3d printing, 3d scanning, makerbot, kinect, 3d model, modelAfter months of waiting, MakerBot has announced that its’ at-home 3D scanner will go on sale next week.

While there is no price tag on this 3D scanner asyet, we can already tell from its new, sleek design, that the Digitizer has seen some upgrades since it’s debut at SXSW.

According to a MakerBot email blast, the Digitizer is simply “the easiest, fastest way for anyone to create 3D models". While I can’t verify that fact immediately, I have used a Replicator before and if it’s anything like using their 3D printer, the Digitizer will be enthusiastically welcomed into people’s workflow.

Although details about the 3D Scanner are still short, MakerBot did include a list of the product’s features in its email:

•Simple, yet sophisticated software creates clean, watertight 3D models with just two clicks.

•Get a 3D digital design file in just minutes.

•No design skills, 3D modeling or CAD expertise required to get started.

•Outputs standard 3D design file formats that can be modified and improved in third-party 3D modeling programs, like Autodesk's free software MeshMixer.

•Easily upload your unique scans directly to Thingiverse.com.

While I’m tempted to just go out and grab one of these scanners, my main hesitation is that it appears the Digitizer will only scan really small objects. I can only speculate, but I bet the Digitizer will likely cost upward of $100, and at that price I can find a Microsoft Kinect to do the same quality of work.  Furthermore the Kinect can scan objects that are pretty large and they’ve already been hacked to work with sophisticated software.

Regardless of my opinion, MakerBot is doing everyone a great service by bring these product to market. Every time you can get an easy to use piece of advanced technology into someone’s home you’re bound to create exploration and discovery.

Image Courtesy of MakerBot

 

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