SxSW Interactive 3D Printing Update
Kyle Maxey posted on March 11, 2013 |

SxSW, Makerbot, Gigabot, FestivalHere in Austin, Texas, SxSW is in full swing, and at this year’s interactive portion of the festival, the technology everyone has been buzzing about has been 3D printing.

Two of the notable announcements that we’ve seen at the festival are Makerbot’s new 3D scanner and a new entry into the world of large-format 3D printer manufacturers.  

The MakerBot Digitizer
makerbot, digitizer, scanner, 3d scan

In the first keynote address of the festival, Bre Pettis announced that Makerbot is on the verge of entering the 3D scanning market with its “MakerBot Digitizer.” While still in the prototyping phase, Pettis used the platform to update festival goers about the company’s newest piece of hardware.

"We are super excited to be able to announce at SXSW Interactive that we are developing the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner," said Pettis. "It's a natural progression for us to create a product that makes 3D printing even easier. With the MakerBot Digitizer, now everyone will be able to scan a physical item, digitize it, and print it in 3D – with little or no design experience."

While most 3D printers are used to create new prototypes and experiments in design, Pettis believes that his “digitizer” fills a roll that’s much more commonplace… namely, replacing broken objects you have around the house, like say a shelving peg or a drawer’s handle. Whether people are willing to start wholesale copying products, still remains to be seen.


gigabot, large format, kickstarter

Austin-based re:3D’s goal is to make large-format 3D printing affordable and accessible for individual makers. Their printer, named the Gigabot, was originally created to be used in less developed countries to print composting toilets, rainwater collection containers and other various agricultural products.

re:3D now believes that their printer could also be put to use by makers, hackers and small businesses around the world. The company has recently setup a Kickstarter campaign to get their 3D printer company started.

Currently, models of the Gigabot have a 24” x 24” x 24” volume and are capable of printing both PLA and ABS filament at a 100-micron layer resolution.

In addition to building printers, re:3D is developing technology in closely related fields. According to re:3D’s website, “re:3D is also at the forefront of material science, developing novel printer feedstock including cost-efficient recyclables and enriched composites.”

Watch re:3D’s Kickstarter Video:

Images and Video Courtesy of MakerBot and re:3D

Recommended For You