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An Introduction to the Peel story

If you are new to the world of 3D scanning, you may not have heard of Peel. The Peel 1 broke into the world of 3D scanners back in 2017, offering a low-cost alternative with good quality results. Today, we plan to review the Peel 2 handheld scanner. 

In many ways, this product is an improved version of the Peel 1. The most obvious difference is that the Peel 2 can capture color. In this article, we will also talk about the Peel 2 CAD functionality, which offers other exciting options for those who are primarily interested in reverse engineering. 

The Peel 2 3D scanner was created by Canadian 3D scanner manufacturer Peel 3D, powered by Creaform. A highly respected 3D technology company in today’s market. 

The idea of the Peel brands came to mind whilst eating bananas during breakfast. This gave the team inspiration for the name of the brand “Peel”, as quoted on their website: “The peel is what you end up with if you scan a banana”.

Peel has always been famous for selling their products at affordable prices. At the same time, it has often been a challenge for the company to ensure adequate performance across their devices, as well as competing against their competitors. Peel 3D’s software can often be complicated to use and may not provide you with the right quality at times – though this also comes down to which application or industry you work in. This is why some competitors may be a better choice for professional 3D scanning. 

After the success of the Peel 1, the company decided to build the second version, the Peel 2 3D scanner. Unlike its predecessor, the Peel 2 is a more expensive model that focuses on accuracy and precision. In this review, we will take a look at the scanner’s specs, the new Peel 2 CAD software, as well as giving an objective opinion about who and what purposes this product is best suited for. 

Main features

From the outside, the Peel 2 3D scanner features a clean, smooth design that mimics the Peel 1. Ease of use has definitely been kept in mind with bright yellow triggers located conveniently on the scanner which you press to begin scanning. This action may become tiring for some when scanning larger objects. C:\Users\Tomi-PC\Desktop\PEEL2\Peel2.jpg

The scanner is lightweight, at 950 grams, it makes it quite easy to hold in your hand. Though if needed, you are able  pause your project anytime and then continue where you left off from later.

The Peel 2 3D scanner is priced at $7,690, which is a more affordable option. But if you wish to buy the more improved CAD version, it will cost you $9,690.00. For this price, you will get a 3D scanner capable of much more and still cheaper than many competitor products.

The Peel 2 3D scanner and the upgraded CAD version utilise white light technology, which is a lost battle when compared with competitor scanners in terms of scanning speed and quality. It has three cameras, of which one is responsible for scanning textures, which can be useful in some fields such as design, art, video games, or heritage preservation. The two other cameras are responsible for sending real-time feedback to the software that creates the 3D image. For reverse engineers, the tools of the CAD version prove to be very effective in this field.

The scanner is capable of collecting texture, targets, and geometry data. It can scan fabrics and more complex materials efficiently, but falls short of collecting accurate 3D data from fur and hair, just like most scanners. The Artec Leo however, is a great alternative to the Peel 2 at this point since it solves this task with great ease and efficiency. If this scanning solution is too expensive, you can try using dry shampoo on your objects so that the scanner is able to collect 3D data easier. 

Peel 2 3D scanner performs well on complex materials like this furniture

Since the company’s inception, Peel products continue to have problems with deep black, glossy, and transparent surfaces. Scanner spray can help you with that but then we can lose the quality of the object’s texture. The manufacturer has partly solved their products handling of smooth surfaces with stick-on patches, which make it easier for the scanner to detect the surface.


Stick-on targets can help you in scanning flat surfaces

Slightly moving targets are also not a problem. There is a setting, called Semi-Rigid Positioning, which can be useful when we want to scan non-static objects like human faces or bodies.

Human Body 3D model

The Peel 2 3D scanner performs well on medium to large objects, but cannot scan objects smaller than 30 cm and nothing larger than 3 m. However, you have the option to merge objects, which is possible inside of the software.

When using the software – you don’t need to look at your computer monitor all the time either. The coded light system warns you when the device is too close or too far. It comes in handy when you can’t see your computer screen. The red light at the top means the scanner is too close or too far. The green light in the center of the device means you are right on target. However, it can be hard not to look at your PC when the scanner loses its target.

During the scanning process, the program shows the status of various parts in a range of colors. Yellow indicates when you lose the correct path and shows you the last correctly positioned frame. Purple however, indicates when tracking has been lost.

Due to its lightweight design, the Peel 2 is quite easy to move around, but if you want to keep your scanner safe, it’s better to keep it in a case.


Peel 2 3D scanner case

Scanning process and software

Just like all Peel products, the Peel 2 3D scanner comes with its own software – Peel 3D (except Peel 2 CAD, which comes with an improved software of Peel 3D). With the later, we can clean up the unnecessary parts that don’t belong to the object, improve the results by optimizing the scanning process, manually align meshes that help you fill in holes, bridge gaps, mirror data, and so on.

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Peel 3D interface

Before using the software for the first time (if you already have an account, then this paragraph does not apply to you), you need to go through a lengthy activation procedure. You must provide all sorts of personal information and wait 24 hours for your account to be activated. Only then can you begin using the program.

Once the scanners power cables have been plugged in, connect the device to your computer with the included USB cable. On the bottom of the screen, you should see that your scanner is connected.

This is followed by the calibration process. It is recommended to do it every time before scanning if you want the most accurate results. 

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Calibration plate, Peel 2 3D scanner, and the Peel 3D software

Before scanning, you must indicate the paratamers within the software. While the scanning accuracy of the Peel 2 is 0.25 mm, the Peel 2 CAD 3D scanner proves to be more accurate by 0.1 mm. The volumetric accuracy of the Peel 2 is 0,5 mm/m and 0,3 mm/m for Peel 2 CAD. The resolution can be set between 0,5 and 2 mm. This is important, because in the case of larger objects you may not require the highest resolution, as it can use a lot of memory. If you wish, first you can make a coarse scan and then a more detailed scan with a higher resolution setting.

You can decide whether you want to scan noisier or smoother surfaces by choosing the “Uniform surface” or “Textured surface” options in detection mode. If you don’t want to bother with that, you can just set it to “Automatic”. It’s the same case for shutter speed. You can leave it set to automatic or you can set it to whatever value you want from 1 to 8 ms. 

When scanning, you can manually or automatically fill up holes and remove isolated patches, set up the sensitivity of automatically filling holes, and optimize or decimate scan mesh. When you delete data you cannot undo it. Rescanning is the only option, which is time-consuming and annoying.

peel 3d™ Training Video | Scan basic functions

With the upgraded software for the Peel 2 CAD, we have more tools available to edit our scans, such as the surfacing module – that cannot be found in the basic Peel 3D – software.

There is a larger set of options and alignments which you can work with. The mesh-based references can be combined with dial-in values and other alignments.  With the alignment tools, you can then integrate your mesh data into workflows. Furthermore, you have all the mesh functions like in the original peel software, and unlike the original Peel 3D software, the upgraded software allows you to be able to export properties one-by-one or all together and save them in formats used in CAD-CAM software.

peel3d and peel2CAD software functions differences

When you are ready to export your scan data, you can export your work in the following file formats: .dae, .fbx, .ma, .obj, .ply, .stl, .txt, .wrl, .x3d, .x3dz, .zpr. In the case of Peel 2 CAD software, there are 3 extra formats (.iges, .step, .dxf).

An important thing to consider is  that due to the low price and quality of this scanner compared to other scanners, it is recommended for hobbyists, beginners, semi-pros, and for those who don’t need very high-quality results. 

However, the software itself is rather complicated, and it can be a big challenge for those who are just beginning to use 3D scanning technology.

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Peel 3D interface with CAD tools

Technical specs

Technical SpecificationsPeel 2Peel 2 CAD
Scanning accuracy:Up to 0.250 mm (0.01 in.)Up to 0.100 mm (0.004 in)
Volumetric accuracy:0.500 mm/m (0.006 in./ft.)0.300 mm/m (0.0036 in/ft.)
Mesh resolution:0.500 mm (0.020 in)
Measurement resolution:0.250 mm (0.01 in)
Measurement rate:550,000 measurements/s
Light source:White light (LED)
Colors:24 bits
Texture resolution:50 to 150 DPI
Positioning methods:Geometry and/or targets and/or texture
Scanning area:380 x 380 mm (15 in x 15 in)
Stand-off distance:400 mm (15.75 in.)
Depth of field:250 mm (10 in.)
Recommended part size range:0.3 – 3.0 m (1 – 10 ft.)
Software:Peel 3DPeel 3D with Peel 2 CAD module
Output formats:.dae, .fbx, .ma, .obj, .ply, .stl, .txt, .wrl, .x3d, .x3dz, .zpr.dae, .fbx, .ma, .obj, .ply, .stl, .txt, .wrl, .x3d, .x3dz, .zpr, .iges, .step, .dxf
Weight:950 g (2.1 lbs.)
Dimensions:150 x 171 x 251 mm
Connection standard:1 x USB 2.0
Operating temperature range:5-40 °C (41-104 °F)
Calibration certificate:N/AYes
Operating humidity range (non-condensing):10-90%
Minimum System Requirements:
Processor:Intel Core i7 (4+ cores) – 2.7 Ghz or more
Operating system:Windows 7 64 bits, Windows 8.1 64 bits or Windows 10 64 bits
Graphics card:NVIDIA card with 2GB memory or more OpenGL 4.3 and later
RAM:16 GB (minimum) or 32 GB (recommended)
Free space required:At least 100 GB of free space or 200 GB (recommended)

Competitors worth mentioning

Now that we’ve learned about the good and bad features of the Peel 2 3D scanner, it’s time to find out which other players are out there on the market. There are options like EinScan’s 2x plus, which can be a good competitor of the Peel 2 at this price point. The HandySCAN BLACK is another product of Creaform which is undoubtedly a remarkable machine with laser triangulation technology, great design, and accuracy, but it is quite pricey, around $ 50,000 – $ 100,000. Fortunately, there is a more affordable option which fits right in the sweet spot and can cover a huge range of tasks. The Artec Leo. It includes all the accuracy, tools, capabilities, simplicity and design, to make 3D scanning super easy, quick and fun. The price of the Artec Leo? $ 25,800. But why do we prefer this product especially over the


Peel 2 and Peel 2 CAD?

In applications where the Peel 2 may have troubles, the Leo just gets the job done so much smoother, whether it’s capturing fur, hair, black and shiny objects, cars (thanks th HDR technology), and it’s all done without targets. The interface is also unbelievably user-friendly, with an on- board processor and touch screen display, internal accelerometer, gyro, and compass – Artec Leo perfectly owns its position. Artec Leo is also completely wireless with no power supply needed at all. Data can be used via Wi-Fi or Ethernet as well. What takes Artec Leo even further ahead is the seamless integration with the Artec Studio 15 software which is the best software available on the market today – hands down. 


Altogether if you compare Leo to other scanners, you’ll see why Artec Leo is leading the way against the competition. We think it is the best option for professional 3D scanning.

But where can I buy it?

If you are one of those for whom would prefer the Peel 2, you can buy it directly from Peel 3D (in case you are interested in the CAD version, you can purchase it here) or from Ultimate 3D Printing Store.