When it comes to 3D laser scanning these days, there seems to be something for everyone – something I’m really glad to see developing. There are scanners made for tiny things like jewellery or computer parts, medium things like furniture or people, and big things like large statues or cars. Cue dramatic entrance music of Artec Ray, a scanner that can capture enormous things, like entire buildings. “I can scan this whole engine,” an ambitious regular hand-held says. “That’s cute,” replies Ray as it casually swivels around grabbing at everything in an insanely wide radius. “Now watch me take on this entire Boeing 787.” 

Image from ThingLAB / Facebook 

Introducing Artec Ray 

Artec Ray is a long-range 3D scanner, using laser technology to precisely capture massive spaces and objects. Unlike most of Artec 3D’s other professional scanners like the flagship Artec Eva or the game changing Artec Leo, Ray is not a handheld scanner – rather, it stays in one place and reaches out to everything in its 110-metre reach. (That’s not to say that you can’t scan a smaller area than that – of course you can set it as you please/require/desire!) 

This scanner is ideal for reverse engineering and inspection, as demonstrated in this case study of pipe replacement

Another thing to love about Ray is that you don’t need to use your computer while scanning – you can scan remotely using your phone or tablet. This is especially useful when getting into difficult areas that you might otherwise struggle to reach. 

Besides Artec Ray’s insane reach which makes it a great scanner for large objects, there are a few more things worth discussing, which I’ll get into in this Artec Ray review. 

Scanner Specs 

  • Size, weight, lifespan 
  • Specifications
  • Field-of-View per scan
  • System specifications 

Size, weight, lifespan 

One thing I’ll quickly get into: Ray’s portability. It isn’t the lightest scanner you’ll ever meet, but it’s also not designed for handheld use, so once you’ve brought it to your scanning destination you’re all set. With a battery, the whole lot weights 5.74kg and it measures 287 × 200 × 118 mm. Left to its own devices, the scanner unplugged can operate for up to four hours, and with the speed it goes at, that will likely be more than what you need at any given scan sesh. 

You can also add to Ray with accessories such as tripods and spare batteries, so your room scanning project can continue for as long as you need it too – though it likely won’t take you very long. 


When you’ve got that much range to work with, your options are almost limitless. Artec Ray doesn’t just reach far, it reaches fast. And because it scans with submillimeter distance precision, resolution, and high class accuracy, the data captured is really, really clean. And you know what such small noise levels mean: post-processing is faster, too. 

Field-of-View per scan

As you might imagine, the Artec Ray scans in all possible directions horizontally. That is to say, literally 360 degrees – there’s nothing in its path it won’t miss. Vertically, it reaches a little less at 270 degrees, but until we can have access to scanners that freely levitate, that’s to be expected. 

Once it’s been set up, Ray does all the work for you; it really can be as simple as pressing a button. 

System Specifications

In a Bit More Detail

Designed for capturing objects as large as wind turbines and airplanes, ships and propellers, Ray can scan anything for almost as far as you can see. But beyond its excellence in industrial use, or for capturing data from cruise ships and skyscrapers, Ray is also very handy when scanning the surroundings of an object, which can provide the background or context it needs. For example, scanning a room with Ray and combining it with a smaller scan of an item inside it. You’ve got all the data you need for high accuracy and top quality. 

Can Your Scanner Do This? 

In terms of scanning competition, one of Ray’s biggest advantages is its clean data. While most other LIDAR scanners tend to generate a lot of noise, Ray scans cleanly which makes it easy for you to distinguish between finer details even on raw scans. This means that despite scanning large settings or metallic objects, you’ll be able to work easily. 

Add your Ray data to Artec Studio (on version 15 at the moment) and your geometrical registration and accurate alignment is sorted, even without targets or spheres. 

Overall, it’s the Artec Ray 3d scanner price that could be the final step in your decision. Other contenders such as the Faro Focus Swift and Leica scanners do serve as stiff competition with features such as GPS and merging data from external photos. But with Artec Ray priced at $60,000, and packed with great features and effortless scanning, it isn’t enough to make up the difference in cost you’d pay for similar long-range scanners. 

In summary, Ray is the friend you didn’t know you needed until you did. Especially for situations you thought were too big to handle, Ray’s ready to take it on. I recommend giving it a go and seeing what it can do yourself! 

Hope you’ve enjoyed the review, and hit me up for any comments!