DIY 3D scanning from your own smartphone, with Scann3D

You can now create, and view 3D scans yourself with the Scann3D app on Android. It still has a long way to go, but we are taking a closer to a future where 3D scanning someting with your smartphone is the most normal thing in the world.

Here is an explanation about how the app works and what I have experienced myself (on my Galaxy S7).


After installing the Scann3D app from the  Google Playstore you can start right away:

Scann3D uses the camera on your phone to scan, with a technique called photogrammetry. Photos are taken around an object and from those photos a 3D model is generated by a computer. Photogrammetry is also the same technique that Duplicate 3D uses to make 3D scans. The Scann3D app does not use the prosessor on your phone to make the 3D calculation, but sends the photos to the cloud. Then getting the 3D scaned result back after prossesing.

Thanks to the simple interface, Scann3D ensures that the app remains structured. Already when you press "New Model" to start a 3D scan, Scann3D is leaving nothing to chance. The app explains in slides what you should and should not do during the 3D scanning prosses.


After this step by step guide we can start 3D scanning.

By centering your object in the frame. And make photos all around the object you build a collection of images that can be sent to the cloud.

What is really good about this 3D scan app is that; when you take the photos. You see yello or green points on your screen, so you can see if you are well-oriented to take the next photo for the best result. After a minimum number of 20 photos, processing can begin. If you use the free version it is only possible to make the 3D scan in low resolution. For a higher quality you'll need the paid Pro version.

After a bit of waiting the prossesing is done. At least, if the prossesing goes well.



I have tested the Scann3D app several times and have come to the conclusion that it is not that easy.

Although it is easy to start, it is sometimes difficult to get a successful 3D scan back from the cloud. Often just before the calculation reaches 100%, the app shows Failed. Often because the photos can not be properly linked together. I noticed that it's important to have a good surface with a lot of contrast underneath your object.

It helps to have it recalculated with  the Continue option. Then the prossesing sometimes still succeeded. And you get a 3D scan back.After all, the photographs that have been taken are stored for later use.


Walnut on a sandwich.

My best attempt was a walnut on a sandwich. Why the sandwich? The texture works very well in the app to calculate the camera position.

The 3D scan that came from the cloud during my test, I could not do much with it unfortunately. Besides that it had a very low quality. The 3D model can not be shared or downloaded without the Pro version. Which requires a monthly fee.

Yet it is a nice app to experiment with.

Finally, I am still curious what the potential result can be.


With the same pictures I have made in the Scann3D app I did the calculation myself on the computer. The differences are huge. The left two are generated on my computer and on the right is what comes out of the Scann3D app. But it is clear that the bottom also gives a lot of noise with my own scan result because of the quality of the camera in the smartphone. To get real quality it is ultimately best to use a good camera.