Easy 3D scanning tools for iOS in 2022

The task of making 3d models for games can feel daunting. In 2022, we have many tools to rapidly creating 3d models using scanning methods. I’m amazed how this robust computer science and computer vision technology has become accessible to makers and creatives. Let’s say you need to create a 3d model of a statue and 3d print a copy. In our post today, I wanted to connect our readers to a wonderful app called Trnio and a few others. For IPhone and Ipad users that have ARKit, maker can create impressive 3d models by recording a scan of their target objects or capturing pictures. The following video outlines the process for Trnio.

Under the hood, 3d scanning works by exploring each frame and computing the estimated camera position of the device. Using the camera position and feature points extracted from the frame, the system can do analysis of the movement of feature points over time. Using algorithms that extract 3d structure from motion, the app can estimate a model of the 3d object. Really cool stuff.

When testing this application with my kitchen table and few other car parts, I found the app easy to use with notable results. You can inspect some of the results of scans on SketchFab.


In the more recent editions of iOS devices, users have access to LIDAR scanners on these devices. The LIDAR sensor provides depth information more robustly to algorithms increasing 3d model quality. Fernado Herrera does a nice review of a few other scanning options that leverage LIDAR. He mentioned that the LIDAR scans worked best on large structures. I appreciated his comments on Qlone which focuses on scanning smaller items using a QR code template. The reviews looked a bit mixed on the app stores though.

We love to hear from our readers. If there’s another tool that you love for 3d scanning, please share in the comments. If you make something cool, please share that with us too!!

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