Phantoms (3-D printed hand, nose and ear, colored bread sculpture) were developed to compare a range from low-cost (Sense), medium (HP Sprout) to high end (Artec Spider, Vectra M3) scanners using different 3D imaging technologies, as to resolution, working range, surface color representation, user friendliness. The 3D scans files (STL, OBJ) were processed with Artec studio and GOM software as to deviation compared to the high resolution Artec Spider scanner taken as ‘golden’ standard. The HP Spout, which uses a fringe projection, proved to be nearly as good as the Artec, however, needs to be converted for clinical use. Photogrammetry as used by the Vectra M3 scanner is limited to provide sufficient data points for accurate surface mapping however provides good color/structure representation. The low performance of the Sense is not recommended for clinical use. The Artec scanner was successfully used to measure the structure/volume changes in the face after hormone treatment in transgender patients.
3D scanners can greatly improve quantitative measurements of surfaces and volumes as objective follow up in clinical studies performed by various clinical specialisms (dermatology, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery). New scanning technologies, like fringe projection, are promising for development of low-cost, high precision scanners.