How do we develop the perfect 3D scanner?

Our solution in 3 steps – tell us what you think!

Do you know what it’s like? You just need a 3D model of an object – and what are your options? Either a scanning process that takes too long, a 3D model that is too inaccurate, or a 3D scanner whose price is simply not reasonable. Additionally, you have to post-edit the 3D model on your computer. Then you hope that the PC can load the 3D model without crashing. And the handling – well…

We want to solve this problem and give you a 3D scanner that is accurate, fast and easy to use. Therefore, we have developed the Scoobe3D scanner based on your wishes.Here you can find out how we proceeded. Read on and make your own improvements! Be there and actively develop the Scoobe3D – your opinion is very important to us!

Close to the customer: asking the right questions ist hard

Why is there no such 3D scanner as we want it to be? Actually, the main reason is far too simple to be true: nobody has ever bothered to ask the right questions. That’s not as easy as it sounds. Nevertheless, the most important task of product development is to really understand your needs.

3 Steps to an inspiring 3D Scanner

We from the Scoobe3D team have learned what is necessary to achieve a very good first design.

1st Customer Discovery Interview: the key to the treasure – your opinion

The goal of such interviews is to talk to people from the target group – in our case people who use 3D scanning for 3D printing. In doing so, we were able to find out whether we were really addressing a relevant difficulty of the target group.

The most important question in our case was this one:


How does this question add so much value? That’s how we did it:

  • We asked this question to 5 to 10 potential customers.
  • We then noted central difficulties in 3D printing. It is important that the customer does not even know at this moment that we are developing a 3D scanner. That way he can’t say anything out of politeness than what he actually thinks.
  • We then examined and verified the answers given. The yardstick was whether 80% of those questioned have a central difficulty that we can solve.
    In fact, we found that very often the creation of 3D data is seen as a central problem → So our first assumption was validated.

What is the benefit of this method?

  • First of all, this way we were able to test with relative certainty where your difficulties really lie. After all, our new 3D technology will only help you if we translate it into a great product that will bring you real benefits!
  • Another advantage of this method is that we were able to learn which words you use to describe your difficulties. Thus, we have been able to adapt our communication to this choice of words – this avoids misunderstandings.

2. The findings are there – and then?

The first step was to identify and write down the most common problems from the completed questionnaires.

Based on this, we have made concrete assumptions as to what exactly we expect. One of the key assumptions, for example, was:

"If we make a 3D scanner that's accurate, fast and easy to use, people will rip it out of our hands."

3. How do I make sure that my assumptions are correct?

There is a very simple method here: build a prototype and test it in a sales-like situation. We did this as part of a trade fair appearance. The results were as follows:

  • A continuously crowded exhibition stand
  • Hoarse founders
  • So many visits to the website that our server crashed for a short time.

→ Overall a very clear confirmation of our product idea! In addition, we were able to clarify the other necessary details of such a 3D scanner at the fair and in other customer meetings and to get to know many of you personally!

Since then your enthusiasm motivates us every day – that’s the best part! 

What makes the perfect3D Scanner?

The Scoobe3D in a new design

According to our investigation:

  • Usability. This includes convenient mobile use, without any additional equipment such as PC etc.
  • An own display, on which the scan results can be checked immediately and comfortably
  • Good accuracy of the scan data in the sub-millimetre range.
  • Preferably no post-editing of the created files, but the possibility of direct 3D printing or direct exporting (to CAD or the like).

What surprised us, by the way, was how little you cared about the size of the system. From

As big as a larger digital camera is enough

as far as

“The way it is now, is appropriate” (comment: this was about tablet size, but much thicker)

we’ve heard pretty much everything. To be honest, we didn’t expect that. The good news is: something in between will be certain!

What if you think we're completely wrong about this?

Tell us! Absolutely and right now! 🙂 In any case, we are grateful for an honest opinion – even if we may not be able to implement everything immediately for technical reasons. Just leave a comment under this blog post.

That might interest you, too:

Scoobe3D 3D Scanner Buying Guide

  1. Rainer Arndt
    Rainer Arndt said:

    > The 3D-Scaner should at least be waterproof.
    > extremely robust in order to be able to use it professionally.
    > scanner should also have a photo function, that photo should have the same file name as the 3D scan
    > LTE connection to be able to send 3D data directly
    > have good packaging (we would be happy to help, as a packaging specialist we are able to develop everything from functional to representative packaging).

    • Julian
      Julian said:

      Hello, Rainer,

      thank you for your suggestions!

      On the subject of waterproofing:
      I don't know yet if we can make it completely waterproof. However, splash water protection should be feasible in any case!

      On the subject of photo function:
      That definitely sounds meaningful - I'll add it to the ToDos right away!

      On the subject of LTE connectivity:
      Here you address an exciting point that we have already discussed a lot.
      Advantages of LTE are clear: practical usability (also mobile)
      Disadvantages of LTE: it takes quite a lot of data volume to send larger / many 3D scans directly, with WLAN it is recommendable to use the WLAN
      -> In any case we have to think again here. Can I possibly get back to you to get your specific opinion again?

      Best regards,

  2. Stephan Klarner
    Stephan Klarner said:

    would be interesting, if the device/app comes (in time) and you could test it.
    So far I have only had extremely bad experiences with "handheld" stories that run via mobile phone or camera.
    Soon I will test a cheap "Chinakracher" with 2 lasers, camera, turntable etc. for well under 100.-€ free of charge.
    If you can even get such a simple scanner with a camera app, I'll tell you it strongly.
    Convince me with a test possibility.

    • Julian
      Julian said:

      Hello, Stephan,

      you speak from my soul - I have already experienced too many 3D products that don't deliver what they promise. I can guarantee you that we won't do that - we have the necessary professional background to be able to assess what works and what doesn't relatively accurately.

      Nevertheless, tests are planned shortly. Unfortunately, we had to postpone this until now, because we wanted to let you test something that is already as close as possible to the product. In the meantime we are in development, but at a point where I can shortly give the "go" for a test...:-)

      On the subject of Chinese firecrackers:
      Here I am already extremely curious, which results you get with your "Chinakracher"! If the part is based on a turntable (and is therefore not used for mobile purposes), it could work quite well. Please let me know about your test results here - I am always curious what is going on in the 3D area!

      On the subject of handheld stories:
      I like to think you've had some bad experiences here. With the previous technologies (especially laser triangulation) this cannot work properly, because the trembling of the hand is amplified up to factor 1000 (depending on the distance). The image / the scan is then also corresponding.

      About Camera App:
      The Scoobe3D is not a pure app solution. It is mainly a hardware specially adapted to the 3d scanning problem that will use Android as its operating system for the sake of simplicity. Due to the operating system there is of course also an app available.

      On the subject of test options:
      Gladly, soon more about this in the newsletter / by mail, if you are already registered as a tester (unfortunately already fully booked). Otherwise, I'll keep you in mind if there's an opening.

      Best regards,

  3. Ralf Duke
    Ralf Duke said:


    how large should the scan volume be or the object size be ?

    Is also planned, e.g. pipelines with bends e.g. 3m long / with flanges approx. 200 mm diameter, pipe diameter approx. 100mm to record ?
    Or container diameter 2m / height 2m ?
    An accuracy in the mm range is sufficient.

    A device with screen increases the costs, additional device to iPad or Phone would probably be hardware-wise cheaper / smaller lighter ?

    just a few thoughts ...

    Yours sincerely

    Ralf Duke

    • Julian
      Julian said:

      Hello, Ralf,

      We are currently planning with several object sizes, which of course also affect the accuracy.
      Focus are currently objects with the following dimensions: 200mmx200mm, the height is largely variable.
      Your pipeline application therefore sounds very feasible. We'd have to test the containers first.

      Thank you for your suggestions regarding costs / smaller / easier! You are absolutely right here - we have already discussed it a lot. However, the extent of the cost increase is not as great as one might imagine, as displays are now available at quite low prices. On the other hand, the operation is much better and a stable function can be guaranteed more easily.

      If you have any more ideas, please feel free to bring them here!

      Best regards,

  4. Daniel Schütt
    Daniel Schütt said:

    Very good. The answers are 100% in line with my opinion. I think you are on the right track to provide a well thought-out product to the growing community of 3D print enthusiasts. Keep it up!

    • Julian
      Julian said:

      Hello, Daniel,

      thank you - your comment went down like oil! You motivate us to continue to give our best!:-)

      I am also very happy if we are still going in the right direction here! If you have any further suggestions, please feel free to contact me (best here in the blog)!

      Best regards,

  5. kurt oettel
    kurt oettel said:

    Hello, Julian,
    The questions have been there for a long time. Were we only testers at the trade fair with a demonstration of your set of accessories and the model was already in the mobile phone? I've been waiting a long time for your test with the customers. With us in the company we have new vehicles and need parts or areas to then process them in Inventor as a negative form.
    So see you soon at the tests at our place.

    • Julian
      Julian said:

      Hello, Kurt,

      It's understandable that waiting seems to take a long time - after all, you're one of our first supporters and have been there from the beginning 🙂 Thank you for that!
      The mass was in July. By the way, at that time the model was not yet installed. After experiencing such an overwhelming interest in the trade fair, the (further) development has really got off to a good start. Unfortunately, half a year in hardware development is almost nothing.
      Nevertheless, a prototype will be ready shortly. We are also looking forward to your feedback and to sharing the results of the prototype tests with you and everyone else. Because of the application in your company / department we can then get in touch with you.
      Thank you for your patience and continued support!

      Best regards,

    • Julian
      Julian said:

      Hello, Thomas,

      thank you for your objection, you are absolutely right, opinions of 5-10 potential customers are of course not statistically meaningful. Statistical significance is something very important.
      The reason why we chose this method was as follows: 5-10 representatives of our target group are already sufficient to identify basic needs and trends. That was the most important thing for us at that time.
      We then conducted a representative survey during a visit to the trade fair - we spoke to a good 100 people here. I'm sorry if that came across misleadingly in the blog post. Do you have any idea how I could put this better?
      In addition, we are aware that we cannot have "caught" everyone and all needs through this survey. That's why we'd like to talk to you here about what you're missing 🙂
      Well, if you're missing a feature, let us know!

      Best regards,

  6. Stefan
    Stefan said:

    Hello, everyone,

    it's nice to have something "new" again.
    I found the idea to connect the device to a smartphone quite good... there are all interfaces and generally enough computing power available.
    Perhaps you should slowly define whether your product is intended for the private sector or industry / education (which can probably be fixed mainly at the price point). Too bad that the beta test is still pending and this post sounds more like two steps back and one step forward...

    Are you coming to Embedded World this year?

    Greetings, good luck,

    • Julian
      Julian said:

      Hello, Stefan,

      thank you for taking the time to write to us here. We also liked the idea to connect the device to a smartphone 🙂 but first of all we think that you have a comfortable handling and we found out that an own display is very advantageous. In addition, such a plug connection is unfortunately not technically very durable - as we have found out in tests. The new Scoobe3D also provides the necessary computing power.

      Good point, at the beginning it was not clear whether the Scoobe3D should first be designed for the private or industrial sector. In the meantime it looks as follows that (mind you as first, not as only) group the prosumers are aimed at. Prosumers are: Users who can (also) use the product professionally, for example in the KmU sector, as well as private customers with high expectations.

      We're sorry if that's the impression you get from the mail. Could you perhaps help us by telling us what in concrete terms has given you the impression that it is more like taking two steps back and one step forward? With this you would help us a lot 🙂

      We won't be at Embedded World this year, but as soon as you're due to visit us, you'll of course be informed about it in good time via our newsletter.

      Thank you very much for your feedback and good wishes. We'll continue to do our best. Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed!

      Best regards,

      • Stephen
        Stephen said:

        Hello, Julian,

        thank you very much for your detailed answer. My impression was mainly based on the fact that the "prototype pictures" now differ a lot from the original pictures on the website. And since the concept of a "mobile phone accessory" has now also been discarded. I might have thought Bluetooth/Wifi to be suitable as well...
        And now that you're writing about the customer requirements that normally should have been analyzed at the very beginning.
        Unfortunately, no prototype tests or sample data have been reported.
        For the fact that you originally wanted to start spring 2018 on Kickstarter and didn't even come to a leading trade fair for electronics on your doorstep is unfortunately not particularly confident.
        And I would note still briefly that there are already solutions for "Prosumer", which one could order immediately - even if possibly the indicated resolution cannot be reached or which are then nevertheless again clearly more expensive 😉
        I hope the comment is not too critical, of course I wish you continued success and good luck!

        Greetings Stefan

        • Caroline
          caroline said:

          Hello, Stefan,

          I hope it's okay if I answer you. Julian is very busy developing prototypes right now. Thank you very much for your feedback, you are helping us a lot! Your impression that it's going back rather than ahead may also have others. With your points listed, I can understand that they can be interpreted this way.

          In fact, the new Scoobe3D design is a big step forward for us - towards the 3D scanner you want. If we had stuck to the concept as a "mobile phone accessory", we would have further developed a product that misses your needs. This, of course, is not what we want, and as we suspect, not what you want either.

          About the "mobile phone accessory" with Bluetooth/Wifi connection: In principle a very exciting idea, which we had also considered. Disadvantage is here quite clear that the Scoobe3D would need a very high data rate (about 150MB/s) and in addition still an access to the server must be possible. A further disadvantage is the reliability / susceptibility to interference of radio connections, especially with Bluetooth, I think everyone has already experienced a failure there. So there is a tendency for more individual radio connections to be necessary with the "mobile phone accessory", which increases the susceptibility to interference. This will be much better with the new design.
          In order to enable a fast and above all reliable scan, we have therefore decided against the "mobile phone accessory".

          It is understandable that this was misleading with regard to customer requirements. We wrote about customer requirements, not because they were groundbreakingly new, but to explain why we made the changes to the new design. Customer requirements have been known to us for some time and these changes are almost complete.

          Yes, when it comes to prototype tests I can understand your displeasure very well - I'm really looking forward to them myself at 🙂 I also think it's a pity that these tests have been postponed. Unfortunately the development didn't go earlier - here it has to be considered that we really use a completely new technology (see patent application or blog entry about the Scoobe3D technology). This has many advantages, but also the disadvantage that we can not fall back on ready-made algorithms etc..

          As soon as the prototype is back in our house after a last revision, which will probably be the case at the end of February, it will go through some final tests. At this time you will already see a picture of him. I am confident that you and the other testers will receive an invitation to these prototype tests in the next few weeks.

          Thank you for your constructive criticism, suggestions for improvement are always welcome. For capacity reasons, we have to prioritize trade fair visits very much and "embedded world" simply has a lot to do with 3D scanning, 3D printing or VR.

          The Kickstarter date in spring 2018 is still set - spring goes up to and including May 😉 We are very much looking forward to finally offering you the opportunity to get a Scoobe3D. Of course you will be informed in time about the newsletter. We are very happy to have so many great supporters in you 🙂

          Thank you very much for your wishes Stefan, we will continue to step on the gas!

          Best regards,

  7. Dirk
    Dirk said:

    You've already grasped the problems pretty well. Of course it would be nice to have a high level of detail, a fast scan speed and a small price. I guess that's the challenge. Top Prio has the depth of medals for me. The scan may then also take some time. The result has to be stored in a file format that I can process with almost any CAD program.
    An ideal scanner should have an adjustable depth of detail: high, medium, small, contours. The scan speed can then behave accordingly: Slow, leisurely, fast, fast.
    An object size of 200x200x200mm is sufficient. There must be no distortion,
    When I think of a scanner, I think of Anet's distribution method. There is a large community around the Anet A8. This results in a lot of improvements.

    • Caroline
      caroline said:

      Hello, Dirk,

      I hope it's okay if I answer you. Julian is very busy developing prototypes right now. Thank you very much for your answer and suggestions!

      You're right, high detail / accuracy, a fast scan speed and a fair price are definitely very important. Your 3D model will be output by Scoobe3D in STL format. You can import this with pretty much any CAD program and then edit it further.

      I find your idea for the adjustable depth of detail (high, medium, small, contours) very exciting - we will continue to pursue this on everyone!

      Many thanks for the note with Anet A8, let's see if we can learn something from it 😉

      Best regards,


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