So, you bought a MakerBot Replicator 2 and you're already printing out stuff that you find on Thingiverse. Now you want to start printing things that you find around the house. You can either painstakingly recreate the objects in 3D modeling software, or you can use a 3D scanner that costs thousands of dollars. Well, MakerBot now has a cheaper solution for those who choose the latter.
MakerBot announced today that pre-orders for its Digitizer - a desktop 3D scanner - are now open. The device will retail for $1,400 and provide an easy platform to convert physical objects into high resolution 3D models when it ships in October.
To demonstrate how it works, MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis scanned a tiger figurine and created an exact replica with a 3D printer:
The MakerBot Digitizer can be used for more than 3D printing. With the Digitizer software, users can scan in objects, make some adjustments and upload their new creations to Thingiverse for the world to see.
Of course, the Digitizer combined with Thingiverse does offer some new challenges in the world of copyright. Can MakerBot effectively police people scanning objects like copyrighted figurines and uploading them to Thingiverse? The Web site already does a pretty admirable job of removing this kind of content, but the Digitizer makes it much easier for people to share copyright protected physical objects.
Regardless, the Digitizer is an exciting product that fits nicely within MakerBots ever growing portfolio of accessible 3D printing technologies. I would say that it has little to no competition from other 3D scanners, but AIO Robotics announced a three-in-one 3D printer combo that comes complete with a 3D scanner. With this recent revelation, I wouldn't be surprised if MakerBot were to make their own three-in-one combo hardware as well.[Image: MakerBot]