Do you need an accurate 3D scan for your project? If so, it may be time to invest in a new handheld scanner.

These scanners come in many different shapes and sizes. one can also use them for various purposes like scanning large objects or small details on the surface of an object with precision detail.

This blog post will cover everything you need to know about the 3D handheld scanner. This is so you can make an educated decision about its purchase.

So whenever you're ready to cover your bases and learn about this amazing tech, keep reading.


What is 3D Scanning?

A three-dimensional scanner is a gadget that captures the shape of an object by projecting a series of light beams onto it. The device then analyzes the pattern of reflections to create a digital model of the thing. This type of scanner is also known as a laser scanner or optical scanner.

The first commercially available laser scanners hit the market in the 1980s, and one used them for industrial applications like inspecting car parts for defects.

Consumer-grade handheld scanners have become more affordable and widely available in recent years. These devices are now being used to create models of people and pets to replicate ancient artifacts.

Scanning technology has come a long way in recent years, thanks to advances in photonics, optics, and computer vision. Today's scanners are faster, smaller, and more accurate than ever before.

There are many different types of handheld scanners on the market today. Some are designed for specific applications, like scanning large objects or small details on the surface of an object. Others are more versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes.


Common Handheld Scanner Types

Despite handheld scanners having the "same" purpose, they come in various shapes and sizes. Not to mention, they do have multiple functionalities.

Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular types of handheld scanners:

Laser Scanners

These scanners use a series of laser beams to create a digital model of an object. They are typically used for industrial applications, but consumer-grade versions are becoming more popular.

LiDAR Scanners

LiDAR (light detection and ranging) scanners use lasers to measure the distance between the scanner and objects in its path. This type of scanner is often used for mapping and surveying applications.

Structured-Light Scanners

Structured-light scanners use a projector to cast a pattern of light onto an object. The device then analyzes the reflections to create a digital object model.

This scanner is often used for forensic investigations and reverse engineering tasks.

Photogrammetry Software

Photogrammetry software typically uses a DSLR camera and specialized image-processing algorithms to create digital models of objects.

These scanners are typically used for mapping applications, but some consumer-grade versions with built-in cameras have recently become available on the market.

Coded Light Scanners

These scanners use particular light patterns to capture light images in low lighting conditions or facing reflective surfaces like mirrors.

The scanner then analyzes the pattern of reflections created by these coded lights to construct a three-dimensional model of an object's surface geometry. This type is often used in industrial inspection and reverse engineering tasks where high levels of accuracy are required at all times.

Structure Sensor Scanners

Structure sensor scanners consist of two parts—a handheld 3D scanner and an attachment for your smartphone.

The scanner captures the shape of an object, and the attachment uses the camera on your phone to capture its color. This scanner is perfect for small things and details that need to be scanned quickly and easily.


3D Handheld Scanner Application

There are many different applications for handheld scanners. Some of the most common uses include the following.

Creating Digital Models For Use In Games And Virtual Reality Apps

Many popular video games use digital models to give them a realistic look and feel. The best way to create these models is with a laser scanner, which captures an object's surface geometry in extreme detail.

These digital assets can then be used by game developers or virtual reality app makers to create highly immersive experiences that users will enjoy immensely.

Creating Detailed Visualizations Of Large Objects Or Spaces With Photogrammetry Software

Photogrammetric software typically consists of two parts—a camera attachment for your smartphone and the application itself (which may be pre-installed on some devices).

The camera captures images of the object in question, and the application uses unique algorithms to process your photos. The software then creates a digital model that can be used for visualizations or simulations.

Creating Digital Models For Design And Manufacturing Purposes

Digital models are often required when designing new products (like furniture) or manufacturing them on an assembly line.

Handheld scanners make it easier than ever before to create these types of assets because they enable users to capture objects' surface geometry quickly and easily.

This works even if there is no existing CAD file available! This enables designers, engineers, manufacturers, etc., to finish their projects much more efficiently than ever before.

Capturing Details On Large Objects Or Entire Spaces With LiDAR Scanners

Construction companies often use LiDAR scanners to capture the geometry of large buildings, bridges, etc. They can also be used for mapping purposes—especially when working with dangerous conditions like mountainsides or cliffs.

These handheld devices make it possible for anyone to conduct these kinds of surveys without hiring an expensive outside contractor.


Choosing a Handheld Scanner

There are many different types of handheld scanners on the market today. Each has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. It's essential to choose a suitable scanner for your specific needs.

Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a handheld scanner.


What will you use the scanner for? If you need to scan large objects, you'll need a laser or LiDAR scanner.

If you need to scan small objects or details, then a structured-light or photogrammetry scanner will be a better choice.


How accurate do you need the scanner to be? If accuracy is critical, you'll need a LiDAR or structured-light scanner.

If accuracy is not as important, a laser or photogrammetry scanner may be a better option.


How quickly do you need to scan objects? Some scanners are faster than others. Choose the one that meets your needs.


How big of an object can the scanner handle? Some scanners are limited, while others can take more essential things.


Handheld scanners vary in price from $100 to $2000+. Choose the one that fits your budget and meets your needs.


Your 3D Scanning Needs

Today you learned everything there is to know about the 3D handheld scanner and why it is so important.

There's no denying that these devices play a significant role in our digital world—but what kind of scanner should you choose? The answer depends on your specific needs, but hopefully, this blog post helped point you in the right direction!

If not, please contact us today for more information or advice. We're always happy to help! Good luck finding the best portable laser scanner for your business or personal use.