10 Best 3D Scanner Reviews: Cheap, Portable, Handheld

Do you need to collect 3D data? Do you know that you can do so easily using a 3D scanner?

A 3D scanner is a device that analyzes a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possible appearance. The collected data can be used to construct digital three-dimensional models or in a variety of applications including motion capture, industrial design, orthotics, prosthetics, reverse engineering, and prototyping.

If you are looking for 3D scanners be it handheld scanners or desktop 3D scanners, you’re just on the right page. To save you time from researching, we compiled the best 3D scanners for you. Check out the list below.

3D ScannerShop
XBOX One Kinect Sensor

Handheld/Stationary1.8 x 3.1 x 5.9 inches3.2 lbs$299.993/5
Artec Eva

Handheld262 × 158 × 63 mm1.9 lbs$19,800 4.5/5
Occipital Structure Sensor

Handheld 262 × 158 × 63 mm95 g$ 3793.5/5
Matter and Form 3D Scanner V2

Stationary34.5 x 21 x 8.5 cm1.71 kg$749.00 3.7/5
Artec Leo

Handheld227x228x163 mm4 lbs$25,8004.7/5
BQ Ciclop

Stationary/DIY Kit450 x 330 x 230 mm2.5 kg$1054/5
Digitizer by Makerbot

Stationary16.2 x 18.7 x 8 inches4.63 lbs$1,4004.2/5
Fuel3D Scanify

Handheld10 x 9.6 x 1.3 inches 1.2 lbs$15,0004.3/5
Sense 3D Scanner

Handheld/Stationary5.08 x 7.08 x 1.3 inche1.2 lbs$471.543.4/5
EinScan Pro

Handheld/StationaryN/A1.76 lbs$6,8994.8/5

#1 XBOX One Kinect Sensor

XBOX One Kinect Sensor

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📌The second version of Xbox One Kinect Sensor gaming sensory is a full-fledged 3D scanner, too. It’s not the best 3D scanner on the market but it’s affordable and it produces decent outputs.

To use Kinect Sensor as a 3D scanner, you just have to download a dedicated program from the company. You can specify the dimension and the resolution. You can scan the object handheld or stationary. So, yes, this also serves as a desktop 3D scanner.

Unfortunately, there are limitations. The program only works on Windows 10. You have to export meshes into the Microsoft 3D builder where you can choose a file format and access repair tools.

So, if you have a Kinect Sensor, and need a 3D scanner, you already have one at hand. Just download the program and do the necessary step to convert it into a working 3D scanner.

For best scanning using Kinect consider the following:

  1. Calibrate the Kinect Color mesh by launching the Camera App
  2. Use optimal sensor-to-object distance that is about 3 feet.
  3. GPU quality: For optimal results use 20 frames per seconds (fps) or higher
  4. Lighting quality: Make sure that the setting has no visible shadows. Also, the colors are better with more diffused lights.
  5. Background distance: Maximize the distance between the background and the object to be scanned. A non-reflective background is better as reflection can create noise around the scan.
Technical Specifications
Technology: Infrared

Camera: 1080p HD

Style: Handheld/Stationary

OS Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Video frame rate: 30 fps

Dimension: 1.8 x 3.1 x 5.9 inches

Weight: 3.2 pounds

Price: $99.95

  • Depth sensor
  • Color VGA video camera
  • Multi-array microphone
  • Not the best scanner
  • Only runs in Windows 10
  • You need to download a software to use this as a 3D scanner

XBOX One Kinect Sensor

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#2 Artec Eva

Artec Eva

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📌Artec Eva is the best-selling white light 3D scanner. It designed to be a fast scanner for professionals. It has structured light which makes it ideal for a quick, textured and accurate 3D model of medium-sized objects.

Eva is light, fast and versatile. This handheld 3D scanner scans quickly so you can capture precise measurements in high resolution. This white light 3D scanner doesn’t require calibration or warm-up time. Most importantly, it is compatible with tablets.

Eva uses a safe-to-use structured light scanning technology to capture objects of almost any kind including black and shiny surfaces.  Due to its performance, this 3D scanner has been very helpful in rapid prototyping to quality control. This is also used in CGI, heritage preservation, automotive industry, forensics, medicine, prosthetics, and aerospace.

This device is your tool to innovate, customize and streamline in the industry. Eva was also used to scan Barack Obama and the data was used to create the first 3D portrait of an American president.

Technical Specifications

3D Resolution: 0.5 mm

3D Point Accuracy: 0.1 mm

Accuracy over distance: 0.003% over 100 cm

Working distance: 0.4 – 1m

Linear field of view (closest): 214×148 mm

Linear field of view (furthest): 536 x 3711 mm

Video frame rate: 16 fps

Exposure Time: 0.0002 sec

Data acquisition speed: 2 min points/sec

Output formats: OBJ, PLY, WRL, STL, AOP, ASCII, Disney PTEX, E57, XYZRGB

OS: Windows 7, 8, 10 – x64

Processor: Intel I5 or I7

Dimension: 262 × 158 × 63 mm

Weight: 0.85 kg (1.9 lb)

Prince: $19,800

  • Fast
  • High accuracy
  • Good value
  • Faster post-processing
  • Safe to use for people
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Uses white light technology
  • Easier and smoother 3D scanning
  • No targets and calibration needed
  • Includes free Artec Scanning SDK for integration
  • Can read the geometry and color of the object
  • Supports a wide range of file types
  • Long-range scanning up to 1 meter
  • Expensive
  • 3D scanning software not included in the price
  • Texture capture upgrade is expensive

Artec Eva

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#3 Occipital Structure Sensor

Occipital Structure Sensor laser 3d scanner

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📌Structure Sensor offers rapid 3D scanning of objects and people. It can 3D map interior spaces and mix reality experiences with fantasy where it’s impossible to tell the differences.

Structure Sensor offers rapid 3D scanning of objects and people. It can 3D map interior spaces and mix reality experiences with fantasy where it’s impossible to tell the differences.

Occipital Structure Sensor is a 3D sensor that you can just yoke to an iPad. Yes, just attach it to a bracket that you clip onto an iPad and start 3D scanning objects.

This iPad 3D scanner uses an infrared laser projector, an infrared sensor to acquire depth and color data. Aside from 3D scanning, you can view them in X-ray or Mesh mode and email the 3D files you create.

There are over 100 applications available for Structure Sensor on IOS. This is compatible with iPad Pro, iPad, iPad Air, and iPad mini models.

For best results, we recommend iPad (5th and 6th Generation), 12.9-inch, 9.7-inch or 10.5-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and the 4th generation iPad mini.

Technical Specifications

Resolution: VGA (640×480); QVGA (320×240)

Frame rate: 30/60 fps

Maximum Recommended Range: 3.5m+

Minimum Recommended Range: 40 cm

Precision: 0.5mm at 40cm (0.15%); 30mm at 3m (1%)

Field of View: Horizontal: 58 degrees, Vertical: 45 degrees

Style: Handheld

Technology: Structured Light

OS: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux

Dimension: 119.2x28x29 mm

Weight: 95 g

Color: Ice Blue, Silver, Dark Grey

Compatible with iPad Pro, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air

Price: $379 for iPad

Price: $499 for the complete bundle

  • Very affordable
  • No object size limit
  • Decent resolution at close range
  • Export format can be imported to CAD software
  • Free and easy to use 3D scanning software (Canvas, Skanect, Structure SDK)
  • Can’t be used as standalone device
  • Scanning software doesn’t have many features
  • Scanning resolution decreases with distance

Occipital Structure Sensor laser 3d scanner

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#4 Matter and Form 3D Scanner V2

Matter and Form 3D Scanner V2

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📌If you are into 3D printing, this is the best 3D scanner to pair your favorite device. This is designed to be a perfect 3D printing companion. You can integrate this seamlessly into your workflow. Just scan, mesh and export your creation.

This device comes in a sleek and foldable design, so you can keep your scanner and workspace neat. It has an integrated case that protects the turntable and the camera. Simply fold up the base when not in use.

With this 3D scanner, you can introduce digital techniques into your creative process.  Whether you are new to 3D or already a digital pro, Matter and Form V2 can help you build an intuitive bridge between the physical and virtual medium to diversify your process.

Matter and Form comes with MFStudio software that lets you go through your 3D projects with ease. It also gives you full control over your scanning setup. You can upgrade this to +Quickscan that lets you complete geometry in as fast as 65 seconds

The company supports education because they know that this 3D scanner is useful for:

  • Creative integration of 3D objects into art
  • Design experimentation and insight into interactive processes
  • Rapid prototyping for advanced manufacturing production
  • Video game design and programming with the ability to expand a virtual universe

Matter and Form offers educators 15% discount for their scanner purchases.

Technical Specifications

Accuracy: Within ± 0.1mm

Optics: HD CMOS sensor , 2x Class 1 eye-safe lasers

Connectivity: USB 2.0 high speed interface

Maximum size of object: Height: 25 cm; Diameter: 18 cm

Maximum weight of object: 3.0 kg

Software: MFStudio, +Quickscan

OS: Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64 bit), macOS 10.11+

File: STL, OBJ, DAE, PLY, glTF2

Dimension when open (HxWxL): 34.5 x 21 x 34.5 cm

Dimension when close (HxWxL): 34.5 x 21 x 8.5 cm

Weight: 1.71 kg

Price: $749

  • Sleek and foldable design
  • Excellent support
  • User-friendly software
  • Plug and play capabilities
  • 15% off for educators
  • Great for multiple applications
  • Gives you total control over your scanning setup
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • Scan duration
  • Multiple scan for best quality

Matter and Form 3D Scanner V2

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#5 Artec Leo

Artec Leo

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📌Another smart and professional 3D scanner is Artec Leo. This is the first handheld 3D scanner that offers onboard automatic processing.

It makes 3D scanning as easy as taking a video. You can immediately see the objected projected in 3D directly on the HD display in real-time.

The scanner is equipped with a touch panel screen. You can rotate the 3D model, check if you have captured all the areas and fill in any parts you may have missed.

Leo is also the fastest professional 3D scanner with a 3D reconstruction rate of 80 frames per second. It can scan large objects and scenes quickly with high accuracy. For greater precision, you can place the scanner closer to the object to pick up intricate detail just like zooming in with a video camera.

Leo is quite expensive but it’s worth it for the following reasons:

  • 3D HDR
  • High accuracy
  • Smart 3D scanner
  • Built-in SSD drive
  • Designed for usability
  • Enhanced color capture
  • Fully mobile scanning experience
  • Useful in different applications
  • Unparalleled texture to geometry mapping
Technical Specifications

Display: Built-in half HD touch panel screen

Processing: On-board real-time processing

Volume capture zone: Over 3 times greater

Frame rate: 80 fps

3D Resolution: 0.25 mm

3D Point Accuracy: 0.1 mm

Color resolution: 2.3 mp

Structured Light Source: VCSEL

Position sensors: Built-in 9 DoF inertial system

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Data Transfer

Multi-core processing: NVIDIA® Jetson™ TX1

Dimension (HxWxL): 227x228x163 mm

Weight: 4 lbs

Price: $25, 800

  • Sleek and foldable design
  • Excellent support
  • User-friendly software
  • Plug and play capabilities
  • 15% off for educators
  • Great for multiple applications
  • Gives you total control over your scanning setup
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • Scan duration
  • Multiple scan for best quality

Artec Leo

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#6 BQ Ciclop

BQ Ciclop

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📌BQ Ciclop 3D scanner is a fully open source laser scanner. It is designed to help you scan objects for 3D printing.

For those looking for the best cheap 3d scanner, this is for you. However, this cutting-edge scanner is recommended for professionals or advanced users only. Why? Because it’s not that easy to use.

The kit needs to be assembled and I warn you, it’s not easy to do. However, experienced users can fully assemble this in less than an hour. Also, you need to use multiple 3d scanning software to convert your file into a printable STL file.

Since using this scanner requires effort, experience, and knowledge, this is one of the low- cost scanners on the market. Those who are on a tight budget but are willing and ready to learn this will be a good start for your 3D scanning experience. But then again, this is recommended for advanced users.

Anyway, all the source files for the hardware and software of the BQ Ciclop scanner are available online. So, you’ve got all you need. Also, there’s a big and supportive community that’s willing to help you anytime you need assistance.

Technical Specifications

Scan area: 250×205 mm

Scan speed: 2-8 minutes

Accuracy: 0.5 mm

Resolution: 0.5 mm

Triangles per 3D model: 80

Turntable drive system: Nema stepper motor (1.7 A 1.8 deg/step)

Maximum weight on Turntable 3kg

File: STL

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux

Lead time: 1 week

Connectivity: USB

Dimension: 450 x 330 x 230 mm

Weight: 2.5 kg

Price: $349

  • Cheap
  • Versatile
  • Open source
  • Huge community of users
  • Needs to be assembled
  • Recommended for advanced users and experts
  • You need multiple 3D scanning software to convert your file

BQ Ciclop

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#7 Digitizer by Makerbot

Digitizer by Makerbot

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📌Digitizer is another low cost 3d scanner that will surely please you. It’s one of the effective and user-friendly 3D scanners on the market.

This is fully assembled and inspected when it arrives at your door. So, beginners will probably approve this because it doesn’t include the hassle of assembly despite its low price. In addition, it works.

This includes a calibration that walks you through the process. You will calibrate the camera first, then the turntable.

The Digitizer software includes MultiScan technology that allows you to make multiple scans of an object from many angles. It also allows you to scan hidden parts that would not be available to the scanner otherwise. You can merge different views and create a full-object scan. With some polishing, you will be able to get an impressive 3D scan object.

Overall, MakerBot Digitizer is a great cheap 3D scanner due to its price and ease of use. It only requires light computer hardware and includes free software. However, it doesn’t deliver the best scanning resolution.

Technical Specifications

Scan volume: Up to 20.3 (diameter) x 20.3 cm (H) (8 x 8 in.)

Dimensional accuracy: ± 2.0 mm (± 0.079 in)

Detail resolution: 0.5 mm (0.0197 in)

Triangles per 3D model: ~200K

Scan speed: Approx. 12 minutes

Optimal Light Conditions: Artificial indoor light

Maximum weight on the turntable: 3 kg (6.6 lbs)

Included Software: MakerWare for Digitizer

Exported File Types: .stl

Operating Systems: Windows (7+) / Mac OSX (10.7+) / Linux (Ubuntu 12.04+)

Lasers: Two eye-safe Class 1 laser line generators

Camera: 1.3 megapixel CMOS image sensor

Connectivity: USB connection

Dimension: 16.2 x 18.7 x 8 inches

Weight: 4.63 pounds

Price: $799

  • Affordable
  • Free software
  • No-assembly needed
  • Light hardware requirements
  • You can make multiple scans in any angle
  • Poor scanning resolution
  • Difficult to create a proper scanning environment
  • Can’t run without a computer

Digitizer by Makerbot

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#8 Fuel3D Scanify

Fuel3D Scanify Einscan pro

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📌Fuel3D Scanify is another affordable handheld 3D scanner. This is perfect for product design, 3D printing and on-screen applications like animation and game development because it captures the finest and fullest details.

Another great thing about this is that it allows you do slight edits in the free Studio software before transferring the scan to the manufacturing machine, which helps you save a huge amount of time because you do not have to go into your drawing software to create the model in the first place. Just scan and you have an instant model that is ready for 3d printing.

This scanner uses a combination of stereoscopic and photometric data. It has two cameras, three xenon and three LED tracking lights to capture highly detailed scans.

Scanify is as easy to use as your digital camera. This comes with a user-friendly interface that allows you to tweak and edit the object. Scanning an object and having a 3D printer-ready model can be done in just 10 minutes. You can also use this to scan a human body.

In addition, it has awesome features that you will surely love about it. Check out its technical specifications to know what to expect from this scanner.

Technical Specifications

Scan volume: approx. 8 x 12 inches in a single capture.

Scanning technology: Fusion of stereoscopic and photometric data.

Operating distance: fixed at 14 – 18 inches

Light source: xenon LED flash bulbs.

Connectivity: micro USB cable.

Power requirements – AC power adapter.

Min. recommended computer specs: 2GB RAM, 1GB hard disk space, Dual-core processor.

Operating systems: Windows 7+ (32/64 bit, Mac OS

Dimension: 10 x 9.6 x 1.3 inches

Weight: 1.2 pounds

Price: $935

  • Pre-calibrated
  • One-click capture
  • Friendly user-interface
  • Software is simple to use
  • Ideal for capturing human body
  • Can capture detailed 3D shape and color down to 350 microns
  • Expensive
  • Flawed

Fuel3D Scanify Einscan pro

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#9 Sense 3D Scanner

Sense 3D Scanner Einscan pro

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📌Sense 3D Scanner is one of the best digital tools you can find in the market when it comes to 3D scanning. This handheld 3d scanner is fast, practical and easy to use.

It can capture and process data in real time, generating a complete polygon mesh. It also speeds up the data acquisition process by over 60%. This uses an HD color cameras and a highly-sensitive infrared projector that allows it for a closer scan range and a higher resolution.

This device can transform your work! This is fully integrated with the Cube 3D printer, so you can just scan an object and 3D print it instantly in a seamless workflow.

Sense has touchscreen editing capabilities that you can use to enhance the color, design, shape and size of your images to create replicas.

Sense 3D scanner is light and highly portable. It is small enough to fit in your laptop bag allowing you to scan while on the go. You can bring this with you on your trips and bring back your memories at home in 3D. This will also make a great keepsake or present.

Technical Specifications

Operating System: 64-bit Windows 8 or later

Minimum Scan Volume: 0.2m x 0.2m x 0.2m

Maximum Scan Volume: 2m x 2m x 2m

Minimum Operating Range: 0.2 m

Maximum Operating Range: 1.6 m

Depth image size: 640(w) x 480(h) px

Spatial x/y resolution @ 0.5m: 0.9mm

Depth resolution @ 0.5m: 1mm

Field of View: Horizontal: 45°; Vertical: 57.5°

;  Diagonal: 69°

Operating temperature: 10-40° C

Maximal image throughput: 30 fps

Dimension: 5.08(w) x 7.08(h) x 1.3(d) inches

Weight: 1.2 pounds

Price: $499

Hardware Recommendations

Intel® Core i5™ 5th Gen or equivalent processor

RAM: 2 GB minimum

1280 x 1024 minimum screen resolution

4 GB available hard disk space

  • Affordable
  • Works well
  • Easy to use and manage
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Fully integrated with Cube 3D printer
  • Requires a little effort to make it work for the first time
  • Needs getting used to when scanning an object

Sense 3D Scanner Einscan pro

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#10 EinScan Pro Handheld Scanner

EinScan Pro CAD software portable 3D scanners

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📌EinScan Pro is among the best 3D scanner in the market today. It’s great for both consumer and commercial applications in manufacturing, engineering, design, development, testing, artwork archival, animation and even in human form acquisition.

Another great thing about this is that it has high compatibility to 3rd party hardware and software. It captures the exact size, details, texture and color.

This 3D scanner allows you to use the physical objects around you and conceptualize a better idea. With a 3D scanner, it’s easier to have a starting point for your CAD (Computer-Aided Design) model.

Its scanning software allows you to create “open” models for reverse engineering in a CAD system or it can create “closed” watertight models that are ideal for 3D printing.

This handheld 3D scanner is also equipped with four scan modes – Handheld Rapid Scan, Handheld HD (High Definition) Scan, Automatic Scan, and Free Scan. Each of these scan modes is best suited for a particular application. Choosing the correct scan mode produces the best results in terms of accuracy, efficiency and data resolution.

EinScan Pro is a multi-functional 3D scanner. It is portable and accurate thanks to its four versatile scanning modes. You can consider this among the best portable 3D scanners in the market.

Overall, EinScan Pro is the most powerful scanner from the brand. If you already have a handheld 3D scanner and you are looking for a desktop 3D scanner, the brand also offers that. You can check out EinScan desktop 3D scanners. They offer two models EinScan SP Desktop Scanner and EinScan-SE White Light Desktop 3D scanner.

Technical Specifications

Price: $4,099 – $5,599

  • High speed
  • Cost-effective
  • Full-color scan
  • High compatibility
  • Multi-applications
  • All in one versatility
  • Light and slick design
  • Good cost-to-quality ratio
  • Free and automatic scans are fast
  • Requires high-end hardware
  • Scanning in daylight or in bright light is difficult
  • Requires an additional module to scan color and textures

EinScan Pro CAD software portable 3d scanners

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📌Desktop and portable 3D scanners are very useful in 3D printing, design, gaming and more applications. So, if you need one, you can choose any of the brands mentioned above. These units are the best 3D scanner on the market. They have been proven to be effective and reliable.

However, these units come in different prices and specifications. Just consider your budget and requirements. You will always find one that suits your needs.

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