With their recent launch of Cubify Design, you would think that 3D Systems would hypothetically be sitting back in the boardroom drinking coffee and eating jelly doughnuts while waiting for the world to take notice. While that actually doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend a Friday morning, 3D Systems are keeping their momentum moving with the announcement of a consumer-friendly handheld 3D scanner that aims to bring portable and professional scanning performance into the hands of consumers for less than $400 in the form of the Sense 3D Scanner.


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According to 3D Systems, the Sense 3D Scanner is the first 3D scanner designed for the consumer and optimized for 3D printing. Additionally, they claim that it is the only 3D scanner to deliver precise instant physical photography, “so everyone can capture his or her scanable moments”. What makes the Sense unique from other 3D scanners on the market—like the MakerBot Digitizer—is that it offers a flexible scan size that allows a user to capture everything from a foam model of a new bicycle helmet to a full-body scan of a user actually wearing that foam model prototype. The instant physical photography allows for the data to be processed in seconds for instant mesh cleanup or for a 3D print file. This capability alone could do wonders for design studios with satellite offices that rely heavily on physical model sketches and need to communicate their ideas to another studio quickly.

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Product Features

  • For your life on the go: hand-held mobility gives you the freedom to scan spontaneously, everywhere you go. The Sense is mobile scanning compatible with the Microsoft Surface™ Pro 2 tablet.
  • Scan small, scan large, scan it all: Sense small and large objects, people and scenes. The Sense has the most diverse scan range in its class with auto-optimized settings for small and large objects like a book or a motorcycle, heads to full bodies and scenes as larges as 10 feet tall and wide.
  • Zero-in on what matters: automatic object recognition extracts precise targets from the busiest of backgrounds, scanning only the object you want.
  • Edit confidently: Sense software is intuitive, fast, accurate and easy to use. Scans process in seconds and can be cropped, enhanced and solidified for printables in just minutes. No design experience is necessary.
  • Mash-up your world: merge your scans in Cubify Sculpt™, the ultimate consumer software for editing STLs, mash-ups and organic modeling. Full integration between the Sense and Cubify Sculpt gives you the creative freedom to import your scans and combine them with other favorite designs.
  • Physical to digital and back again: Sense is fully integrated with Cubify.com and your Cube 3D printer. Scans can be uploaded directly for cloud printing with a variety of materials on Cubify.com, or sent directly to your 3D printer.

Product Specs

  • Scan Volume: .2M to 3M
  • Optimal Light Conditions: Indoor Ambient and Indirect Sunlight
  • Lasers: Class I Laser from PrimeSense, eye-safe
  • Operating Systems: Windows 7, 8, and 8.1
  • Scan Resolution: 20,000 to 400,000 triangles/scan
  • File Types: Produces STL or PLY files
  • Compatiblity: Works with non-Cubify 3D Printers
  • Software: Included
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0

The Sense will be available starting November 18th on Cubify.com, Staples.com, and in Staples retail stores.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.