A new Kickstarter project is set to launch the world's first all-in-one 3D copy machine that can scan, copy, print and even fax 3D objects. Sporting a 7-inch touchscreen and four easy to operate buttons, the Zeus is a stand alone machine that can work independent of both an internet connection and a desktop computer. So instead of running out to buy a hammer the next time you need one, you could simply scan your neighbors or have a friend fax across their hammer scan and print it out on your end.
3D printers are becoming more affordable especially with MakerBot's recent announcement about the Replicator 2 3D printer being made available through select Microsoft retail outlets in the US for a price of $2,549. However these machines only print 3D objects. The field is wide open for a machine that integrates 3D scanning, copying and faxing abilities in addition to printing and that's where AIO robotics plans to step in with Zeus.
Set to launch on September 4 at Kickstarter, the Zeus features an on-board computer and a 12-inch turntable. While there's little information available on the official site, posts made by the company on the RepRap forum, state how initial tests demonstrate the machine's ability to print at a 100 micron resolution or lower.
Created by Computer Science PhD students, Kai Chang and Jens Windau at the University of Southern California, who founded AIO robotics, the Zeus is touted to be easy for non-techies to use – even simpler than operating a household printer. Objects can be scanned on the Zeus thanks to the on-board computer and the data can be faxed over the internet if needed.
Though there isn't any firm word on the price, it's expected to be cheaper than getting a MakerBot Replicator and Digitizer scanner. More details are expected to be made available once it makes its debut at Kickstarter.