Gizmos & Gadgets: 3D Desktop Scanning Makes Replicating 3D in Print a Lot Easier

There are many 3D printers on the market now and some of them are even affordable for home use. But making 3D models up to now has required CAD software and mastering engineering drawing is not everybody’s cup of tea. Enter two new products, the MakerBot Digitizer and the CADScan. Both not yet on the market but representing another technological leap in custom manufacturing at a micro level.

MakerBot’s prototype was demonstrated at a conference in Austin, Texas last week. And CADScan is on the Kickstarter site where the U.K. company is trying to raise £80,000 (about $120,000)  and look like they are going to succeed with just a little over £3,000 left to raise and 7 days to go.

These companies have two different pedigrees. MakerBot is already an established 3D printing company with several Replicator 3D printers on the market today. Based in Brooklyn, New York, MakerBot got started in 2009. The new scanner can handle objects as large as 28.4 x 15.2 x  15.5 centimeters (11.2″ x 6″ x 6.1″). At its debut at the South by Southwest event in Austin, no price was announced.

CADScan has a prototype and demonstrates it on the Kickstarter site. The company was founded in 2011 in Chester, United Kingdom. The inventors hope to raise enough money from Kickstarter to get their first product to market with an estimated sticker price of less than $1,000.  CADScan can take objects as large as 25 x 25 x 25 cm (10” x 10” x 10”) and scan them to create high quality CAD files in .STL, .PY, and .OBJ formats. These are the common files used by 3D printers. A typical CADScan scan takes about 5 minutes.

You can see what the current prototypes look like in the two images below. MakerBot with the company President demonstrating it is on the left and CADScan is to the right.


3D Scan Prototypes



Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...