Cool Tool: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner



I wanted to share with you guys a tool I use a lot that I’ll definitely be including in the Glowforge creative process. (And no, I have no affiliation with the company and make no money in any way from them.)

The Tool: The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner. Essentially, it’s a small, handheld flatbed scanner that can automatically “stitch” together multiple scans and doesn’t need to be hooked up to a computer. The lid comes off so you can hold it against or upside down on images you want to scan. This means you can take a 300dpi scan of any sized image anywhere (your own art/a map/document/photo/etc.) without distorting it (like a digital camera would) or moving the image from where it’s placed.

How I Use It: I scan a lot of large pieces that I’ve drawn or written and then want to change the colors on, convert to vectors, increase contrast, reduce size, or whatever, and then inkjet print multiples of on things like silk, watercolor paper, or shrink plastic. I also sometimes scan from books of royalty-free images (i.e. Dover books). I think it was originally designed for people doing genealogy, so they could scan historical documents while still in the archive.

Informal Specs: It’s about 10 x 7, I think, so it fits easily into a laptop bag, and it’s mostly empty space, so it isn’t a pain to lug around.

Cost: $140 new, at Amazon:


you are a plethora of good ideas


Thanks, @dhanvinddvs :slight_smile: Just trying to be a good community citizen.


That looks super cool! Grabbed one to check out.


me like-y, me want-y, me get-y as soon as I’m not completely and utterly broke :wink: I suppose that’s one boon of having to wait until summer to get my Glowforge - I can recoup the losses before I buy more toys


I’m in the market for a new scanner to replace my circa 1998 HP ScanJet. I’ll have to take a closer look if this will meet my general scanning needs plus open up new creative opportunities. Thanks for the suggestion!


Far nicer than the pen-scanners I have tried to use before. Love that it has a big see-through window on it.


Very versatile.
May I ask how long you have used it?
Thanks for sharing!


Off and on for 2 years.


Just ordered that thing… it’s all your fault Morgan, and I thank you for it!


I’ve yet to order it yet - but it’s definitely on my list!!!


Used it to scan about 700 pictures (so far) gathered over a 38 year marriage. First of three boxes…
600 dpi top resolution, works great but one issue. The software that came with it designed to allow stitching scans together for larger pictures doesn’t install.

Error message says"cannot install, MSVCR100.dll is missing from your system".
The file, part of C++ I think - is NOT missing, it resides in Windows system 32. So I figured the program must expect to find it elsewhere. Emailed support who referred me to “how to fix missing MSVCR100.dll” that pops up from a Google search, which I had already tried.
They came back with "The engineers have never seen this problem before."
So I said “If the program engineers can’t fix it, I’m through trying”. She apologized.

Scanner is fully functional with the exception of the software package. Small, light, very portable and great looking scans.
Very pleased, it does what I bought it for.
Good to have the pictures backed up and accessible instead of sitting in a box on a closet shelf!


maybe the dll just needs to be registered. I think the command from an administrative prompt would be regsrv path\to\dll
I’ll poke at a windows machine later today to see if I can get the exact command if you still need it.

a bit worried about the age of that dll/the software though. That’s a really old version.


Thank you!
I still need to figure it out.


ok the command is regsvr32 and the only argument would be the dll.


Thank you!


I’d hold off on that till you know if that was the missing step.


I’d try it - if it’s already registered it won’t hurt to register it again. I would unregister it first (use the /u parameter) as Windows sometimes hangs onto spurious code handles.

Just check to see if the DLL exists in multiple places and different versions (time date stamps).


Back in the day I added a register and unregister option to the right-click menu on every PC I used, but it’s been so long since I’ve had to do that manually…