3D Scanning for Free

How to create a 3D scan of an object using your cell phone camera and free software? We compare our free 3D scan to a professional scan of the same part. The Pro 3D scan was made with a 20.000 EUR 3D Scanner. Learn more at:

All software to do this tutorial is free. You don’t need a special app for your phone, just the photos. The technique to create this 3D scan is called photogrammetry. Any commercially available camera can be used for this. Meshroom works best with an Nvidia GPU. There have been some problems with Meshroom, when not using a Nvidia graphics card, then you need to use “draft meshing”:

Where is Meshroom saving the 3D files?
This question has been asked by many of you. Answer: When clicking the “Start” Button for the first time, Meshroom will ask you where to save the Cashe folder: normally it goes to C:/Users/Computer-name/AppData/local/Temp/MeshroomCashe

Software needed to follow this Tutorial:
Meshroom (to convert the photos into a 3D file):

Meshlab (for the 3D Scan Clean up and to combine several single scans):

Netfabb (version 7.4.0) (to measure the 3D scan):

Netfabb (current version) to measure the 3D scan):

GOM Inspect (to compare the differences between different 3D scans):

Download the project files :
Free 3D Scan of the part (“tankgeber”):

Professional 3D scan of the part (“tankgeber”):

Deviation analysis free 3D scan and professional 3D scan (PDF):

Photogrammetry raw picture set of the part (“tankgeber”):

Meshlab 3D Viewer (free software):

00:00 Introduction
00:21 About 3D-scanning technology
00:55 Preparing to create your free 3D scan
02:02 Photographing your object using your cell phone camera
02:44 Importing your images using Meshroom
03:15 Cleaning up your 3D scans using MeshLab
04:10 Adjusting the scale using Netfabb
05:20 Using MeshLab to merge your scans
06:45 Free 3D scan vs. professional 3D scan
07:26 Comparing separate scans using GOM Inspect
08:28 Locating more information
09:08 STL to STEP Conversion

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About Holocreators:
Holocreators is a 3D-Scanning and Reverse Engineering Company. We’d love to help you with your projects. Please call us +49 40 481133 or write to us an email.
Email: [email protected]

Subscribe to the Holocreators Youtube Channel:

Connect with us:
Youtube Channel (English):
Youtube Channel (German):


Image source Thumbnail:
(hand and phone)

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  1. Holocreators GmbH

    If you would like to learn more about free 3D-scanning or creating a 3D scan using your cell phone, check out our website: https://holocreators.com/blog/3d-scanning-for-free/ Meshroom works best with an Nvidia GPU. When not using a Nvidia graphics card, then you need to use “draft meshing”: Holocreators is a 3D-scanning and reverse engineering company. We'd love to help you with your projects. Please call us +49 40 481133 or write us an email: [email protected]holocreators.com

  2. Wow… it's amazing what one can do with technology these days. Thank you for sharing

  3. All software to do this tutorial is free. OK, how much is the software if I want to do my own "project"?

  4. Excellent tutorial, really useful and well done. Thank you and congratulations for the great job!

  5. Excellent video! I appreciate this quick, and straight forward tutorial. Thanks Holocreators!

  6. very cool stuff

  7. Klaas Hogenesch

    At 4:58 you use a comma instead of a full stop entering the scaling 10.917. Is that the reason there is an exclamation mark in a triangle box on the right corner of the screen?
    Very informative video, thanks.

  8. Алексей Харитонов

    Говно! все равно нужно потом ровнять! Лично мне проще померять размеры и сделать новую модель в 3д максе.

  9. Not completely free as I've been watching all your ads. You should pay me.

  10. EXCELLENT video my friend!

  11. Utilizo essa técnica para Odontologia. Se quiser ver esta em meu canal

  12. Can you make a video about the software tutorial

  13. thank you, good job

  14. Впечатляет. Благодарю 😎👌

  15. Salvador Vila Palli

    Muchas gracias por el magnífico video

  16. I’m never going to do this, but that was an incredibly well made and informative video, well done 👍

  17. Can this work on something as large as a car body?

  18. A 3D scanning company just made a video tutorial about how you don't generally need professional 3D scanning, and how using your phone and a bunch of free programs is more than good enough? This is immediately the best 3D scanning company I've ever seen

  19. Awesome
    Now iPhone has LiDAR

  20. This is great, hope it works for me

  21. El Cubo del Narco

    you look like you´re deepfaked

  22. Máté Mátyás

    I've tried this method, but for me it wasnt very successfull. I have gotten an old car plastic part which i wanted to scan with meshroom, it did, but because of the part is black, the images doesnt give back the true geometry when its processed by meshroom, i tried painting it yellow or something brighter, but that only solved some of the problem. Do you have any recommendations how could i improve my scanning or the results?(after the meshroom process some part of the plastic is missing, i dont know why).

  23. Александр Соляник


  24. "Failed to Import Images – Meshroom 2021.1.0

    You probably have a corrupted image within the images that you are trying to import."

    This is a message while I try to drop or open photos 🙁

  25. It's still weaker. And alot more work. Creality has a nice 3d cam for cheap. Sorry u didn't make a real scanner. Lol.

  26. Jeffery Schimes

    Well, that was a massive waste of time. Requires a special video card and the people at Meshlabs are quoted as saying, 'no interest' in making it compatible with other devices. That's how you make it in the software business.