Interested in building 3D models? Try this free drone scanning software.

Interested in building 3D models with your drone but can’t afford the Skydio 3D software license of $2,999 per year? Or $99 per month for SkyBrowse or some of the other neat but expensive photogrammetry packages? How about free drone scanning software?

Then you really should try out Meshroom. The Windows and Linux-based program has been out there for a while, but it’s not been widely adopted by the drone community. I’ve been playing around with it for the past week and I’m impressed. Basically, you take a 360-degree video of the object you hope to scan. Meshroom then looks at the individual frames and figures out what the object must look like in 3D space.

My plan was to scan one of Toronto’s statues downtown. But the authorities are getting testy about flying drones around people, so I went to a sculpture garden where they store old architectural ornamentation. And I scanned this guy.

Admittedly I could have done it will a cellphone but not as neatly as…