Best Portable 3D Scanner: The Ultimate Guide

In the world of 3D technology, portability is becoming increasingly important. Whether you’re an architect, engineer, designer, or simply a 3D enthusiast, having the flexibility to take your 3D scanning equipment with you is a game-changer. In this article, we’ll explore the world of Best Portable 3D Scanner, how they work, their advantages, the top choices in the market, a comprehensive buying guide, our personal recommendation, and tips on getting the most out of your Best Portable 3D Scanner.

What Are Best Portable 3D Scanner?

Best Portable 3D Scanner are handheld devices that use laser, structured light, or other technologies to capture three-dimensional data from physical objects. These scanners are designed to be compact, lightweight, and easy to transport, allowing you to digitize objects and environments from virtually anywhere.

How Does a Portable 3D Scanner Work?

Best Portable 3D Scanner work by projecting a light source onto the object being scanned and capturing the reflected light. This information is processed by the scanner’s software to create a 3D point cloud, which can then be converted into a digital 3D model. The scanner’s mobility allows you to move around the object and capture data from multiple angles, resulting in a comprehensive 3D representation.

Advantages of Using a Portable 3D Scanner

1. Mobility and Flexibility:

Portable 3D scanners offer the freedom to scan objects in various locations, making them ideal for fieldwork and on-site data collection.

2. Accuracy and Precision:

Modern portable scanners deliver high levels of accuracy, rivaling their stationary counterparts. This makes them suitable for applications in engineering, quality control, and design.

3. Ease of Use:

Portable scanners are designed with user-friendliness in mind. They often come with intuitive software, making 3D scanning accessible to a wider audience.

4. Cost-Efficiency:

Compared to large fixed 3D scanners, portable models tend to be more budget-friendly, making them a practical choice for small businesses and individual users.

Which Are the Best Portable 3D Scanner?

When it comes to choosing the Best Portable 3D Scanner for your needs, several options stand out in the market. We’ve compiled a list of top contenders that offer a blend of accuracy, portability, and user-friendliness.

Best Portable 3D Scanners

Shining 3D EinScan Pro HD

Shining 3D’s EinScan Pro HD, released in 2020, pushes the boundaries of handheld 3D scanning. It prioritizes exceptional resolution and accuracy, delivering consistent quality in handheld and stationary use.

The Pro HD tackles new challenges with its advanced lighting and software, allowing you to scan objects with dark or black surfaces, even cast metal. This expands the scanner’s usability across various materials.

Designed for comfort, the lightweight build is perfect for extended scanning sessions. Plus, its portability lets you take it anywhere. Setting up is a breeze thanks to the user-friendly plug-and-play interface.

Shining 3D’s ExScan Pro software provides a powerful toolkit for capturing scans and editing meshes, helping you create high-quality 3D models. For even more advanced processing, explore the “Solid Edge Shining 3D Edition” software.

Shining 3D EinScan HX

The EinScan HX by Shining 3D boasts a hybrid technology that combines blue laser and LED light sources, providing compatibility with a wide range of object sizes and catering to diverse scanning needs within a single unit. Furthermore, it features a built-in color camera that enables the capture and tracking of full-color textures.

Shining emphasizes that the LED light scanning feature offers swift 3D scanning capabilities, while the laser scanning, which is less affected by ambient light, excels in scanning reflective and dark-colored surfaces.

Under the Rapid Scan Mode, the EinScan HX impressively processes data at a speed of up to 1,200,000 points per second. Additionally, the utilization of multiple blue laser lines in Laser Scan Mode enables the rapid scanning of most objects, making it suitable for applications such as reverse engineering, CAD/CAM, and 3D printing.

Notably, the EinScan HX is designed for user convenience, featuring a plug-and-play setup and intuitive software. Its ergonomic design ensures efficiency and comfort during extended scanning sessions.

Also read: Why Are 3D Scanners So Expensive

Shining 3D FreeScan Combo

Shining 3D has introduced a game-changer for 3D scanning: the FreeScan Combo. This innovative handheld scanner combines the power of a blue laser and an infrared VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) to deliver exceptional performance and versatility.

Key Features:

  • Hybrid Scanning Technology: The FreeScan Combo boasts two light sources and offers four distinct scanning modes: multi-line, single-line, delicate, and infrared. This allows you to tailor your scan to the specific object, quickly capturing intricate details and deep holes.
  • Compact and Lightweight: At just 620 grams, this scanner is remarkably lightweight and perfect for on-the-go applications. Don’t be fooled by its size, though—it delivers metrology-grade accuracy of up to 0.02mm and a high resolution of 0.05mm.
  • Metrology-Grade Accuracy: Need precise data for critical projects? The FreeScan Combo has you covered. Its exceptional accuracy makes it ideal for reverse engineering and additive manufacturing in various automotive, aerospace, and medicine industries.
  • Streamlined Workflow: Say goodbye to complex model preparation! The FreeScan Combo operates without markers, minimizing setup time. Additionally, its high scanning speed of up to 2,250,000 points per second ensures efficient data capture for even intricate objects.
  • Deep-Hole Scanning: The FreeScan Combo is not troubled by objects with complex shapes. Its deep-hole scanning capabilities guarantee comprehensive data capture, even for challenging geometries.

A Perfect Fit for Demanding Applications:

The FreeScan Combo’s speed, versatility, portability, and high resolution make it a valuable tool for engineers working on demanding projects. However, the large amount of data generated may require a powerful computer for processing. The included software is currently compatible only with Windows 10 and 11.

Overall, the Shining 3D FreeScan Combo is a powerful and innovative 3D scanner that promises to revolutionize how we capture and analyze 3D data.

How to Choose the Best Portable 3D Scanner for You? [Buying Guide]

Choosing the Best Portable 3D Scanner can be daunting with so many options available. To help you navigate the sea of features and specifications, here’s a buying guide to consider:

1. Define your needs:

  • What will you scan? Objects (size, complexity), body parts, environment?
  • Why do you need it? Reverse engineering, prototyping, art, documentation, inspection?
  • What level of accuracy is required? Professional-grade or hobbyist?

2. Consider the key features:

  • Technology: Structured light, laser scanning, time-of-flight (ToF) (each has pros and cons for different needs).
  • Portability: Size, weight, battery life, software portability.
  • Accuracy and resolution: Level of detail captured, scan range.
  • Scanning speed and processing time.
  • Software functionality: Editing, meshing, export formats, compatibility with 3D printing or other workflows.
  • Price and budget.

3. Research specific models:

4. Additional factors:

  • Ease of use and learning curve.
  • Training and support offered.
  • Warranty and repair options.
  • Community and resources.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Don’t get hung up on the highest specs if you’re a beginner.
  • Consider the total cost of ownership, including software and accessories.
  • Prioritize features most relevant to your needs.
  • Look for future-proof options with upgradeability potential.

Remember, the best portable 3D scanner is the one that fits your specific needs and budget.

Also check: Affordable 3D Scanning

Our Pick for The Recent Best Portable 3D Scanner

  1. Freescan UE
  2. Freescan Combo
  3. Freescan Trio

How to Get the Most Out of Your Portable 3D Scanner

To maximize the benefits of your portable 3D scanner, here are some tips:

  1. Minimum Object Size: Ensure that the object has a minimum dimension of 12 inches (1 foot) in any direction.
  2. Turntable Positioning: When using a turntable, place it on the table’s farthest edge from the walls.
  3. Single-Pass Scanning: Try to complete scanning in one pass while the object rotates. Slow scanning with one revolution per pass yields better results.
  4. Handling Reflective Surfaces: If the object is shiny and reflects light, consider using a developer spray to minimize reflections.
  5. Activate “Real Time Fusion”: Ensure that the “Real Time Fusion” option is enabled before starting the scan.
  6. Dealing with Fine Details: Objects with feathery or hair-like features may not scan well. You can either rely on the software’s gap-filling algorithm or modify the object’s appearance for improved scanning.
  7. Optimal Scanning Distance: Maintain an optimal scanning distance of 2 to 3 feet from the object’s surface.
  8. Space for Large Objects: When scanning large objects or people, position them at the room’s center to allow sufficient space for movement.
  9. Duplicate Scans: Create duplicates of your scans to safeguard the original data against accidental deletion.
  10. Organize and Name Scans: Rename scans to facilitate easy identification, especially when breaking down models into multiple scans.
  11. Save Your Work Securely: Ensure your project files and rendered data are saved on your personal USB external drive to prevent accidental data loss in a shared computer environment.


What is a portable 3D scanner?

A portable 3D scanner is a handheld device that captures three-dimensional data from physical objects using various scanning technologies.

How accurate is a handheld 3D scanner?

The accuracy of a handheld 3D scanner can vary depending on the model, but many modern portable scanners offer high levels of accuracy, often within a few millimeters.

What is the best 3D scanning method?

The best 3D scanning method depends on your specific application. Laser and structured light scanning are popular methods, each with its advantages.

Are 3D scanners worth it?

3D scanners are valuable tools for industries like engineering, design, and manufacturing. Whether they’re worth it depends on your needs and intended applications.

Is 3D scanning easy?

Modern portable 3D scanners are designed to be user-friendly, but there is a learning curve. With practice and training, users can become proficient in 3D scanning.

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