This is the companion entry to the previous 3D probing one. There are many free and low-cost software solutions to optical scanners. Commercial scanners range from thousands of dollars to hundred thousand or so.
One very excellent low-cost ( about $200) program is called David’s Laser Scanner. The links are include in the write-up below together with free conversion software. Actually the best way today is to use a projector and project different patterns on the object to measure under the program’s control and in a few seconds a very good 3D copy is created. Look for articles on “Structured Light”. Spend some time on David’s website and see the result of user-submitted scanned objects.