Though the photocopier was once viewed as a revolutionary piece of technology, the new Digitizer scanner from MakerBot Industries turns objects into duplicate 3D models. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
It was around 1960 when Xerox wowed the world with a machine called a photocopier that could make a duplicate of any printed piece of paper.
Now, people can say they were alive in the fall of 2013, when MakerBot unveiled a machine that could make a duplicate of just about everything else.
MakerBot, one of the leaders in the 3D printing space, is now offering the Digitizer scanner, which the company says is the perfect complement to its Replicator printers.
"One of the hardest things of 3D printing was designing 3D models, and the MakerBot Digitizer really solves that problem by providing an easy and fast way to make a 3D model," says MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis. "You can make something, design something, model something, put it on the turntable here, the lasers will shoot at it and in less than 12 minutes, you'll have a 3D model that you can print out on your Makerbot Replicator 2."
So far, the only real limitation to the Digitizer is that the objects it scans have to be no more than eight inches high or wide.
With the release of this new device, the day when 3D printers become as common as paper printers in homes may be approaching.
"I think this could really explode the other half of 3D design," says Glenn Derene from Popular Mechanics Magazine. "In other words, 3D printing has really brought the idea of taking 3D digital objects and making them solid. This is the other half of that, and it's really going to popularize the notion of just taking anything and making it a digital object."
The Digitizer isn't the first 3D scanner on the market, but it can be argued it is the first device to make it easy and affordable enough for anyone interested to try and buy one.
Available for pre-order now, the Digitizer will hit shelves in October for $1,400.
The Replicator 2 3D printer, which has been out for a while now, costs around $2,200.