How to 3D scan with your phone

Smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, and with the plethora of apps available, it got me thinking – can we actually use our handy device to create a 3D model just by scanning an object? Guess what? It’s a big YES! The golden key here is to use 3D scanning software on your phone. Just follow the specific steps, which might involve capturing various images from different perspectives of your chosen item or even filming a comprehensive video. Another cool trick? A 3D printed turntable can boost your 3D scanning game! In essence, your smartphone is your passport to the fabulous realm of 3D scanning.


The journey doesn’t end there! There’s a wealth of apps – both complimentary and premium – tailored for this fantastic endeavor. The magic begins when you film your desired object from multiple angles. Some apps even serve as your personal guide, offering directions to ensure your scan is on point. But hold on, it’s not just about capturing photos. To obtain an impeccable 3D scan, you need to become a bit of an expert, and luckily, there’s a sea of apps awaiting exploration.

Seeking more depth? Dive into the concept of 3D Scanning. It’s the art and science of digitally capturing the characteristics of an object to mold it into a 3D blueprint. The superstar behind this process? Photogrammetry – a technique where measurements are extracted from numerous photos taken from varying angles. While earlier, professionals would rely on high-end cameras, our smartphone evolution has reshaped this scenario!

There was a time when replicating an intricate artwork seemed like a dream to me due to my lack of 3D modeling prowess. But now? It’s child’s play! So, if you’re bubbling with excitement and wondering how it’s done, it’s all about capturing multiple photos of your object from diverse angles. Some apps, with the aid of AR (Augmented Reality), even guide you through this thrilling journey, illustrating the optimal paths to maneuver your phone.

Another gem in the tech world is the $30 3D Scanner V7. Think of it as an ingenious DIY venture that transforms your smartphone into an affordable 3D scanner using the 3DF Zephyr software. It’s pretty simple: your phone’s camera clicks multiple photos while the turntable revolves. Want the full scoop on this DIY 3D Scanner? has got you covered!

But wait, there’s more! The AAScan – an open-source automatic 3D scanner – is a creation of a dedicated 3D printing trainee, aiming for a minimalist design but with advanced functionalities.

Heading into the practical realm, there are several factors to consider for a flawless scan. Ensuring optimal lighting conditions, avoiding dark shadows, and maintaining consistency in distance from the object during scanning are a few pointers to keep in mind.

Wondering about the applications of 3D scanning? Well, it’s a boon for creating 3D printed models by mimicking other objects. It also comes handy for crafting virtual avatars for VR experiences and simplifying tasks for 3D model artists. And for those seeking the best apps to embark on this adventure, Qlone, Trnio, Scandy Pro, and Scann3D are among the top contenders.

However, it’s essential to remember that while 3D scanning with a phone is revolutionary, it does have its limitations. Ideal lighting conditions are crucial, and the scans might require some tweaking to achieve perfection.

Photogrammetry, though groundbreaking, isn’t always the go-to for more extensive spaces as pinpointing the overlap of each photograph can be challenging. But, for smaller objects? Your smartphone is all you need!