Fast and Easy 3D Capture? YES PLEASE. 3D Scanning is changing and MatterPort is a start-up that is convincingly leading the way. MatterPort is a hand-held scanning device that allows you to create incredibly accurate 3D models of interior spaces and objects “20 times faster” than any other technology.


You may have seen our article capturing a few of the latest laser scanning options. Matterport is among one the most spectacular. A creation of Matt Bell, former member of Google’s research team, MatterPort is a Y Combinator start-up with a not-so-unique take on laser-scanning, but a don’t-even-try-to-compete 3D scanning to 3D model experience.

At the last Y Combinator demo days, Matt proclaimed, “We turn reality into 3D models and our scanner is 20 times faster and 18 times cheaper than any other tool on the market.”

In early prototypes, MatterPort did use Kinect hardware for scanning, but this new device is more streamline, compact and definitely made to be held in your hand. The latest to be revealed is a promo video showing a nice young lady, walking about scanning different rooms. You see apparent results and views of the software, but nothing about how the software works or what file formats are supported.

Now, I doubt this is 18 times cheaper than Autodesk’s 123D Catch which is currently free. Autodesk 123D Catch is software that allows you to create a 3D model from photos you have taken. A camera phone vs. hand-held laser scanner? It may come down to price. It may come down to accuracy. Either way, it’s becoming easier and easier to convert your surrounding into usable 3D geometry.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.