Here's something that may help bring 3D printing to the masses: a 3D scanner.
MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis unveiled an early prototype of the "MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner" at the South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals (SXSW) event in Texas.
"This is a product we have been eager to develop, because it’s the perfect complement to our Desktop 3D Printers. You can use it to jump start a design using an object in the real world. You can archive your possessions or save your kid’s play-dough sculptures," Makerbot said in a blog post
It said the device scans an object on its spinning platform, and produces a "high-quality, water-tight" 3D model, in as little as three minutes.
Makerbot, in a separate news release, quoted Pettis as saying the 3D scanner is a "natural progression" to make 3D printing easier.
"With the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, now everyone will be able to scan a physical item, digitize it, and print it in 3D – with little or no design experience,” he said.
All this can be done "without any design, CAD software or 3D modeling experience at all," he added.
Makerbot said the product uses lasers and cameras to scan physical objects and produce a digital form and file.
“This is something you would envision being science fiction, but in fact, it is real – and it is so cool,” Pettis said.
MakerBot said it expects the scanner to be used in businesses, universities, classrooms, and in the home, "where anything 3D can be digitized and reproduced at will."
"The demo at SXSW is just the beginning and MakerBot will spend time testing, scanning and 3D printing the items scanned with it," it added. — TJD, GMA News