Rent or buy discussion

I'd like to discuss when it is cheaper to rent special hardware (for example 3d scanners) then buy it. It's clear that if this is single time story, it's stupid to buy hardware. Actually I think that the best decision would be to pay a specialist, who would do all the job with the hardware. There's no need to learn how to use it if you are not going to use it again.
But what if it is needed from time to time? Especially if you are already familiar with software comes with hardware. For example I have and successfully use a handheld 3d scanner. But it's not suitable when I need to digitize something really big. Same company now has a Lidar (Artec Ray). I found guys with this scanner who did the job for me, and I was able to try the scanner. Yes it's suitable for such cases. However I still don't know how often I would need it, so I don't want to spend €67200 right now.
And the people I worked with doesn't allow to rent scanners, they come to your place and scan everything themselves. It's understandable, they don't want to risk such expensive hardware. But it's more expensive that rent because you also pay for specialist's work.
So guys how did you decide that you have to buy some equipment if you don't use it on daily basis but more or less regularly. How long or short it has to pay off? For me it's really difficult to calculate.

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