This project owes its existence to the countless individuals who generously share their knowledge and actively contribute to the advancement of open-source hardware.

    The beginning

    Early Prototypes

    After taking thousands of photos manually, we realized, that an automated photogrammetry rig can produce stunning 3D models.

    Starting with no prior knowledge in electronics or programming, the project gained traction through the Low Budget 3D scanning Facebook group.

    The first product

    OpenScan Classic (Arduino)

    With a combination of 3D printed components and easily accessible electronics, our initial kit became readily available. Thanks to a supportive community, word-of-mouth quickly propelled this Arduino powered 3D scanner to popularity.

    The next big step

    OpenScan Classic (Pi)

    Transitioning from Arduino to Raspberry Pi empowered the 3D scanner with expanded capabilities. Complete software control over the camera and an intuitive browser interface elevated the entire 3D scanning experience, significantly enhancing usability and functionality.


    OpenScan Mini

    The OpenScan Mini represents the next evolution in our journey

    The built-in camera and ring light equipped with cross-polarization, simplifying the 3D scanning process for small objects while achieving unprecedented precision.

    Increasing Accessibility

    OpenScan Cloud

    Thanks to the generosity of our Patrons, the OpenScan Cloud represents a significant milestone. We now provide free/donation-based online computing resources to support individuals in processing their photogrammetry data, ensuring accessibility for all.

    How accurate is your 3D scanner?

    OpenScan Benchy

    In recent years, there has been a surge in consumer-grade 3D scanners. Unfortunately, this growth has been accompanied by a proliferation of misleading marketing claims regarding accuracy. With the OpenScan Benchy, our aim is to establish an easy-to-read benchmark for 3D scanning accessibility.

    The OpenScan Journey

    In mid-2017, I acquired my first 3D printer, with little prior experience or understanding of its potential applications. Recognizing the limitations of solely printing existing 3D models, I sought ways to create my own designs, either through CAD skills or 3D scanning. Lacking both resources initially, I turned to photogrammetry due to its accessible entry point.

    Constrained by budgetary concerns, I delved into research and discovered that photogrammetry offered a relatively low-cost scanning method. Armed with just my smartphone, I embarked on my first scanning attempts, though the process proved to be quite labor-intensive. It took approximately 30,000 manual photos before I began to grasp the intricacies of the technique.

    Realizing the need for automation to streamline the process, I explored CAD software to develop my own rudimentary 3D scanner.

    Before 2017, I was unfamiliar with the Maker Community and the concept of open-source. I was astounded by the wealth of freely available knowledge that individuals had already contributed. Immersing myself in countless hours of YouTube tutorials, I became enamored with the empowering nature of open and accessible information.

    Despite receiving what could be considered a solid education (completing high school and university), the depth and breadth of what I absorbed from the online community far surpassed my formal schooling by leaps and bounds.

    Recognizing the value of this knowledge, I felt compelled to give back if possible. In 2017, I embarked on a new path within the German educational system, this time as a mathematics teacher. I had hoped to instill my passion for learning in others, but encountered a rigid and outdated system.

    Amidst this, the OpenScan project continued to flourish. In early 2020, I made the decision to fully commit myself to the Maker movement, dedicating myself to advancing the project.

    Subsequently, OpenScan found a permanent residence in a dedicated workshop/office space located in the vibrant heart of Halle (Saale), Germany. This space serves as the hub where ideas are transformed into reality, with the support of several freelancers who contribute to the ongoing development of the project.

    About the founder:

    Thomas Megel

    ​born 1987 in Bautzen, Germany

    2006 - 2011 studied Physics and Economy in Leipzig, Germany

    2011 - 2012 "world trip" - Australia, India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao, China, Mongolia, Russia

    2012 - 2014 co-founder Kosmos Bouldering Gym in Leipzig, Germany

    2015 - 2016 construction worker, Europe

    2017 - 2018 high school mathematics teacher, Halle, Germany

    2018 - ...      OpenScan :)