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Handheld 3D scanners 2019: top 10 selection and buying guide


Looking for the best handheld 3D scanner? Check out our hand-picked selection of handheld and portable 3D scanners based on our own experience as well as feedback from reputable sources and partners. We also provide a useful buying guide to help you make the right choice.

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

There are hundreds of 3D scanners available on the market, from desktop 3D scanners to advanced metrology systems. However, handheld 3D scanners are gaining popularity in this fast-growing market. They offer various benefits in comparison with other types of 3D scanners:

  • Ability to access hard-to-reach places
  • Relative ease of use
  • Portability

Today, many portable 3D scanners are available on the market. From affordable handheld 3D scanners to advanced, industrial-grade portable 3D scanners, the market caters to almost every need.

Our goal is to cut through the clutter and showcase the best handheld 3D scanners currently on the market. This “best handheld 3D scanner” selection is based on a combination of our own experience and feedback from our partners.

If you’re looking for a desktop 3D scanner, check out our Best 3D scanners article or use our 3D scanner comparison engine to see even more options.

Best handheld scanners and portable 3D scanners in 2019

Handheld 3D scannerTechnologyAccuracy*Resolution**WeightCountryPrice***Buy
Shining 3D EinScan Pro 2XStructured light0.04 mm0.2 mm1.13 kgChina$5,499Quote
THOR3D CalibryStructured light0.1 mm0.3 mm0.7 kgRussia$5,790Quote
Shining 3D EinScan Pro 2X PlusStructured light0.04 mm0.2 mm1.13 kgChina$6,899Quote
Peel 3D peel 2Structured light0.25 mm0.5 mm0.95 kgCanada$7,490Quote
Artec EvaStructured light0.1 mm0.5 mm0.9 kgLuxembourg$19,800Quote
Artec LeoStructured light0.1 mm0.5 mm2.6 kgLuxembourg$25,800Quote
Creaform Go!SCAN SPARKStructured light0.05 mm0.2 mm1.25 kgCanada$30,000Quote
FARO Freestyle3D XLaser triangulation1 mm0.2 mm0.98 kgUnited States$10K - $50KQuote
Mantis Vision F6Laser triangulation0.5 mm1.0 mm1.0 kgIsrael$10K - $50KQuote
Creaform HandyScan BLACKLaser triangulation0.035 mm0.1 mm0.94 kgCanada$50K - $100KQuote
The handheld 3D scanners above are listed by price, from lowest to highest.

*Accuracy: single scan accuracy when possible. Note that some manufacturers only provide volumetric accuracy or do not specify which kind of accuracy they are providing.

**Resolution: mesh resolution or point-to-point distance when possible.

***Price: manufacturer's suggested retail price. These prices can vary greatly depending on the accessories and versions you choose. Prices are also subject to change over time and/or from one country to another (shipping fees, taxes, etc.). Contact us to obtain specific quotes.

Overview of the best handheld 3D scanners

Below, find more details and information about each portable 3D scanner from our selection.

Shining 3D EinScan Pro 2X cheap handheld 3D scanner

Shining 3D EinScan Pro 2X

  • Accuracy: 0.04 mm
  • Resolution: 0.2 mm
  • Weight: 1.13 kg
  • Technology: Structured light
  • Country: China
  • Price: $5,499

Buy

EinScan Pro handheld 3D scanner systems are Shining 3D’s flagship portable 3D scanner series. The EinScan Pro 2X is a follow-up to the first-generation EinScan-Pro.

Those who are looking for a cheap handheld 3D scanner can set their eyes on the EinScan Pro 2X. This 3D scanner offers a great price-to-performance ratio, delivering quality results in a matter of minutes. It is suitable for small to medium-sized objects.

You can use this 3D scanner with an automatic turntable for more accurate 3D models or use it in handheld mode for hard-to-reach areas.

More information: Shining 3D EinScan Pro 2X

THOR3D Calibry best portable 3D scanner with built-in screen

THOR3D Calibry

  • Accuracy: 0.1 mm
  • Resolution: 0.3 mm
  • Weight: 0.7 kg
  • Technology: Structured light
  • Country: Russia
  • Price: $5,790

Quote

THOR3D has been producing professional 3D scanners since 2015 and is most famous for their Drake wireless handheld 3D scanner. Today, they have added the Calibry to their lineup.

The THOR3D Calibry is one of the most lightweight 3D scanners you will find on the market. Despite weighing only 700 grams, this handheld scanner is equipped with a built-in touchscreen. The screen allows you to see what you’re scanning in real time.

According to THOR3D, the Calibry is able to 3D scan sharp edges, complex surfaces (e.g. black or shiny), as well as hair and fur.

More information: THOR3D Calibry

Shining 3D EinScan Pro 2X Plus affordable handheld 3D scanner

Shining 3D EinScan Pro 2X Plus

  • Accuracy: 0.04 mm
  • Resolution: 0.2 mm
  • Weight: 1.13 kg
  • Technology: Structured light
  • Country: China
  • Price: $6,899

Buy

EinScan Pro portable 3D scanner systems are Shining 3D’s flagship handheld 3D scanner series. The EinScan Pro 2X Plus is part of the second generation, a follow-up to the EinScan-Pro+.

The 2X Plus is one of the most affordable handheld 3D scanner solutions on the market, yet it still offers impressive results. Its 3D scans are detailed and, when the scanner is equipped with the Color module, can include accurate colors and textures.

In comparison with the regular EinScan Pro 2X version mentioned earlier, the 2X Plus boasts a larger scan area and a greater stand-off distance. It is therefore more convenient when it comes to 3D scanning larger objects.

More information (full review): Shining 3D EinScan Pro 2X Plus

Peel 3d Peel 2 affordable 3D scanner for professionals

Peel 3d peel 2

  • Accuracy: 0.25 mm
  • Resolution: 0.5 mm
  • Weight: 0.95 kg
  • Technology: Structured light
  • Country: Canada
  • Price: $7,490

Quote

Peel 3d is a subsidiary of Creaform, one of the world’s leading 3D scanner manufacturers. They first created the original peel 3d (which we happily reviewed a little while back) in order to tap into the entry-level 3D scanner market.

This second-generation peel 3D scanner offers a higher resolution than its previous iteration, and is capable of capturing textures and colors.

Peel 3D scanners are easy to use even for beginners with little 3D scanning knowledge. The software that comes with the peel 2 is also intuitive and user-friendly, offering multiple editing functionalities.

More information: Peel 3d peel 2

Artec Eva best handheld 3D scanner education

Artec Eva

  • Accuracy: 0.1 mm
  • Resolution: 0.5 mm
  • Weight: 0.9 kg
  • Technology: Structured light
  • Country: Luxembourg
  • Price: $19,800

Quote

The Artec Eva has been a classic on the 3D scanner market for years now. It is Artec’s entry-level portable 3D scanner, which doesn’t stop it from being an excellent 3D scanning solution.

In addition to being able to 3D scan different-sized objects (small, medium, and large), the Eva 3D scanner is able to capture colors and textures. It comes with user-friendly Artec Studio software and is even able to perform 3D body scans.

If you’re looking for a more precise 3D scanner for small object measurement, Artec’s best solution is the Space Spider.

More information (full review): Artec Eva

Artec Leo portable 3D scanner with screen

Artec Leo

  • Accuracy: 0.1 mm
  • Resolution: 0.5 mm
  • Weight: 2.6 kg
  • Technology: Structured light
  • Country: Luxembourg
  • Price: $25,800

Quote

Artec’s Leo offers automatic onboard processing, providing an intuitive workflow. It is equipped with a built-in battery, touch screen, and its own, integrated computing platform. Therefore, this 3D scanner is wireless and will not require any complex multi-cable setup.

The Artec Leo boasts a very large field of view and is capable of quickly 3D scanning large objects, all while capturing fine details. It is designed to capture even complex objects with shiny or black surfaces.

The Leo’s technology enables it to 3D scan objects even in mediocre lighting conditions.

More information: Artec Leo

Creaform GoSCAN SPARK professional handheld 3D scanner

Creaform Go!SCAN SPARK

  • Accuracy: 0.05 mm
  • Resolution: 0.2 mm
  • Weight: 1.25 kg
  • Technology: Structured light
  • Country: Canada
  • Price: $30,000

Quote

The Go!SCAN SPARK is one of the latest additions to Creaform’s highly regarded Go!SCAN product lineup. Creaform, which is based in Canada, is one the industry leaders when it comes to professional 3D scanners.

This handheld 3D scanner is one of the easiest scanners to use (it is a plug-n-play 3D scanner) and it features an interesting hybrid tracking scanning technology. You just need to point and shoot at the object to scan, and the software will instantly display your mesh in real time on your PC.

The GoSCAN SPARK is Creaform’s fastest 3D scanner, acquiring up to 1,500,000 measurement points per second.

More information: Creaform Go!SCAN SPARK

FARO Freestyle3D X professional handheld 3D scanning

FARO Freestyle3D X

  • Accuracy: 1 mm
  • Resolution: 0.2 mm
  • Weight: 0.98 kg
  • Technology: Laser triangulation
  • Country: United States
  • Price: $10K – $50K

Quote

When it comes to accuracy and precision, FARO 3D scanners are some of the leading products on the market. This handheld 3D scanner from FARO is designed to 3D scan large objects or areas.

It is able to quickly measure rooms, structures, and all kinds of objects in 3D. Hence, the Freestyle3D X is ideal for architects, construction workers, designers, forensics, and industrial engineers.

This scanner may not seem to be the most accurate on this list when comparing specs; but in reality, it is extremely precise given the fact that it scans very large objects and rooms, whereas most other handheld 3D scanners are used for smaller use cases.

More information: FARO Freestyle3D X

Mantis Vision F6 SMART handheld 3D scanner

Mantis Vision F6 SMART

  • Accuracy: 0.5 mm
  • Resolution: 1.0 mm
  • Weight: 1.0 kg
  • Technology: Laser triangulation
  • Country: Israel
  • Price: $10K – $50K

Quote

Mantis Vision is a 3D scanner manufacturer from Israel. Their F6 SMART scanning solution is aimed at professionals that need to scan complex scenes.

The F6 SMART uses a color camera in order to deliver photorealistic mesh textures. According to Mantis Vision, this handheld scanner (which can also be used on a tripod, like most other portable 3D scanners) is able to 3D scan objects even in complete darkness.

This can be particularly useful in exploration and archaeology for example (caves, ruins, etc).

More information: Mantis Vision F6 SMART

Portable 3D scanner for professionals Creaform HandyScan BLACK

Creaform HandyScan BLACK

  • Accuracy: 0.035 mm
  • Resolution: 0.1 mm
  • Weight: 0.94 kg
  • Technology: Laser triangulation
  • Country: Canada
  • Price: $50K – $100K

Quote

The HandyScan BLACK is based on its predecessors, the acclaimed HandySCAN 300 and 700. It is extremely easy to use and is able to quickly perform precise 3D scans, all while being lightweight.

Creaform advertises this professional laser scanner as an ideal tool for quality inspection and for product design, for each step of the value chain.

Boasting dynamic referencing, the HandyScan BLACK is able to know its exact position. If you take a break, you can pick it back up and keep 3D scanning from where you left off or even from a different perspective.

More information: Creaform HandyScan BLACK

Portable and handheld 3D scanner buying guide

Before choosing a portable 3D scanner, it’s important to take certain elements into account.

Purpose: what do you need your 3D scanner for?

This is the absolute first question you or your team need to ask yourselves.

For example, to 3D scan large objects, scenes, or rooms, you’ll need a 3D scanner with a large 3D scanning volume. Also, in these cases, you may not need an extremely high accuracy.

If you’re looking to 3D scan small objects, you can make do with smaller 3D scanning areas. Various 3D scanners have different scanning modes in order to adapt to small, medium, and relatively large objects.

Need a free quote or advice?
Contact us.

For reverse engineering, accuracy and resolution may be the most important specs to you. However, if you want to 3D scan your products for e-commerce, then maybe you’ll put accuracy to the side and rather focus on 3D scanners that can provide full color meshes.

3D scanning can serve an amazing amount of purposes– determine yours before you proceed to choosing a 3D scanner.

Take a look at our 3D scanner buying guide for more detailed explanations and tips.

Desired 3D scan results

Accuracy

A 3D scanner’s accuracy is its ability to obtain exact measurements. In certain industries, like quality inspection, high accuracy is of utmost importance.

Resolution

Just like with photos or screens, the level of 3D scanning resolution counts depending on the amount of detail you need.

Speed

The speed factor is especially important when 3D scanning large objects and landscapes, or for 3D body scanning. Large objects take a while to scan, and some 3D scanners require you to stand still for a few seconds before moving on to the next perspective. Other scanners are much quicker, and they’ll therefore be more comfortable for large objects.

Prior knowledge and experience

Some 3D scanner manufacturers insist more on user-friendly experiences that others. Choosing a more complex 3D scanner implies hours of training, and beginners may find it more interesting to get an easy-to-use 3D scanner.

Budget

Last but not least, and as it is the case for so many other products, budget is definitely something to take into account. There are cheap handheld 3D scanner options for under $1,000 if you’re willing to sacrifice accuracy and performance.

Industrial 3D scanners are the most expensive, with advanced 3D scanning technologies and prices around $100K. Unless you need a 3D scanner for 24/7 quality inspection or other very specific use cases, an entry or mid-level 3D scanner will suit you.

For more detailed 3D scanner tech spec explanations, don’t hesitate to take a look at our 3D scanner buying guide.

 



Find the perfect balance between all these factors with our 3D scanner comparison engine and its filters. We reference hundreds of different 3D scanners, and our database keeps growing daily.

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About this author

Ludivine Cherdo

Ludivine is Aniwaa’s Head of Content. Based in Troyes, France, she oversees the content strategy and ensures the content published meets the company’s strict editorial standards. Ludivine obtained her Bachelor’s from the ESC Troyes business school where she studied business administration with a special focus on Digital Marketing. She made the most of her gift for languages by completing part of her studies abroad, gaining valuable work experience in content production and branding along the way. She first joined Aniwaa in 2017 as an intern.