Makerbot Digitizer set for October release


August 26, 2013

MakerBot's Digitizer 3D scanner – gnome not included (Photo: Spencer Higgins)

MakerBot's Digitizer 3D scanner – gnome not included (Photo: Spencer Higgins)

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This March, MakerBot gave us a sneak preview of its Digitizer – a 3D scanner designed to create three-dimensional design files based on scans of physical objects. At the time, it was still in prototype form, and not many details were available. Now, however, it’s a done deal, with shipping expected to begin in mid-October.

The Digitizer features a turntable-style platform, which accommodates objects measuring up to 8 x 8 inches (20.3 cm), and weighing no more than 3 kg (6.6 lb). As the object is rotated on that platform, a camera and two lasers jointly scan all of its exterior surfaces.

After a few minutes and “just two clicks,” a smooth and complete 3D design file of the object (in a format of your choice) is automatically created. This can be used with one of MakerBot’s Replicators, or on any other type of 3D printer, to produce a physical model.

While the company states that no design skills or knowledge of modeling software is required to use the device, that would only apply to situations in which a direct copy of the scanned item were desired. If you wished to modify the file in any way (such as to add a handle to the printed version of the object, for instance), you would need to be at least a little proficient with some sort of CAD program.

The Digitizer is available now for pre-order, at a price of US$1,400 (an optional $150 support package can also be purchased). It can be seen in use in the video below.

Source: MakerBot

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Nice! Can't wait till October... :)

Edgar Castelo

Using an injection-molded plastic tiger to make 3-D printed tigers doesn't seem useful unless you are scaling them up or down for replication. The video might have been better if it showed how a handmade product can be scanned so that copies (or molds) could be made with other technologies.

Bruce H. Anderson

It seems all of the 3-D scanners and printers are designed for making toys and relatively useless junk.

Hope that someday there will be printers that can produce useful valuable objects such as industrial machine parts and pipe valves and fittings.

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