As somebody who works with 3D printing, I’ve at all times had an curiosity in 3D scanning. So when Creality provided to ship me their CR-Scan Lizard 3D scanner for evaluation, I jumped on the possibility. Beneath you can find my ideas about the Creality CR-Scan Lizard and a showcase of a few of my scans.
Disclaimer: Creality offered me with this scanner freed from cost, however this evaluation is as unbiased as doable. Creality didn’t pay for this evaluation and these are completely my very own ideas.
I’ve been working with 3D printers for greater than a decade and think about myself one thing of an knowledgeable on the topic. However I’ve remained skeptical of each the utility and the potential of client 3D scanners.
My skepticism of the utility got here from the truth that 3D scanners produce mesh fashions, which have restricted use to these of us who prioritize parametric CAD modeling. As a result of I want components to suit collectively precisely and have to rapidly modify dimensions, it makes extra sense to me to make use of calipers and different instruments to assemble precise measurements after which use these measurements to construct CAD fashions.
Parametric CAD fashions require correct, simply modified dimensions
My considerations about functionality got here from seeing the outcomes posted by others over time. These compelled me to query the accuracy and precision of 3D scanning.
However 3D scanning expertise has come a good distance over time and I wished to know whether it is now helpful. The Creality CR-Scan Lizard gave me the chance to check a client 3D scanner to search out out whether it is worthwhile for makers like myself.
CR-Scan Lizard Fundamentals
The CR-Scan Lizard is small client 3D scanner in regards to the measurement of a USB energy financial institution. Creality claims that it might probably obtain as much as 0.05mm accuracy and doesn’t require any markers for scanning. The fundamental mannequin doesn’t embody any equipment and is supposed for handheld scanning. Stepping up, the Premium Combo features a small tripod and rotating platform for desk scanning. On the high, the Luxurious Combo provides a light-weight field and tripod setup for smartphones, which lets customers add shade textures to their scans.
Creality despatched me the CR-Scan Lizard Luxurious Combo. I examined each handheld and desk scanning (each geometry and texture), however didn’t take a look at the colour texture function enabled by smartphone pairing.
The CR-Scan Lizard scans objects utilizing a projector and a pair of cameras. Like some other digital camera, they seize the sunshine mirrored off of the item and subsequently scanning efficiency is a results of the reflectivity of the item. In very best circumstances, this works effectively. However circumstances aren’t at all times very best.
In my testing, I discovered that the “excellent” object to scan is: in regards to the measurement of a closed fist, a medium shade (like blue), principally convex, and with an opaque floor that isn’t too shiny.
The additional you stray from these circumstances, the harder it’s to get a great scan. For instance, Creality claims that the CR-Scan Lizard can deal with black objects. It does, however solely a number of the time. Some black objects are basically invisible to the CR-Scan lizard, as are clear and really shiny objects.
A Nintendo Pleasure-Con, with the black buttons and joystick scanned poorly
Measurement issues, too. If one thing is just too small (like a hoop), the Lizard will wrestle to choose up sufficient content material to generate a mesh mannequin. If one thing is just too huge, it can require repositioning and a number of scans to seize the total object.
Concave particulars are additionally tough for the Lizard to scan. It really works high-quality with comparatively shallow options, however not with deep options or something too detailed. Lastly, it struggles with skinny options like lattice buildings.
Accuracy and precision
Creality says that the Lizard has “as much as 0.05mm accuracy,” however I believe the phrase they have been in search of was “precision.” On high of that, “as much as” is doing quite a lot of heavy lifting.
In my testing, the sensible accuracy wasn’t wherever near 0.05mm. That is straightforward to check by scanning one thing like a ping pong ball. It ought to have a easy floor with little or no variation and an correct scan would replicate that. However once I carried out this take a look at, the floor was rippled and lumpy—far exceeding 0.05mm (which is about half the thickness of a strand of hair). You possibly can see the identical impact on all prints.
Ping pong ball scan displaying a lumpy floor exceeding 0.05mm variation
This limits the utility for mechanical engineering work, as a result of one can not depend on the scans to precisely signify the mannequin. If you should scan one thing so you possibly can design a mating half with a good tolerance match, you could be disillusioned.
A scanner is simply nearly as good because the software program it really works with, which is why it’s a good factor that CR Studio is fairly respectable. The extra scans you carry out, the higher your remaining consequence. However you should align these scans to course of the ultimate mesh mannequin.
Fortuitously, CR Studio has two methods to do that. First, it might probably try and mechanically align scans. That works effectively when the item as a definite form. However it can normally fail if the item is symmetrical or uniform (like a dice, cylinder, or sphere).
Three separate scans aligned collectively in preparation for mesh era
As a backup, you possibly can manually align scans and this works very effectively. Simply choose two scans and click on on three matching factors. You don’t need to get it precisely proper, simply in the identical neighborhood. The software program will then use these factors to orient the scans and align them. That was virtually at all times profitable in my checks.
This was in all probability essentially the most irritating facet of scanning with the Lizard for me. Because it scans, it captures body after body. To show these frames into a degree cloud (and later a mesh), the software program has to know the orientation of every body relative to the earlier body. It does that by in search of matching geometry. If it doesn’t see any matching geometry, it loses monitoring.
1 / 2 • This hair clip was invisible to the Lizard
On a desk scan, misplaced monitoring will virtually at all times end in a failed scan. Repeating the scan doesn’t essentially clear up the issue, as some objects that don’t have distinct options (or which have a really slim facet) will at all times lose monitoring. One would suppose that CR Studio would use the desk platform (with its particular geometry patterns and printed symbols) to take care of monitoring whatever the scanned object geometry, but it surely doesn’t and I used to be actually aggravated by that. Because of this some objects merely can’t be scanned.
In my testing, this normally introduced as “skips” when CR Studio would suppose it had regained monitoring however truly hadn’t. That will produce an unusable scan with the options within the fallacious locations.
1 / 2 • This scan displaying “skips” brought on by misplaced monitoring
The monitoring scenario with handheld scanning is a bit of higher, as a result of you possibly can transfer again to the final profitable place and regain monitoring. It’s nonetheless irritating, as a result of it’s delicate and straightforward to lose monitoring. However you do have some recourse.
Handheld vs. desk scanning
Typically, you need to desk scan something sufficiently small to suit and handheld scan the remaining. Desk scans are fast and straightforward to seize, however handheld scans take longer and really cautious motion (your arm will get sore).
1 / 2 • A small statue scanned in handheld mode
Each can produce some very good outcomes and each can fail utterly in circumstances that aren’t very best. Desk scans are simpler, as a result of you possibly can carry out a number of scans in a row and easily reorient the half. You even have extra management over lighting. Handheld scans require you to very rigorously transfer the scanner across the object on the precise distance wanted (a reasonably small window), which is harder than it sounds.
Handheld scan of a life-size statue
Regular scans solely choose up bodily geometry, however you do have the choice to carry out texture scans. These use the cameras to additionally seize photos, which CR studio will use to texture the mannequin after processing the mesh.
In my testing, this labored effectively anytime that the mesh mannequin itself scanned correctly. In case your scanned object has graphics, this allows you to add them to the mannequin.
1 / 2 • Texture scan of a Polaroid digital camera
In some conditions, it looks as if this could additionally assist with monitoring as CR studio appears to take visuals into consideration. I’m not sure of this, but it surely did appear to assist in some circumstances.
Nonetheless, these texture scans are grayscale. To get shade textures, you’ll have to additionally use your cellphone. I didn’t take a look at this function and so I can’t affirm whether or not or not it really works effectively.
I actually wished to love the Creality CR-Scan Lizard. If it carried out effectively, it might be helpful for a lot of of my tasks. Sadly, I discovered the expertise to be disappointing.
Some objects received’t scan correctly in any respect, whereas many others don’t scan effectively. Even people who do scan effectively are solely appropriate for low-tolerance functions, because the geometry isn’t correct sufficient for something that requires excessive tolerances.
That stated, when the circumstances are very best the Lizard is simple to make use of and captures some good wanting scans. The CR Studio software program does many of the onerous work, so customers don’t want experience to benefit from the Lizard.
But when a buddy requested me if they need to purchase the CR-Scan Lizard, I might in all probability inform them to not. You will get comparable high quality scans utilizing an iPhone Professional with free/low-cost apps, which makes it onerous to justify the price of the Lizard. If the Lizard have been extra dependable or produced higher scans, it is likely to be value the price. Sadly, that wasn’t the case with my expertise.