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Scan Object for 3d Printing Iphone

  • 7 min read
Ben Hunter

Ben Hunter

I started as a portal to educate and guide people who are either looking to buy a label printer or want to start a business selling them. Here I cover the differences in label printer technologies, the advantages and disadvantages in each and also share my (unbiased) recommendations on which type is best for your business.

With your iPhone, you can easily capture detailed 3D scans of objects using apps like Polycam and Toolbox AI, which utilize Apple's Vision technology to create accurate and high-quality scans. These apps offer advanced features like LiDAR and photogrammetry scanning, allowing you to create stunning 3D models from multiple images with precision. Before 3D printing, make sure your scan meets the required resolution, clean up imperfections, and optimize the model for printing. Next, you'll want to learn more about preparing your scan for production, refining your model, and troubleshooting common issues to achieve a high-quality 3D print.

Top Iphone Apps for 3D Scanning

For 3D scanning on your iPhone, you can trust top-performing apps like Polycam and Toolbox AI, which utilize Apple Vision technology to provide accurate and high-quality 3D scans. These apps are designed to help you create stunning 3D models with ease.

Polycam, in particular, offers both LiDAR and photogrammetry scanning capabilities, giving you the flexibility to choose the best method for your project. Toolbox AI, on the other hand, supports 3D Gaussian splatting, allowing you to create photorealistic scenes with remarkable detail.

With these iPhone apps, you can easily create, edit, and share your 3D content on a range of platforms. Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional, you'll appreciate the precision and accuracy of these apps.

How Iphone 3D Scanning Works

How do you harness the power of your iPhone to capture stunning 3D scans, and what makes this technology so effective? The answer lies in the advanced technology integrated into your iPhone, specifically the LiDAR sensor and photogrammetry technology.

Here are some key features that make iPhone 3D scanning a game-changer:

  1. Accurate scanning: The LiDAR sensor allows for quick and accurate scanning of larger objects and room-sized areas.
  2. Versatile scanning options: The Polycam app offers both LiDAR and photogrammetry options for scanning objects and spaces.
  3. Easy creation of 3D models: The app facilitates seamless import of scanned models into popular 3D sculpting tools like Blender for further editing.
  4. Customizable 3D floor plans: Users can easily scan house interiors and create 3D floor plans with the Polycam app.

Using these advanced features, you can create detailed 3D models from multiple images, making it easy to scan objects and spaces with precision. The Polycam app is a powerful tool that streamlines the scanning process, allowing you to focus on creating stunning 3D models and 3D floor plans.

With iPhone 3D scanning, the possibilities are endless, and the results are truly breathtaking.

Preparing Scans for 3D Printing

digitizing objects for printing

You'll need to refine your 3D scan to make sure it's print-ready, and that starts with checking the resolution. Since you've captured your object's details using the iPhone's LiDAR technology, you'll want to make certain your 3D scan has a high enough resolution for accurate 3D printing. Aim for at least 300 DPI to guarantee a smooth finish.

Next, use mesh editing tools to clean up any imperfections, such as holes or overlapping geometry, before printing. It's crucial to verify the scale of your 3D model to ensure it matches the desired size for printing, adjusting as needed.

Then, optimize your model for 3D printing by reducing the polygon count and simplifying complex geometry. Lastly, save your 3D model in a compatible file format like STL or OBJ, commonly used for 3D printing.

Iphone Camera Vs. Dedicated Scanners

In the world of 3D scanning for printing, you're likely weighing the convenience of using your iPhone's camera against the precision of dedicated 3D scanners. As you consider your options, here are some key differences to keep in mind:

  1. Quality and detail: Dedicated scanners offer superior quality and detail, making them ideal for projects that require high-fidelity scans. The iPhone 12 Pro, for instance, can provide fast scanning capabilities, but may lack the level of detail achieved by dedicated scanners.
  2. Convenience: Using your iPhone for 3D scanning allows for instantly usable models online, catering to the common ownership of iPhones for accessibility.
  3. Clean-up time: Dedicated scanners often require minimal clean-up when successful, ensuring a smoother workflow for 3D printing preparations.
  4. Cost: While iPhones are convenient for quick scans, dedicated scanners can be more expensive, but offer superior detail and quality for 3D printing projects.

Ultimately, the choice between using your iPhone's camera and a dedicated scanner depends on the level of quality and detail you require for your 3D printing project.

Tips for Achieving High-Quality Scans

scanning documents with precision

To achieve excellent scans, set up your iPhone in a well-lit environment with a neutral background, and then capture a series of photos from multiple angles to guarantee a thorough scan of the object.

Using the Object Capture feature, you'll want to capture a minimum of 20 photos from all angles to make sure you have a detailed scan. As you're capturing these photos, keep in mind that good quality is key, so take your time and avoid any blurry or low-light shots.

Once you've captured all the necessary photos, you can start to refine your scan using features like mesh size and texture adjustments. This might require a bit of a learning curve, but the payoff is worth it – with these adjustments, you'll be able to achieve a highly detailed and accurate 3D model.

Don't forget to check your model for accuracy and texture quality, making sure that hidden features are captured effectively for a high-quality 3D print.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

When scanning objects for 3D printing on your iPhone, common issues like scan errors, missing details, and distorted geometry can arise, requiring you to troubleshoot and find solutions. To overcome these challenges, it's crucial to understand the root causes and take corrective measures.

Here are some common issues and troubleshooting tips to keep in mind:

  1. Adjust lighting conditions: Guarantee the object is well-lit, avoiding harsh shadows and reflections that can affect scan quality.
  2. Optimize camera settings: Experiment with different camera settings, such as exposure and focus, to capture high-quality images.
  3. Ensure object stability: Maintain the object stable and stationary during scanning to prevent distorted geometry.
  4. Check for software updates: Regularly update your scanning software to make sure you have the latest features and bug fixes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Scan Objects for 3D Printing With Iphone?

You'll need object recognition skills to prepare your object for scanning with apps like Polycam, capturing it from multiple angles in ideal lighting conditions to guarantee high-quality 3D modeling and print quality in STL or OBJ file formats.

Can I Use My Phone as a 3D Scanner for 3D Printing?

You can use your phone as a 3D scanner for 3D printing, but accuracy depends on phone camera quality, lighting conditions, object size, and scanning distance, with scanner apps helping to improve print resolution.

Can I Scan an Object Then 3D Print It?

When scanning an object for 3D printing, you'll need to balance accuracy with scan resolution, taking into account printing limitations, model complexity, and surface texture; proper object preparation and the right scan software guarantee a successful print.

Do Iphones Have a 3D Scanner?

You can use your iPhone as a 3D scanner with apps like Polycam, leveraging its LiDAR technology and camera features for accurate mobile scanning, but device limitations exist, and future updates may improve its capabilities.


You've now grasped the basics of using your iPhone for 3D scanning and printing. By choosing the right app, preparing your scans, and following best practices, you can achieve high-quality 3D prints.

Remember to troubleshoot common issues and consider the limitations of iPhone scanning versus dedicated scanners.

With practice and patience, you'll be creating precise 3D models and printing functional prototypes in no time.

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