A Review: Artec Space Spider, a high resolution 3D scanner Today I’m excited to dive further into a scanner that (specs aside, we’ll get to that later) just stands out as one hell of a cool scanner. Firstly, it’s name: Space and Spider: two irrefutably cool things, regardless of your spider tolerance IRL. But, one doesn’t (or is highly unlikely to) buy a fancy gadget for its name alone, and luckily for the Artec Space Spider, there’s a lot more to it than that. Originally designed for use on the ISS (how d’you like that, Elon Musk?) and I do love the idea of an astronaut casually scanning in outer space, the Space Spider has brought its high resolution and highly specific vibes right down here to earth (just in case we never make it out there ourselves). The Space Spider in its natural habitat. (Image from www.3d-me.com) Following Artec’s flagship and most popular Eva, the Spider joined the race as a close second and – dare I say it – has already demonstrated a couple of things that has got me rooting for it to be the one that rules them all. What makes it stand out from big sister Eva and how does it compare to others in the running? Here’s what we know so far: The Artec Space Spider Review Ideal for CAD users and engineers Good for capturing small objects, or the tiny details of large objects High resolution, high accuracy Can handle complex geometry and fine parts The Artec Space Spider 3D scanner is marketed as a precision instrument for CAD users, specifically targeted at professional engineers who want their scans to be as precise as possible. What this means, is that it’s great for capturing smaller objects, as well as intricate details of bigger objects. What this also means is that its use goes beyond engineering – anyone who has need to such specs could benefit from this. The Artec Space Spider scanner also uses blue light technology, which besides making it especially enhanced in what it captures, makes it look even cooler than it already does. (Anyone else old enough to remember Nokia 8250 circa 2000 because I was ready to walk on the blue side then and I still am now, just saying.) Scan on the blue side. (Image: Artec 3D / All3Dp.com) Besides its badass facade, the Artec Space Spider handheld 3D scanner has three cameras (compared to the usual two that most structured light scanners have) which means that its resolution is higher than its predecessor Eva – while the two scanners have a similar 3D accuracy over distance of up to 0.03% over 100 cm, the Spider brags a resolution of 0.1 mm and an accuracy of 0.05mm. It also gets much closer with a working distance of 0.2 – 0.3 m. This means that you’re working with a handheld scanner with all the expected capturing of texture and colour, but with the added advantage of far higher dedication to detail, resolution, and accuracy. What I also like about the Artec 3D Space Spider is that it can be supplemented with an additional battery pack (bought separately) which lets you scan from wherever you are for up to six extra hours of battery life, if you prefer to scan on the go like the freedom-loving individual I know you are. While I like how mobile and compact the Spider is if you scan by hand, you could also pop it on a tripod (or a robotic arm or a turntable) and let the work be done for you. There are options, and I’m here for it. How it can be used Now let’s take a closer look at what the Spider can do for you. Whether you’re an engineer or a jewellery designer, Spider can render complex geometry, which means sharp edges and thin parts are no longer to be feared; with Spider, they could be your best friend. You might scan in black or white, a key, a face, a power drill, a human hand, or anything in between. There’s just one switch on the scanner, which means it’s great for beginners (try out Autopilot mode) as well as for seasoned scanning experts. As with most Artec scanners, the scanning itself is complemented by Artec Studio software, but more on that another time. The only Spider we’d allow on our face. Let’s Talk About Price TL;DR: Not cheap, but worth it. The full story: And now we’ve arrived at that stage where it’s time to talk about the Artec Space Spider 3D scanner price. 3D scanners are, by nature, not the cheapest things one could buy and needless to say, good scanners often come with a fancy price tag, too. In the case of Space Spider, with a recommended retail price of €21,670 (US$24,800), it isn’t an everyday purchase, but it does promise the consistency you might require for everyday use. If you need high quality scans in high detail, I figure the Artec Space Spider price evens out the more you use it. That said, there isn’t a cheaper but more limited alternative like there is for Eva and little sister Eva Lite, so our recommendation for purchasing this scanner is for those who need the best, and need it often. Every dog has its day (to get scanned). What I also like is Artec’s growing list of places you can purchase Spider and friends. In most places, you’re not too far from a place where you can find Artec Space Spider for sale, and where there are Artec Space Spiders for sale, you will also find Artec Space Spiders for demos. Despite all the research you can do online, I highly recommend trying it out yourself and seeing how well it works, and if the price it demands is something that sits with you as well as that sweet Spider sits in your hand. Best paired with Artec Studio, the brains of the operation. (Image: Artec3D / All3dp.com) Meet the Competition Now, let’s have a look at the competition out there. Artec Space Spider is, as far as I’m concerned, in a range of its own, but I would be remiss not to mention the worthy competitors out there. For this purpose, I’m looking at the things that stand out most about the Spider: Usability Resolution Accuracy Also for this purpose, I’ll leave out direct price comparisons – it’s entirely up to you whether the robust scanning Spider allows is worth the pretty price tag, or whether you’re ok with paying less for something that meets your particular needs. An easy competitor to identify is the Go!SCAN20, an equally maneuverable scanner which promises to “get it right” the first time. Like the Spider, the Go!SCAN20 by Creaform offers a 0.05mm accuracy and resolution up to 0.1mm. High-res for fine details is it’s whole thing. It beats the Spider in speed with 1.5 million points per second, compared to Spider’s lower but still very impressive 1 million. Another scanner you might look at as Einscan, which as you likely already know as it is heavily marketed as such, is cheaper. Once you add a texture camera that you might need, software, and other add-ons, though, the price difference might not weigh as heavily in its favour. In its high-resolution laser scanner mode, however, it does come close to Artec Spider in terms of specs, though it is slower and more difficult to scan. I’ll come right out and say it: Metrascan wins in the best range or services. It does also require targets and an outside tracking system. Something else to take note of: if you’re scanning a larger object you would need to reposition tracking cameras – though that might not be an issue for small items you’d likely be scanning in this case. Like I said, it really depends on what you need and how well you need it done. Hope you’ve enjoyed the review, and hit me up for any comments!