The 10 best portable and handheld 3D scanners in 2017

This article is sponsored by Creaform, a global leader in cutting edge portable 3D measurement and analysis technologies. Introducing the Go!SCAN 3D line of portable 3D scanners, enabling people to effortlessly capture the 3D shape of any object. The content of this article has not been modified from its original version.

What is the best portable 3D scanner on the market?

There are many 3D scanners available on the market, from desktop 3D scanners to portable 3D scanners and advanced metrology systems. Handheld 3D scanners are gaining popularity in this fast-growing market, because they offer flexibility and allow the 3D capture of complex scenes or objects. A wide variety of portable 3D scanners is available on the market today, from entry-level cheap handheld devices to advanced industrial-grade portable 3D scanners.

Our goal is to cut through the clutter and showcase ten of the best portable 3D scanners currently on the market. For this list, we focused on handheld 3D scanners with available reviews and ratings. This means that portable 3D scanners which have launched recently or have not gathered enough reviews from trusted sources might not be included in this list.

All the 3D scanners in this list respond to the following criteria:

  • Portable and handheld 3D scanner
  • Available on the market
  • Positive community feedback and if applicable internal test

The 3D scanners of this list of the best handheld 3D scanners are ranked by price.

The 2017 list of the best handheld 3D scanners

3D scannerTechnologyCountryPrice range*Buy
Creaform MetraSCAN 750laser triangulationCanada$50,000Quote
Creaform Go!SCAN 50structured lightCanada$30,000Quote
Creaform HandySCAN 700laser triangulationCanada$50,000- $100,000
Quote
Artec Evastructured lightLuxembourg$20,000Quote
Artec Space Spiderstructured lightLuxembourg$30,000Quote
Occipital Structure Sensorstructured lightUnited States$379
Cubify Sensestructured lightUnited States$419
Shining 3D EinScan-Pro+structured lightChina$4,999
Quote
We made this list of the best handheld and portable 3D scanners available on the market, from industrial-grade portable 3D scanners to entry-level models.

*Price range: we used the MSRP or provided an approximative price range. The actual price can vary depending on: the country, the configuration...

Our methodology: how we selected the best handheld 3D scanners

Available on the market

As mentioned on the title, all the portable 3D scanners of this list are widely available in the world. The availability per country depends on the brand and the product. The prices can vary a lot depending on the country, depending on the import taxes. Contact us if you need an accurate quote.







Customer feedback and internal test

For this list, we selected 3D scanners for witch we’ve gathered positive feedback from the community (user, partners, resellers) .We also conduct internal tests on many 3D scanners which you can find here. The price range and the group of applications os so wide that it is hard to build a ranking using our metascore.  Opinions may change over time and points of view can differ from one person to the other. So in completion of our lists and product pages, we still recommend looking for informations in forums, discussion groups, proprietary brands forums, etc. You can start with our list of 3D scanning forums and discussion groups.

Overview of the best handheld and portable 3D scanners

The Artec Eva is one of the best handheld 3D scanners available on the market.

Artec Eva

  • Price: $19,800
  • Metascore: 4.4/5
  • Technology: structured light
  • Country: Luxembourg
  • Quote: Aniwaa

This 3D scanner is light (0,85 kg), fast and versatile. The Artec Eva uses the structured light technology to capture a wide variety of subjects and their textures (colors): objects, mechanical parts, people, vehicles and environments. The 3D scanner Artec Eva offers a very interesting price to performance ratio and can be used for different applications such as reverse engineering, body scan or museum conservation. The Artec Studio 12 is a great software and very powerful.

The occipital structure sensor is a high quality portable 3D scanner with an affordable price.

Occipital Structure Sensor

  • Price: $379
  • Metascore: 3.5/5
  • Technology: structured light
  • Country: USA
  • Seller: Amazon

The Occipital Structure Sensor allows you to turn your tablet or smartphone into a 3D scanner. This 3D scanner is natively optimized to work with iPads and can be adapted for iPhone 6. A stand alone Structure Sensor is also available. The Power Adapter Pro reduces cable clutter and saves space, and it’s essential for installations and work where both Structure Sensor and iPad are used for extended periods of time.

The Cubify Sense is one of the best handheld 3D scanners available on the market.

Cubify Sense

  • Price: $419
  • Metascore: 2.7/5
  • Technology: structured light
  • Country: USA
  • Seller: MatterHackers

The Cubify Sense is designed for individuals looking for a low cost solution. This portable 3D scanner is capable of producing textured (colored) 3D scans from a wide variety of subjects: small and medium sized objects or people. 

The Cubify Sense uses a structured light technology and is able to produce 3D files for 3D printing. It can be a good option for 3D scanning to 3D printing processes initiations or quick demonstrations.

The EinScan Pro + a a versatile, light and powerful 3D scanner among the best handheld and portable 3D scanners.

EinScan-Pro+

  • Price: $4,999
  • Technology: structured light
  • Country: China
  • Quote: Aniwaa

The Shining 3D EinScan-Pro+ uses a white structured light 3D scanning technology, based on LED lighting. This handheld 3D scanner offers the same advantages as its predecessor: it is light and portable with a weight of only 0.8 kg. Several different configurations are available in order to offer the best 3D scanning speed to resolution ratio. The main new features of the EinScan-Pro+ and differences with the EinScan-Pro are: a new HD capture mode, a larger 3D scanning area, a rapid acquisition module for faster 3D capture.

The Creaform HandyScan 700 is a very powerful and accurate 3D scanner among the best 3D scanners available on the market.

Creaform HandyScan 700

  • Price: $50,000- $100,000
  • Metascore: 5/5
  • Technology: laser triangulation
  • Country: USA
  • Quote: Aniwaa

This 3D scanner is very adapted to 3D scan a wide variety of mechanical parts, mockups and prototypes. This metrology-grade 3D scanner is suited for various uses cases such as reverse engineering, all steps of design and manufacturing processes, cultural heritage preservation, restoration, digital archiving and entertainment. This portable 3D scanner is one of the most effective product on the market for producing high quality 3D meshes.

Portable and handheld 3D scanner buying guide

Purpose

A good way to determine what you need in a 3D scanner is to think about what you want to achieve and then work backwards. Typically, 3D scanning is only the first part of the project for collecting 3D measurements (x, y, z digital coordinates) from an existing object. Once all measurements are captured, the scan data is used in a range of industry applications.




Wished scan results

Accuracy

The accuracy of a 3D scanner represent its ability to make exact measurements. Some industries such as car parts inspection need to have 3D scanners with a very high accuracy.

Resolution

The resolution is how much detail you need your 3D scan to have.

Speed

The speed factor is particularly important for 3d scanning large objects and persons. Large objects to reduce the 3D scanning time and person because humans tend to move even slightly which is reducing the quality of the 3D scan.







Type of scanned object

Small objects

Measuring small objects with a high resolution on details and a high accuracy. For example, jewels, mechanical parts, electrical components, etc.

Large objects

Large objects can be 3D scanned by stitching together scans to create one 3D model of a large object. For example : car parts, sculptures, persons, etc.




User experience

Some 3D scanners are more user friendly than others. For a beginner not willing to spend a long time in training it might be a good solution to buy an easy to use 3D scanner.

Budget

3D scanners prices can change a lot from one model to the other depending on the accuracy and performance. Entry level 3D scanners can be found at under $500 and industrial 3D scanners can be found at prices around $100k.

How to use our table of the best handheld 3D scanners

3D scanner

In this column we indicate the name of the manufacturer followed by the name of the product.

Technology

In this column we indicate the technology used by the 3D scanner. 

Country

Here, we indicate the country of origin of the manufacturer.

Price range

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price on June 2017.

Buy

You can click on the buttons in this column to be automatically redirected to the reseller website.

More 3D scanning resources

  • Do you want to compare all existing portable 3D scanners? Check out our 3D scanners comparison engine, we list more than 140 handheld 3D scanners.
  • Overall, what’s the best 3D scanner on the market? Find out with out ranking of the best 3D scanners.
  • On a budget? Here are 15 cheap 3D printers under $1,000.