3D content is a huge challenge for many AR projects which directly affects the cost of augmented reality app development and can make it a pricey affair.
If you are after something simple, you can buy ready-made 3D models for a small fraction of the cost at sites like 3DExport or Turbo Squid.
In our experience, however, more than 50% of AR systems require creating unique 3D graphics from scratch to suit individual business needs. This is also a very common case with industrial giants. They might have a 3D product design ready at hand, but what they usually provide is a model worked out to the smallest screw, which makes its repurposing for AR experiences too complicated.
Or, if your company is in entertainment or sports, you might want to make a volumetric video that records a person three-dimensionally to reconstruct their hologram. This technology, dubbed the next evolution in making video, is also used to bring living experts into the classroom or a corporate or industrial environment for employee training.
Overall, it takes from one to three weeks for a 3D artist to create one 3D model, costing between $1,000 and $3,000.
If you need to build many 3D models, for instance, for products sold on your eсommerce site — a project worth considering with the rising popularity of virtual try-on technology — 3D scanning will save you some money.
An important thing to understand here is that AR content can use more than two-thirds of your total augmented reality project budget if your AR system requires top 3D content.