3D Scan Services Cost
Because of how widely projects vary, it can be hard to predict how much 3D scanning services cost. In this article we will give an overview of the industry average costs in the US, including pricing breakdowns, cost estimates, and even examples of past projects and their final costs.
3D scanning services can cost anywhere from $100 to over $10,000 depending on a project’s size, complexity, and the technology necessary to complete it. Typically, small projects cost $100 – $3,000, medium projects cost $3,000 – $10,000, and large projects cost $10,000+.
Companies generally charge hourly that can range from $100 – $500 and or daily rates that can range from $1,000 – $3,000. Costs can further compound when services beyond 3D scanning are involved in the project, such as Revit or CAD modeling. Keep reading to learn more about 3D scanning services costs and factors that affect these costs.
3D Scanning Services Cost
Depending on the size of the project and the company, 3D scanning services may charge hourly or daily rates.
- Hourly Rates – Generally, smaller projects are charged by an hourly rate anywhere between $100 – $500.
- Daily Rates – Larger projects that require on-site scanning or multiple days of scanning may be charged a daily rate of $1,000 – $3,000.
If travel is required for on-site scanning projects, this will also influence and likely raise the price. However, this will largely depend on the 3D scanning service’s geographic location and how close or far it is from the project site.
How Project Size Affects 3D Scanning Cost
Projects typically fall into three cost categories:
- Small Projects – These projects require a low level of complexity or accuracy and are usually quickly accomplished, such as within a few hours or one day. Final costs range from $100 – $3,000.
- Medium Projects – These projects require a decent but not high level of complexity or accuracy and are usually completed within a few days or less than one week. Final costs range from $3,000 – $10,000.
- Large Projects – These projects require a high or extreme level of complexity or accuracy and usually take more than a few days or over a week. Final costs are upward of $10,000 and may even pass the $100,000 mark.
If customers request services in addition to 3D scanning, this is a separate cost that will be added to the hourly rate. The most common services include reverse engineering, part inspection, processing and registration, and 3D modeling and CAD.
Depending on the services selected and the project, these can add an extra cost of up to $200 per hour or $2,500 per day.
In most cases, a price estimate will be provided prior to the beginning of the project. These are often non-committal and based on description, photos, and other information provided by the client.
Pricing estimates can differ from the actual cost by as much as 20%. This happens when a project is more complex, time-consuming, etc. than originally estimated.
Factors That Affect 3D Scanning Services Cost
There are three primary factors that define project requirements and affect how expensive 3D scanning services are: the project size, project complexity, and technology necessary to complete the project.
How heavily each factor affects pricing will depend on the company. Many companies focus primarily on size and complexity when calculating cost estimates, though others may be more concerned with technology.
Typically, larger projects are more expensive than smaller ones because they require more scans and therefore more time. As a project grows in terms of size, prices will also increase.
Also known as coverage area, this is one of the most reliable factors when companies estimate pricing. Though project complexity can be hard to gauge from pictures or descriptions, size is more easily assessed.
For on-site scanning projects, the price will also be influenced by the square footage of the total area that needs to be scanned and the amount and type of equipment needed.
Similar to size, more complex projects are more expensive. A project composed of flat surfaces is much easier to scan than one with holes, pins, posts, and other small details.
Complex projects require more scanning to capture, which in turn will cost more. For example, a car engine is smaller but more complex than a china cabinet. Because of this, the engine would likely be more expensive to scan.
The complexity of a project usually affects cost more than size, though this isn’t true for all companies.
Accuracy is a factor that goes hand-in-hand with complexity. Companies will need to know your accuracy requirements in order to provide a cost estimate.
There are different 3D scanning technologies that are each suited to specific projects and have their own benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your project’s size and complexity, a company may need a certain scanning technology.
Size is one of the primary considerations in terms of scanning technology. In order to produce an accurate and detailed scan, a project must be able to fit within a scanner’s field of vision.
For example, a large project would require a larger scanner with an appropriate field of vision. Depending on your project’s size, not all companies may be able to handle it with their current equipment.
Similarly, there are different types of scanning, such as laser scanning and structured light scanning. Not all companies offer every type of scanning service.
Company-specific factors that affect cost
Though project factors play a large part in determining final cost, there are also factors associated with the 3D scanning company or service itself that may impact the pricing.
- Company Size – Larger and more established companies may have more expensive prices than smaller companies or those who are still trying to break into the industry. However, they may also have more expansive or specialized capabilities.
- Industry Specialization – Certain companies offer specialized services within the industry, resulting in more competitive prices. So if you have a special project, such as scanning a person, look for companies that already have the equipment and experience.
- Deliverables – Different companies may quote different deliverables for the same project. For example, two companies may quote different output types. To avoid this, make sure your project descriptions and specs are as specific as possible.
- Location – For projects that require on-site scanning, companies that have a geographic advantage (i.e., are located close to the project site) won’t have to include travel in their estimates or final costs. As a result, they can offer more competitive prices.
Company-specific factors tend to impact pricing structures overall rather than on an individual project basis.
When discussing pricing with companies or requesting a cost estimate for a project, don’t be afraid to ask for a detailed breakdown or more clarification.
Examples of 3D scanning services cost
You may be able to estimate how much your project will cost based on the information provided. However, it’s also useful to see past projects for comparison and reference.
For a realistic representation of 3D scanning services and how much they can cost for various projects, below are examples of projects that this company has performed before.
|Project||Services Included (Hours/ Days of Work)||Final cost|
3D scanning (6 days), panoramic modeling (200 hours)
Geothermal Power Plant
3D scanning (3 days), CAD modeling (100 hours)
3D scanning (1 day), Revit modeling (N/A)
3D scanning (0.5 days)
As you can see, costs can widely vary for 3D scanning services depending on the project specifications and required services.
Keep in mind, these are just examples from one company. Estimates from other companies for similar work may vary.