Handy 3D printing tips by CREAT3D: Using the Sense handheld 3D scanner

Wednesday, 12 March 2014  |  Sabina Gonzalez-George
Sense 3D Scanner tips image

The Sense 3D Scanner is a great affordable 3D scanner that can scan and convert both large and small objects to 3D files, ready for 3D printing.


We’ve been playing with our demo Sense 3D Scanner and here are a few hints & tips we’ve put together to get the most out of it.



In our experience, a white background (or at least contrasting, if your object is white) usually works the best as the scanner can then pick the object out easier. The lighter the area of scanning the better. Also, de-clutter other objects from view. Whilst the Sense™ 3D scanner has Automatic Object Recognition, it helps to remove unwanted items from the scanner’s viewing range.


Scanning heads & faces

To capture the whole 360 degree view, try asking the person being scanned to slowly rotate whilst you hold the 3D scanner still. Or, using a revolving chair if you have one to hand. You tend to get a smoother process of scanning that way. Your scan will be reliant on how steady your hand is, moving adds that extra level of complexity so stay still and get your model to do the hard work!


Slowly does it

The Sense 3D scanner is a fast processing scanner, typically scanning a head in only a few minutes. However, when scanning, it’s best to do slow, controlled movements of the scanner so it has time to capture the object. You can also use the screen to guide you on whether your speed is appropriate as you watch your object appear in the software. It’s worth remembering, the scanner can only capture what is in its line of sight.


Shiny surfaces

3D scanners will find it difficult to scan reflective or shiny surfaces as they scatter the scanner light. It’s best to matt out shiny objects. If possible, you can use a white spray paint or a matt powder based spray to coat the surface of the object. Ensure you use a thin layer, evenly applied, so as not to impact on the part’s thickness.



It is worth checking your PC/Laptop specifications to ensure you have the minimum requirements (see Tech Specs) for the scanner so it can operate, and don’t forget that even though it is handheld, you are always connected to your PC/laptop via the USB cable.


It’s an overall good quality handheld 3D scanner which captures sufficient data for 3D printing or exporting the file to mesh and manipulate. Whilst we don’t advise using it for very small objects or fine detail, it produces good scans and is easy to use. The accompanying software is simple and intuitive.


Back to News >