Turn Real Objects Into Digital Models
Have you ever wanted to turn real objects into digital models for use in your 3D design work? It can be hard to find the right tools for photogrammetry. Luckily, there are a few 3D scanning apps for Android devices that make it easy to capture object data.
Here, we’ll show you the best apps out there—each with its own strengths and use cases—that will make it easier than ever to create your next awesome product design.
1. KIRI Engine
KIRI Engine is a popular 3D scanning app for Android devices that allows you to build 3D models by reconstructing a single image or a set of images or videos. It’s based on the concept of photogrammetry—the process of using photography to record the shape and geometry of an object.
To get started, you’ll need to take at least twenty high-quality images, from different angles. Next, choose the kind of texture quality—high, medium, or low, and other parameters such as camera and light exposure settings as per your choice, and tap Upload. The app automatically detects key points from images and builds a 3D model from them.
The AI Masking feature allows you to filter out unwanted details from images for greater detail and accuracy. You’ll be able to customize the model, choose textures (even in 4K), and more. You can also export it in various formats such as OBJ, STL, and PLY. To make your creations visible across multiple platforms, toggle on the slider for Visibility.
You can use the app to scan objects and scenes with complex geometry and details across a plethora of applications such as architecture, engineering, 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality, and gaming. The more pictures you take, at different angles and all around the object, the better the app can determine the object’s shape. This holds true for all the apps on the list.
KIRI Engine is easy to use even for beginners. The premium version of the app allows access to unlimited exports, advanced camera settings, gallery uploads, and more.
Download: KIRI Engine (Free, in-app purchases available)
With the WIDAR 3D scanner app, you can take beautiful photos and transform them into high-quality 3D models. You can export your 3D models for use in virtual reality, augmented reality, video games, architecture, and even for 3D printing!
The Photo Scan mode allows you to perform 3D scanning on all devices. You can capture images from different angles of the object being scanned, which increases accuracy and vividness while also saving time when creating a model.
To get started, you’ll need to grant the necessary permissions to your camera and notifications. Next, you’ll need to select categories and sign up with your email or Google account.
On signing up, you’ll be redirected to a Community page where you can find models created and uploaded by other users. You can use pre-existing objects as inspiration for your next creation or hit the camera button to create one of your own.
You can scan and edit 3D models on your phone, then export them in various formats for use across platforms such as Blender and Maya. You can share them on social media, or use them in object data formats such as OBJ and FBX.
Download: WIDAR (Free, in-app purchases available)
3. Polycam 3D Scanner
With Polycam, you can turn your phone into a 3D scanner, so you can capture your objects in all their glory. Polycam works with both Apple and Android devices. However, select Apple devices come with a LiDAR sensor that can rev up the photogrammetry experience for you. Take a look at our list of 3D scanner apps for iPhones to see what else is available.
If you have an Android device, you can still use Photo Mode to take a picture with your camera and upload it to the cloud later. The app is easy to use—just point the scanner at an object, capture a minimum of twenty images from different angles, and wait for the scan to complete.
Once the image is processed, you’ll be able to view your scan on your phone’s screen and share it via email or cloud storage. Tap the image and use a variety of settings in the bottom menu to analyze your 3D model. You can create a video with the Orbit and Custom modes as well as see where you can input random keyframes.
You’ll have the option to export it as a GLTF file or share it with the community via the Explore feed, or share a link to your creations.
You can upgrade to the premium version if you want greater detail and accuracy—it allows you to capture more images via Photo mode, and integrates with the Polycam web app for direct downloads. You can also export your models in a variety of formats with the premium version.
Download: Polycam 3D Scanner (Free, in-app purchases available)
Freehand 3D scanning isn’t easy by any means. You might notice that the mesh area has gaps, and the output is generally not up to your expectations. The MagiScan 3D Scanner app tries to simplify the process and offers a simple and elegant technology for creating a high-quality 3D model of the object.
Developed by experts, the MagiScan app allows you to capture high-quality 3D models that are optimized for AR and can be used in different ways. All you need is to point, rotate, and capture the object from all sides to get clear imagery and perspective.
Download: MagiScan (Free, in-app purchases available)
The ARLOOPA 3D scanner app is another tool that allows you to create 3D models of your environment and analyze, measure, and edit them.
To get started, sign up for an account and go to the Settings menu. Tap Create AR, and you’ll be redirected to the web app where you can select Create New Experience. You’ll be able to choose between markerless or marker-based scans, or even location-based ones, and more options will appear as you click around on the interface.
The best part is that you can find elaborate tutorials for every step of the way to guide you around building 3D models, such as this one to create a location-based model:
Once done, you can even measure your model and publish it if you want. If you want to create 3D models without scanner apps, here’s how to build a 3D model using Blender.
Download: ARLOOPA (Free, subscription available)
Build 3D Models From Your Favorite Objects
These are our top picks for Android 3D scanner apps that’ll give you a wide array of creativity and flexibility in creating your own models from photos, scans, and drawings.
While these tools may not be able to fully replicate the 3D experience in real-life, they come with different capabilities—they are incredibly useful for when you’re on the go, for instance. Pick out one of these scanner apps, put it to use, and you’ll find yourself making something entirely new out of your imagination.