All you have to do is switch on the "start" button and everything will happen on its own.
Unfortunately, many unexperienced users think that once they buy a scanner they can immediately start off digitizing the most complex objects without any problems. They think of their scanner like a phone - press a button and get a good shot. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way. If you get a professional photo or video camera, you quickly realize that you can't get a good shot just by pressing a button. A photographer/videographer has to adjust the device and take the surroundings (e.g. light) into account.
The same applies for 3D-scanners. Scanning is a skill that requires practice. You have to learn to "see" the scanning scene, hold the device at the right angle and know how to adjust the settings properly.
Digitizing objects is a technically demanding process which is difficult to simplify into "just press a button and that's it". Although manufacturers are constantly improving their products, 3D scanners, being sophisticated professional equipment, require special skills and knowledge.
2. Most of the 3D scanners are overpriced, since one can make 3D models with a phone.
A great numbers of 3D scanning beginners expect a phone to successfully replace their 3D scanner when creating 3D models. That's partly true. If you do 3D modeling as a hobby and accuracy and resolution are not important, you can create 3D models via photogrammetry. However, this method is not suitable for complex tasks in reverse engineering, medicine or quality control. When technical parameters are crucial for the project, the specialists will need professional equipment. The price of professional 3D scanners is justified by their complexity, accuracy and reliability.
3. A 3D scanner can digitize literally anything. If not, then it’s a bad scanner.
This is rather an unrealistic expectation of a 3D scanner and here is . 3D scanners collect information about an object by projecting a light grid onto it and making a point cloud. Therefore, scanners have their own limits, which are determined by the laws of physics. For example, it is impossible to scan a transparent object without first covering it with a matte spray (otherwise the projected light will pass through the transparent surface, not collecting any data). It is also not easy to scan glossy or reflective surfaces due to light refraction. It is not easy to operate the scanner in bright sunlight, as it will "interfere" with the light grid projected by the device. Of course, depending on the device, the quality of the scans may vary for better or for worse, but nevertheless, absolutely all 3D scanners have their own limits, determined by the laws of optics.
4. Once I have scanned an object, I can immediately use that scan for my projects.This is not always the case. Sometimes, you may need to refine the data considerably. For example, a high-quality 3D scan can be printed immediately if you need it for prototyping, let’s say. For complex engineering tasks, you may need to convert the data into a solid format. You can read more on this here: https://thor3dscanner.com/en/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-a-3d-scan-and-a-cad-model/