A few years ago, after testing the Einscan-S, I was disappointed because I never got to use the photogrammetry. Recently, we bough the Creality CRScan Lizard, the successor of the CRScan01. This is our review about the 3D scanner.
Creality CR Scan Lizard Review
Scope of Delivery
The Creality CRScan Lizard comes in 3 variant; a basic package, a deluxe package, and a premium package.
The Basic package contains:
- The scanner
- Plug-in power supply 110/240V, 12V 3A
- Y breakout cable Power/data to scanner
With this package, only the freehand scan works. You have to get a turntable yourself.
The Premium package includes:
- A motorized turntable
- A wobbly mini tripod that is extendable
- A practical carrying bag, where all the accessories can be arranged well sorted
The premium package cannot create colored textures. It can only create black and white textures.
Finally, we have the Deluxe package. This scanner includes the color texture upgrade. The package comprises of:
- A mobile phone holder & mounting rail to mount the scanner and camera next to each other
- A more stable tripod
- A cheap photo tent
- The module for pairing the camera.
Creality CRScan Lizard 3D Scanner
Before we get started, I am not sure what technology the scanner is using. I can’t find any information about it. Is it NIR (infrared) or even lidar? Something similar to what the iPhone Pro uses?
Whatever the technology is, I find the Creality CRScan Lizard better than all my old scanners (line laser, Kinect, etc.). It is also much better and faster than other scanners I have used in my experiments with photogrammetry. By the way, just to be clear, most of my scanning projects involve small to medium-sized parts in turntable operation. The scanning technique that is suitable depends on what is to be scanned. Therefore, what suits me may not suit you – and vice versa.
Given that this scanner does not use Structured Light, as is the case with the Einscan S tested years ago or the Revopoint Mini, it then becomes difficult to compare the unit with these scanners.
The Creality CRScan Lizard is a compact plastic unit with an audible fan. A Y-cable is included for operation since the scanner needs an external plug-in power pack for the power. There is also a USB port that you can connect to using a USB and transfer the scan data to a computer. The other end of the cable features a stable plug that is plugged into the scanner. The cable is stable but gets in the way a bit in a confined space, you can see in the picture below.
The cable entanglement is still manageable and the scanner can also be quickly assembled and disassembled.
Moreover, the unit doesn’t need a lot of space to scan. You can scan on a surface of 250 x 400 mm in turntable mode. The tripod is just stable enough that not everything flies over when you get to the cable. Fortunately, the tripod thread is quite normal standard..
This is not a particularly sophisticated piece of technology. The turntable gets power via a USB cable, either from the PC, a mobile phone power supply or a power bank. If there is power, it rotates at a fixed speed.
The plate has markings that help the scanner to register. If you buy your own turntable, you can stick index points on it to serve the same purpose. However, like everything that has to do with scanning, the stickers are not cheap.
The turntable has no rubber feet. Therefore, it easily slides off the table. Therefore, you might want to order some feet if you don’t have any extra lying around in your workshop.
Our scanner came with the light version of Creality’s “CR Studio”. However, you can download the more powerful full version software from the Creality website. I tested the scanner with both the light and the full version and I didn’t notice any differences in the result.
However, there is a slight difference in operations. It’s funny that the light version has some functions that the full version lacks.
Both versions have a brief manual, an unfamiliar operating concept and some omissions. For example, to delete points/parts of the mesh, you first have to assign a button in the settings yourself.
It also took me hours to find out how to make a selection with the lasso, or which mouse button performs which function in which mode and with which modifier key. For example, CTRL-right-click when Transform mode is off adds to selection, Alt+right-click subtracts from the selection.
I then spent more hours learning how to manually align/rotate multiple scans in the light version. To do this, you have to select Transform mode on, then ALT+right mouse button. Something like this should actually be in the instructions. However, it isn’t in the instructions.
Aside from the operating and documentation annoyances, the Creality software is decent. It makes handling point clouds easy and allows you to work quickly. The software is reasonably stable, but it crashed twice.
All the fuss in dealing with point clouds, as you might know it from Meshmixer, Meshlab or Cloud Compare, recedes far into the background here. You hardly have any real contact with it.
The alignment of several scans to each other is satisfactory. Instead of opting for the fully automatic scan, we provided 3 reference points in 2 scans and then just let the software do it. However, 3 reference points is not really a lot. Therefore, you have to put in some effort and find good points that clearly define the future arrangement. It would be easier with more points.
The creation of the mesh from the point cloud works well with just one click. You can still change a few parameters. For example, you can automatically close gaps if desired. The number of triangles is reduced immediately so that the files remain manageable. I don’t want to complain at all, it works better than I thought and it’s enough for me.
If a reasonable documentation and some fine-tuning of the operation follow, the software would actually be quite decent. However, we only have OBJ or STL as an output format. Creality indicates the PLY is possible for exporting the point cloud. However, I couldn’t find it.
Pros & Cons of the Creality CRScan Lizard
- The big advantage that the CRScan Lizard has over its competitor, the Revopoint, is its ability to deal with black areas much better. You only really notice how much that matters when you look through the house, what you could scan and what black areas are. Of course, you can buy 3D scanner spray (or try dry shampoo, chalk spray or baby powder) but that increases the effort noticeably. Moreover, the specialized scan spray is not really cheap. In my experiments, the scans of black originals with the Lizard often succeed without any special preparation.
- The scanner does not have to be specially calibrated. When the software is first started, it loads a calibration file online. I feel this file should be online, but it is not.
- The entire workflow is a bit easier for me with the Creality than with the Revopoint. When scanning with the turntable, the freehand scan also needs glued-on marking points and, above all, a lot of practice.
- The Creality CR Scan Lizard is also much less sensitive to light conditions in the room. Creality says that the unit can scan outside in bright sunlight. I haven’t tried the latter, but I can confirm that the Lizard isn’t affected by room light conditions.
Let’s now look at the cons of the unit:
- The point clouds generated by the Lizard are a bit noisier than those of the Revopoint Mini.
- The Lizard does not get along as well as the Revopoint Mini with very small models (e.g., the 28mm tabletop miniatures). If you can get a decent scan, the difference isn’t huge, but it’s visible. I usually fail to even get a reasonable scan of such a mini-figure as the scanner usually does not capture the figure at all. It’s probably just too small. However, the scan becomes much more reliable as the size of the object increases.
- Creality says that the Lizard can do a freehand scan without glued-on index points. However, this is not really easy, and the same applies with but the Revopoint. With both of these scanners, you need a good deal of practice.
- The Creality CRScan Lizard cannot color. If you want color, you have to connect another camera or mobile phone to the scanner. The module required for this, along with mounting rails, etc., costs extra and are not included in the basic and premium packages
Sample Scans as STL
All sample scans are unedited “raw scans” out of the scanner application. We haven’t optimized or cleaned anything.
Bottle of UHU Plastic Glue
and here the STL: kleber_scan.zip . Scanned in 3 passes.
Next, we painted Omnom from Sparkyface5 formerly, which I printed a while ago. It didn’t turn out perfect but for one of the first scan attempts, I’m satisfied. We’re seeing some weird grooves in the surface, no idea where they’re coming from. A pass. The STL of the scan is here: omnom_scan.zip .
Hose Adapter from G.
We just scanned once so that the scan is not hollow. The Lizard’s software regularly crops a few pixels too far off the ground. The pixel selection can be adjusted, but at the time I didn’t know how. hose adapter.zip
Fireball Wizard 28mm
We next scanned the model by Matt King ( Thingiverse ). We first printed it with a muffler, then scanned the print.
That’s enough tests for the Creality CRScan Lizard.
In comparison, let’s look over to the Revopoint Mini, which does it better, but not well.
Both scans are available in the ZIP: fireball_lizard.zip
A Small Flashlight
With this model, the Revo doesn’t stand a chance without matting spray. On the other hand, the Lizard scanned it usefully.
light02.zip , 1 pass
A Battery Pack of a China Cordless Screwdriver
The scan would have missed another 5th pass to correctly capture the undercut, i.e. the groove where the battery is inserted into the screwdriver. But then it was too much for me. Again: no matting spray. akkupack_v2.zip
This completely black thermomenter was scanned with 4 passages. The subject is also completely invisible in the Revopoint without spray.. thermo1.zip
I mostly use 3D scanners to create printable models. Sometimes, I use them to create a “design template” that I import into Fusion 360 to help with the design as a rough template.
My demands on the scanner are therefore significantly lower than those of professional users. The STL and the accuracy of the units are sufficient for me. Of course, I would have preferred a better software, but that’s how it works.
The Creality Lizard is uncomplicated and fast. For example, if I want to quickly rebuild Gardena adapter or just copy it, the task would be accomplished fast. In 15 minutes, I can everything set up, scanned and packed away again. However, the post-processing can take longer.
With this scanner, I don’t have to do a lot of matting or calibrate every time. Moreover, the scanner is not affected by room light. This unit is faster, easier to use, and produces useful results.
However, you still needs a bit of practice to get good scans. It is unlikely that you will just push the button and an usable STL will be produced.
Also, with my current skills and knowledge, I cannot scan 28mm tabletop miniatures well with the Lizard.
The freehand scan also needs to be practiced. Moreover, you will probably need glued-on index points with the Lizard, even if Creality says it would have to work without it. By the time I was posting this review, I hadn’t been able to do anything useful in freehand modes.
Working with the Lizard is more comfortable and quicker than with the Revopoint or the old Shining3D Einscan-S. However, I find the scan quality of the Revopoint and the Shining3D to be slightly. So, on one hand the Lizard is more convenient use but the Revopoint and old Shining Einscan-2 produce better result.
Creality Lizard vs Revopoint: Which is Better?
Well, the decision is extremely difficult. Generally, your needs should help you determine the kind of scanner that will be right for you. We wrote a guide on how to choose a 3D scanner.
The prices of handheld 3D scanners have been falling over the years. However, the amount is still high for many consumers. Therefore, it will be up to you to decide whether buying a 3D scanner would be worth it for your endeavors.oney for a bit of playing around.
Qlone for Comparison
If you take away the texture, there’s nothing left. By the way, I downloaded 2 of the reference scans offered free of charge by Qlone on Sketchfab and loaded them without texture:
These scans are from Qlone and you can’t do anything with them on a 3D printer. The textures are pure blenders for 3D printing.
Scan Schleich Lioness 14825
We also played with Schleich 14825 as a template. The results here are without any processing. We did 3 scan passes, auto-align, and meshing with the default values. If you can plug in 2 USB plugs and click OK 10 times with the mouse, you can get this result.
The few small artefacts on the tail and the feet can easily be corrected.
I like the result. It’s not quite as crisp as that of some expensive scanners. For example, the fur structure has been swallowed up. This could be due to the high preset for mesh reduction. Still, I’m satisfied with the result for the price. Moreover, the work took less than 10 minutes; from unpacking the scanner to saving the STL.
I can put the file on a muffler and get a copy that you can start with.
If you want to try the scan, get the Schleich Lioness here.