Back in 2016, Occipital’s Structure Sensor was the second 3D scanner I ever reviewed. I liked it a lot back then and am still recommending it to people that want to step into the world of 3D scanning without spending thousands of dollars or hours of training – especially if they already own an iPad.
But since its release in 2013, a lot has changed in the world of low-cost 3D scanning. Photogrammetry has become popular and smartphone manufacturers like Sony and Samsung are demonstrating that sensor-less 3D scanning can be done in real time. And desktop 3D scanners like the $1199 EinScan SE (Review) have become more affordable and can create scans of small objects with a lot more details than any depth sensor can provide.
None of these technologies make 3D scanning of medium to large-sized objects, or people, as effortless as a depth sensor but there are also downsides to this technology. The first is that depth sensors generally offer limited depth resolution, resulting in 3D models without much geometric detail. The second is that the infrared technology in most depth sensors makes it hard to scan outdoors, greatly limiting the potential of 3D scanning with a tablet.
With the announcement of the Structure Sensor Mark II, Occipital aims to fix these issues: the depth resolution has been greatly improved from 640×480 to 1280×960 pixels. On top of this, the scan range has been improved. You can scan objects from a closer distance (0.3m vs 0.4m on the original Structure Sensor) to capture more details of medium-sized objects or people. The maximum range is now beyond 5m (up from 3.5m). In combination with the built-in wide-angle lens, this allows better scanning or large objects and rooms. And the built-in IMU (gyroscope and accelerometer) promises to make tracking even more robust.
But that’s not all. While the original Structure Sensor only worked well indoors, the Mark II also works in direct sunlight. This not only means you can scan immobile objects outdoors but it potentially also results in better texture quality without the need of a professional light setup.
All these improvements are housed in a 50% smaller device, making it even more compatible. Occipital offers dedicated brackets for various iPads: all iPad Pros, 5th and 6th gen iPad, 4th gen iPad mini & 2nd and 3rd gen iPad Air.
The Structure Sensor Mark II will cost $399 including bracket ($20 extra for a bracket for the 11” and 12.9” iPad Pros) and pre-orders are expected to ship late August. And if you’re the proud owner of an original Structure Sensor you can trade it in for a $100 discount. You can read all specs and pre-order the device here.
As with the original Structure Sensor, you can use it with the free Scanner iPad app by Occipital (Review) and you can also run Skanect (Review) on your PC or Mac and for wireless scanning from an iPad over WiFi. On top of that, the developer of the highly-recommended itSeez3D app (Review) has let me know that an update featuring Mark II compatibility is expected by the end of August.
It’s good to know that the Structure Sensor Mark II is very similar to Occipital’s Structure Core product. The main difference is that it’s compatible with iPads and that the sensor is fine-tuned towards the purpose of 3D scanning instead of tracking and computer vision. This is good news since I discovered that Intel’s RealSense D400 series of depth sensors (which can also capture in sunlight and has a version with wide-angle lens and built-in IMU) is clearly optimized for tracking and not 3D scanning out of the box.
Of course, I can’t wait to test it and compare it to the original device. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn to be the first to know when the review is live.
August 13, 2019
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October 3, 2019
Received my Mark II – no way to really use it currently as no apps support the upgraded hardware. Skanect included. 🙁
October 22, 2019
How certain are you about this? If there is no software then what’s the point of this product?
April 28, 2020
Thank you very much to everyone that left those comments.
I had a bid on one of those scanners on eBay…but retracted after reading the issues everyone is having with this.
This is very much of a shame… Considering how well they had done with their first scanner price/quality
October 22, 2019
We know the structure sensor can scan full bodies better than the rest of the low tier scanners, but can it scan people posing(example in a fighting stance post) in full body well?
Curious to see your review on that one, as it could potentially be a source of reference for many 3d artists.
You mentioned that you were able to scan a fullbody with the structure sensor in 2 minutes, so technically most people can hold a fight stance in that time, and even if there is little movement, can the structure sensor compensate for any misalignments without ruining the entire scan?
October 22, 2019
November 10, 2019
This is so disappointing. Nowhere it is stated that mkii is a demo/alpha/devs kit or anything like that. All marketing materials claim out of the box easy scanning right away.
I got mine w/out a cable. Had to wait a week for the cable to be delivered. Right now I discovered that Structure app does not work with it at all. ItSeez3d doesn’t either. Same for scanect. I ended up spending gbp 500 on a useless device. Oh yes. Scanner app works. Except for the Body mode which is mkii exclusive feature that does not work at all. Scan quality is nothing but disappointing – scanner app plus mkii usd 2k iPad Pro is far inferior to results obtained with old Kinect 1.
January 30, 2020
I know this is a big ole mess. They are still selling product with no warning as well. They have no idea how to fix or what is going on. It does not scan for shit. It falls offline with the object within seconds of scanning. Such a waste of money.
What i’m most pissed about is they are clearly aware of the problems and don’t tell their consumers. It is a scam honestly. Looking at forums on their site they have known about the issues since they released it.
December 3, 2019
Hi Nick and other scanners,
Is there any better news than the disappointment of Paco? I would like to buy the new structure Mark II but not if software and wire delivery is still a problem. Do you have a quick line to the dealer? Thanks. Huub, Technieklab
January 30, 2020
DO NOT BUY! does not work. Does not scan properly!
March 3, 2020
I have tried everything over the last week to Optimize the Mark II to make it usable, but no success. Glad I still have the Mark I. Do not buy the Mark II at this time.
March 21, 2020
the mark 2 has unsolved depth problems. i tried to contact support but they just ignore you, do not buy at this stage
April 11, 2020
Can you review the quality of azure kinect from microsoft? with best software together compare to structure senosor2
May 14, 2020
Has anyone found apps or software to use with MKII?
I’ve tried original scanning app by occapital – sensor is not recognised.
DigiScan3D – paid O&P scanning app – does recognise the sensor but does not launch it.
on PC – Skanect does not support hacker cable.
Any recommendations will be appreciated.
February 24, 2021
i use recfusion with azure kinect
November 2, 2022