What is the Right Handheld 3D Scanner for Your Needs?

May 12, 2022

Do you need a handheld 3D scanner to improve your project’s workflow? Are the specifications of the handheld scanners available confusing?

Various industries have adopted the latest cutting-edge 3D scanning technology. For example, engineers, product designers, and researchers use 3D scanners for complex measurements in sectors like aerospace, entertainment, forensics, and many more.

3D scanners enable 3D modeling and 3D inspection of parts to detect deviations and collect measurements previously impossible to get with traditional hand tools. Due to the handheld 3D scanner’s portability, quick results, and ease of operation, 3D scanners are becoming more and more popular.

But how to choose which 3D scanner is best for your application? What factors do you consider?

Size of the Object to be Scanned

When choosing a scanner, one of the first considerations is the object’s size to be scanned. For example, if the item you’re going to scan is a small coin, a short-range scanner with high resolution and the ability to capture intricate details could be your choice.

If you’re going to scan a large object like a wind turbine, you should choose a scanner with a long range and a larger field of view (scanning area). For example, the Scantech KSCAN-Magic has a scanning area of up to 1440 mm (56.693 inches) x 860 mm (33.858 inches) and has built-in photogrammetry for high volumetric accuracy, and can scan parts over 10 meters (32.808 feet). This scanner is commonly used for inspecting large parts like vehicle body sides during manufacturing, for example.


Generally, 3D scanners have a tolerance range from 0.01 mm (0.0004 inches) to 1 mm (0.0393 inches), and your application dictates the accuracy required. For most 3D Inspection tasks, an accuracy of 0.025 mm (0.001 inches) – 0.1 mm (0.004 inch) is acceptable, but for other applications like forensics documentation, an accuracy of 1 mm is typically sufficient.

If you expect to scan a complex object with critical dimensions, such as an airplane engine, you should choose a high-accuracy 3D scanner.

Scanning Rate

The scanning rate is the speed at which a scanner collects data from the scanned object. The scanning rate is dependent on the following:

  • Number of laser lines
  • Frame Rate
  • Size of the scanning area
  • Equipment’s algorithm

A top-of-the-line handheld scanner can measure up to three million measurements per second.

Buy Your Scanner From a Reputable Company

3D scanners come in a wide range of sizes, capabilities, and prices. Choosing which scanner is suitable for your application and price range can be tricky.

It’s essential to buy a 3D scanner from a reputable company. Choose a company that provides a variety of advanced 3D scanning technologies and can provide technical training on all of those products. A company that has a website where you can check:

  • products
  • Certificates
  • Customer reviews

You also need a company whom you can contact with your concerns and questions.

Another way to vet a company is to read the company’s online reviews and social media presents. You can learn more about the company’s customers’ opinions through these reviews.

You should ask the company what kind of technical support the company provides? For example, does the company have professional application engineers to assist in the calibration and operation of the handheld 3D scanners? Does the company provide professional after-sales teams to provide support for maintenance and answer questions you might have? What kind of support, in detail, does the company provide?

Digitize Design is a company that checks all the boxes and is a company you can trust.

Contact Digitize Design to schedule a demonstration or for more information.

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