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We already wrote an article about how 3D scanning works, so dig into it if you would like to know all the details! In a nutshell, 3D scanning allows you to produce a 3D model of a physical object. 3D scanning is a technology that’s now available for everyone. Doctors and other professionals use 3D scanners at work, but they are also widely used by commercial companies and amateurs.
3D scanning can be as easy as using your own smartphone or setting up a bunch of cameras. There are 3 methods to use 3D scanning technology: laser 3D scanning, photogrammetry, and structured light scanning. We prepared a guide to help you choose the best 3D scanner for your project. Since there are different devices used for 3D scanning, we organized our list of the top 20 3D scanning software by type: photogrammetry software, 3D scanning software used for 3D scanners and 3D scanning apps for your phone.
Photogrammetry software is a technology based on photos to produce your 3D models. It uses photographs to calculate measurements and turn them into 3D data. To 3D scan with a phone, drone or a camera, you need photogrammetry software. We already dedicated a blog post to the best photogrammetry software, but now we will enrich this list.
3DF Zephyr is one of the leaders on the market thanks to its UI. It is very intuitive and user-friendly. Inexperienced users will be guided through the 3D scanning process, however, 3DF Zephyr is not only for amateurs. Professionals from different fields will use a lot of helpful tools, such as the ability to transform the model into CAD software. There are also plenty of options to tweak the 3D model and adjust it.
This professional 3D scanning software is popular for GIS applications (Geographic Information System), but also for visual effects production, historical documentation and game development. The software is capable of working with both close-range and aerial photogrammetry.
An interesting feature of Agisoft Metashape is that the user can make 4D models as the software allows to save whole scenes as editable 3D objects
Autodesk ReCap stands for Reality Capture. It uses photos, but can also apply laser scans to produce 3D models. It can be used for aerial scans and close-range. The 3D objects can be used with CAD and BIM software. With this 3D scanning software, you will be able to achieve high-quality models, which can be edited thanks to specialized tools.
This is a very powerful professional photogrammetry software, capable of producing whole infrastructure landscapes. It will give you a lot of advanced tools to organize and edit the 3D models. This software is popular for construction projects, it can create highly detailed street views This software can be with aerial photogrammetry and laser scanning in order to achieve the best 3D models. With Bentley ContextCapture you can even produce 3D animations and fly-throughs.
Colmap allows for the production of 3D mesh from one camera or from a set up of cameras. It is free and easy to use. There are more advanced options available, especially to improve quality. However, you can’t edit the 3D model in this software. It is great for quick and easy 3D scanning.
As the name suggests, this 3D scanning software was designed for drones. It consists of two apps. One controls the path of the drone and will guide it from take-off to landing. A second program gathers the photos and creates a 3D model. It provides you with tools to measure areas, volumes, and distances. Additionally, you can add more personalized features.
IMAGINE is a professional photogrammetry software. It is important for you to consider if you’re planning to work with mapping 3D scans. It is very well known in the industry and used by the department of transportation, commercial mapping companies, and national and regional mapping authorities. It provides users with plenty of professional tools such as different point cloud views, to help transform the photos and manage large data.
Meshroom stands out for an easy learning curve. The 3D scanning process is very intuitive, and based on nodes and creates a 3D model for you. You also have the option to edit the nodes later and adjust the 3D scan according to your needs.
This professional photogrammetry software was created by the French National Geographic Insitute and the French National School of Geographic Sciences. It provides you with highly professional tools, especially for academic and industrial applications. It can be used for small and large scale scans.
Yet another 3D scanning software for professionals. It is trusted by computer-vision scientists and the Multiple View Geometry (MVG) industry. OpenMVG operates with Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry technology.
Photomodeller allows you to create 3D objects thanks to 3 different methods. You can manually fit common characteristics, automatically produce a 3D model from coded targets or match point clouds from overlapping images. It is an easy to use and affordable 3D scanning software.
This 3D scanning software covers all the tools from flying a drone to generating a 3D model. It will assure your drone path is correct and then allows you to create orthomosaics, index maps, elevation models or point clouds to produce an accurate 3D model. You also have access to different analytic tools so the model can be edited.
As you can see the list of Top 3D scanning software is long and for sure one of them will fit your needs. From professional landscape mapping to medical 3D scanning, this technology amazes us. But it can also be used at your home, all you need is a phone.
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