MakerBot announced the new MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner prototype at the ongoing SXSW Interactive (March 8-17, 2013),. The new product will add to the company’s 3D Ecosystem that includes MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers, the MakerBot Store, Thingiverse.com, MakerWare, MakerCare, and the apps inside Thingiverse and the Customizer app.
What the company showed off at the ongoing event, i.e. MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, is currently a prototype model. MakerBot will now spend time testing, scanning, and 3D printing the items scanned with it.
So what do you want to print?
“We are super excited to announce at SXSW Interactive that we are developing the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner,” said Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. “It’s a natural progression for us to create a product that makes 3D printing even 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.”
MakerBot is a popular name in the 3D printing arena. Interestingly, Bre Pettis first announced MakerBot’s first generation 3D printer, the Cupcake CNC Desktop 3D Printer, four years ago at SXSW in Austin. The company released its fourth generation desktop 3D printer last fall with the introduction of the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer and the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer at CES 2013.
At SXSW Interactive, it was also announced that MakerBot will develop and market a companion to MakerBot’s Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner.
Pettis noted, “The MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner is an innovative new way to take a physical object, scan it, and create a digital file – without any design, CAD software or 3D modeling experience at all – and then print the item again and again on a MakerBot Replicator 2 or MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer.”
This new technology uses lasers and cameras to duplicate physical objects into 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 went on to note. “The MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner is a great tool for archiving, prototyping, replicating, and digitizing prototypes, models, parts, artifacts, artwork, sculptures, clay figures, jewelry, etc. If something gets broken, you can just scan it and print it again.”
The company believes that the new product will be used largely by those who always wanted to scan a physical object and then print it in 3D. To this end, the company expects the product to be used in businesses, universities, classrooms and in homs where anything 3D “can be digitised and reproduced at will”.