MakerBot's New Digitizer: A 3d Scanner Will Arrive Next Week

MakerBot's New Digitizer: A 3d Scanner Will Arrive Next Week 

Makerbot is planning to launch its new 3D scanner called the "Digitizer" next week.  Using an onboard camera and two lasers, the Digitizer can create a 3D CAD model of any small object and then feed that blueprint to a Replicator 3D printer. First unveiled at this year’s SXSW, the device is able to turn small objects into 3D design files within a matter of minutes. This will allow DIY enthusiasts to quickly recreate items without the need to dabble in code.

The new Digitizer looks a bit sleeker than the model showcased at SXSW, with cleaner lines and a more user-friendly interface. The SXSW version is able to scan objects eight inches in height and width, and the latest incarnation is expected to have similar specifications. All scans are rendered in standard 3D files that are compatible with many modeling programs, such as Autodesk’s free MeshMixer.

Select-scan-print process for New Digitizer

There are three major reasons why MakerBot thinks the Digitizer will be a killer product:

1. The first is that the 3D scanner uses two lasers, as opposed to a single one, to scan objects with more detail (see image below).

New 3D scanner uses two lasers to scan objects

2. The second involves filling in missing data. As you can see in the image below, 3D-scanned objects often leave lots of holes. MakerBot's Digitizer automatically patches those holes up to make the scans usable for 3D printing.

New 3D scanner Automatically Fills Missing Data

3. Lastly, MakerBot says 3D models made with the Digitizer are highly scalable, meaning you can do things like scan a cat figurine and then print it out as a pair of earrings.

3D models made with the Digitizer are highly scalable

The outstanding features of the new 3D scanner:

  1. Simple, yet sophisticated software creates clean, watertight 3D models with just two clicks
  2. Get a 3D digital design file in just minutes
  3. No design skills, 3D modeling or CAD expertise required to get started
  4. Outputs standard 3D design file formats that can be modified and improved in third-party 3D modeling programs, like Autodesk's free software MeshMixer
  5. Easily upload your unique scans directly to
MakerBot has yet to name a price point, but it is hoped that pricing for the The MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner will likely be announced next week when the device goes on sale. It is also hoped that it will be comparable to their Replicator 2.

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Write by: RC - Saturday, August 17, 2013

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