3D Scanning Apps for Architects and Interior Designers

In the dynamic realms of architecture and design, where innovation meets precision, the integration of cutting-edge technologies is reshaping the way professionals bring their visions to life.
One such transformative tool gaining prominence is 3D scanning—an indispensable ally for architects and interior designers seeking accuracy, efficiency, and an unparalleled depth of detail in their projects.

In this exploration, we embark on a journey through the landscape of 3D scanning tech and apps, uncovering three tools that stand out amidst the ever-evolving tech tapestry.

A couple of nice-to know tech terminologies behind 3D scanning apps:

  • LiDAR
  • NeRF
  • Photogrammetry

And and introduction to some 3D apps to try out:

  1. Canvas
  2. ScandyPro
  3. ARPlan 3D

Join us as we delve into the features, functionalities, and real-world applications of these 3D tech and scanning apps, empowering the architects and designers to reimagine their craft with precision and innovation.

Some 3D technologies worth knowing about

NERF, LiDAR, and photogrammetry are distinct technologies used for capturing and modeling three-dimensional  information, but they operate in different ways and serve different purposes. Let’s delve into the differences between these fascinating technologies.

LiDAR – Overview

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technology that uses laser light to measure distances. In the context of 3D scanning, LiDAR sensors are often integrated into devices such as smartphones, tablets, and autonomous vehicles to capture precise depth information.


  • Accurate Depth Sensing: LiDAR provides highly accurate depth measurements, making it ideal for creating detailed 3D maps or point clouds of environments.
  • Real-time Scanning: LiDAR sensors can capture depth data rapidly, enabling real-time applications like augmented reality and 3D modeling.


  • LiDAR is commonly used in applications that require high precision, such as autonomous vehicles, surveying landscapes, and creating detailed maps. It’s excellent for capturing accurate spatial data over long distances.

NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) – Overview

NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) is an innovative approach to 3D scene representation. It utilizes neural networks to model the volumetric scene function, finding applications in 3D reconstruction and computer vision.


  • Volumetric Modeling: The technique excels in generating high-quality, photorealistic renderings from different viewpoints, enhancing the visual appeal of 3D reconstructions.
  • Photorealistic Rendering: The technique excels in generating high-quality, photorealistic renderings from different viewpoints, enhancing the visual appeal of 3D reconstructions.


  • NERF is gaining popularity in computer graphics, virtual reality, and the entertainment industry. It excels in creating lifelike digital representations with accurate lighting and reflections.

Photogrammetry – Overview

Photogrammetry is a powerful technique for 3D reconstruction that relies on the analysis of multiple photographs taken from different angles. By identifying common points in these images and leveraging geometric principles, photogrammetry creates detailed and accurate three-dimensional models of objects, environments, or landscapes.


  • Accurate Surface Reconstruction: Photogrammetry excels in reconstructing detailed surface geometry, capturing the intricate shapes and textures of real-world subjects.
  • Versatility in Capture: It offers versatility in data acquisition, allowing for the use of standard cameras or even drone-mounted cameras to capture imagery for 3D reconstruction.
  • Cost-Effective Solution: Photogrammetry can be a cost-effective alternative, especially when compared to hardware-intensive methods, making it accessible for various applications, including archaeology, virtual reality, and cultural heritage preservation.


  • Photogrammetry is versatile and used in various fields, including archaeology, cultural heritage preservation, and virtual reality. It’s suitable for capturing detailed surface textures and structures.

In summary, while LIDAR, photogrammetry, and NERF all contribute to 3D capture and modeling, they each have their unique strengths and applications. LIDAR excels in precision over long distances, photogrammetry is versatile for various scenarios, and NERF brings a new level of realism to digital representations through deep learning.

The 3D Scanning Apps

In this overview, Canvas, Scandy Pro, and ARPlan 3D emerge as distinctive players, each contributing to the tapestry of 3D design in its own unique way. Whether mapping spaces with precision, transforming everyday objects into digital marvels, or bringing augmented reality into the design process, these apps cater to a diverse range of creative needs, empowering users to explore, create, and design with unparalleled ease.


Canvas is a 3D scanning app designed specifically for IPads and Iphones, equipped with LiDAR sensors. It’s tailored for interior spaces and is commonly used for architecture and design applications.


  • Room-scale Scanning: Canvas enables users to effortlessly scan entire rooms, capturing intricate details like architectural features, furniture, and room layouts.
  • Point Cloud Generation: The app processes the captured data into a point cloud, providing a detailed representation of the scanned space for measurements and design purposes.


ScandyPro is a 3D scanning app that transforms compatible smartphones into handheld 3D scanners. It’s designed for capturing detailed 3D models of objects and environments.


  • Handheld Scanning: ScandyPro leverages smartphone capabilities, transforming devices into portable 3D scanners for versatile and on-the-go scanning.
  • Mesh Generation: The app converts scanned data into 3D meshes, facilitating seamless integration with various applications like 3D printing and augmented reality.

ARPlan 3D

ARPlan 3D is an augmented reality app that combines AR technology with 3D scanning capabilities. It’s geared toward creating floor plans and visualizing architectural designs.


  • Floor Plan Creation: ARPlan 3D simplifies the creation of floor plans by utilizing augmented reality, offering a practical and visual approach to spatial design.
  • AR Visualization: Users can experience augmented reality visualization, overlaying architectural designs onto real-world spaces for immersive and interactive planning.


These top-tier 3D scanning apps extend a digital frontier for architects and interior designers, propelling their creative prowess to unprecedented heights. From the seamless precision of LIDAR to the dynamic versatility of mobile solutions, each app presents a gateway to innovation. 

As we wrap up this exploration, envision a future where spatial capture becomes second nature, and the artistry of design seamlessly merges with cutting-edge technology. Embrace the transformative potential of these apps, where every scan unlocks a realm of possibilities for the architects and designers of tomorrow.

Want to learn more about working
professionally with 3D content?

Check out this blog post on getting started with 3D scanning, or even better, join Niimblr and access a growing community of 3D creators.

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