Sense Portable Scanner Review


Sense Portable Scanner Review Results

7.2 Good

The Sense portable scanner from 3D systems offers good usability and Render quality. There are some combatibility issues, but this scanner still delivers.

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  • Scanning Speed 8
  • Image Quality 6
  • User Experience 7
  • Value 7
  • Design 8

The Sense Portable Scanner Review Highlights

The Sense scanner by 3D Systems has been generating its fair share of buzz, attracting the attention of professionals and hobbyists alike. Now it’s caught your eye, but you’re not quite sure if it’s worth the buy. Keep reading this Sense portable scanner review; you might just find the information you need to quell those pending doubts, here.

The Pros


Consumer grade 3D scanning products are still just beginning to emerge on the marketplace, so the fact that the Sense 3D scanner is available for around $400 is a huge plus, especially since a comparable scanner like the Artec Eva, runs closer to $18,000. That’s a hefty sum to pay, especially if you don’t intend this to be a professional investment.

Scanning Speed

Speed is definitely a strong point for the Sense. This 3D scanner can capture images in a few minutes, start to finish. During our Sense portable scanner review we discovered that the scan itself must be done carefully, with a steady hand and a very still subject. The image begins to appear as soon as you begin to scan, which means the finished photographic model does not require a lot of extra time to finish rendering.


Once you’re done scanning and editing, you have several options of what to do with your completed 3D images. 3D Systems has made interaction among scans created with the Sense and their other products and services like Cubify Sculpt,, and Cube printers effortless. However, if you already have a preferred software or printer that is not part of the 3DS family, the software does allow for export in STL, OBJ, and PLY formats.
Sense portable scanner review process

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The Cons

Windows & Geomagic Software

Currently, the Sense scanner is not Mac friendly. So if you don’t plan on using a PC or tablet running on Windows 7 or 8, you’ll probably want to consider other options. Also, while the Geomagic software that comes included with the scanner is very user friendly, having an option to return to the previous screen or restart an action, would certainly make the process far less frustrating than having to restart the entire application.


One of the predominant features used to sell this product is its portability. At a weight of under one pound and dimensions of approximately 7” x 5” and a little over 1” in width, you’re not likely to fit it in your pocket, but it’s not overly cumbersome either.

What is cumbersome it the fact that, in order to use it, the scanner must remain connected to your PC or tablet at all times, via a 7’ USB cord. This makes for very limited mobility.


Finally, consider the lighting factor. The scanner requires very even light. If you scan a subject with the use of sunlight and shadows are created, those areas are not likely to be rendered. To obtain optimal results you should use the scanner indoors with even, artificial lighting.

The Sense Portable Scanner Review Verdict

The Sense 3D scanner by 3DS is a very cool gadget, and it will serve to open up the market for 3D gear, but its capabilities are still very limited. During the Sense portable scanner review we noticed that detail is not well defined, and editing is required to obtain a scan without breaks in the image mesh.

If you’re looking for something to aid you in your design work, look elsewhere. If you want to try something cutting-edge that none of your neighbors are likely to have, go for it. We hope you found this Sense portable scanner review useful

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