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How Much Does 3D Scanning Actually Cost?

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Are you looking to introduce 3D scanning into your lab’s workflow? If you’re new to the 3D dental scanning industry, here is a brief overview of the different expenses involved in 3D scanning, including payment models for 3D scanning software. By familiarizing yourself with the various aspects involved in 3D scanning, you can be better prepared for the investment as well as avoid getting surprised by hidden costs!


The most obvious investment would be the lab scanner itself. There is a wide variety of lab scanners in the market – ranging from high-end models to more affordable ones, which means you should have no issues finding a lab scanner which meets your needs and fits your budget. Some scanners also come packaged with accessories which make the 3D scanning easier.


In addition to purchasing the scanner, some companies require you to pay an annual fee to use their scanners, so you may want to factor in that cost when deciding on which scanner to purchase!


Now that we’ve covered the hardware costs, we need to consider the cost of the accompanying software, commonly known as CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing) software. Most software offer a free trial period up to 30 days, after which the cost varies depending on whether the software offers a perpetual license or operates on a per-use/subscription basis.


Let’s break down the different cost models for CAD/CAM software for better understanding:

  1. Perpetual License

A perpetual license allows you to use the software indefinitely, and you only need to make a one-time payment upfront. However, you may need to pay a fee should you choose to upgrade to the latest version, although this is purely optional.


  1. Service Subscription/Maintenance-Based Program

A service subscription or maintenance-based program is typically more expensive than the perpetual license as it includes the next version. You need to renew annually in order to continue receiving support and the latest updates to the software.


  1. Cloud-based Subscription

A cloud-based subscription gives you access to the latest software for a monthly or annual subscription fee. The difference between this model and the previous two is that you do not own the software – which is why you only need to pay a subscription fee. There is no upfront cost as you are not purchasing the software.


With the variety of choices available in the software market, how do you know which is the most suitable one for you? In order to save you the confusion, some companies may package their scanners with the most compatible software as an option. Do check with the company on such packages if you'd prefer not to test out various software.


After considering both the hardware and software costs, the next important question is – do you know how to operate the scanner and its accompanying software? You will need to invest in training for you and your team in order to properly operate the scanners and their accompanying software. Usually this is a one-off training to learn the basics as there is an abundance of resources and community forums online should you need help in specific cases.


Now that you’re familiar with the various costs involved in incorporating 3D digital scanning into your lab workflow, are you ready to transform the paradigm of your work? The good thing about going digital now is that it is a lot more accessible today – with more affordable scanners and cloud-based subscription software pricing, meaning you don’t need to worry about forking out a huge initial investment just to take that step into the digital world. You can always try it out before committing. Be warned though, once you go digital, you may not want to go back.


Did you know that there is no annual fee to use Medit’s lab scanners? This is because Medit is committed to making 3D scanning as affordable as possible for our customers. Want to find out more about our scanner packages? Contact us for a quote now!


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