MakerBot, leader of affordable 3D-printing, has revealed its Digitizer, which scans in objects for easy creation of 3D models

MakerBot’s Digitizer 3D scanner makes modeling real-life objects in 3D quick and easy

MakerBot, the company known for affordable 3D-printing, has launched its Digitizer scanner, which turns real-life objects into 3D models.

The long-awaited device has finally gone on sale on MakerBot’s website, with preorders due to ship in October.

The Digitizer, which costs $1,400, takes a real-life object and scans it using a combination of a camera and two lasers. The roughly 12-minute process spins the object (which can weigh up to three kilograms and be up to eight-inch tall) around on the eight-inch diameter plate and models it directly onto a connected computer.

The Digitizer is designed to make modeling easy, meaning any objects that meet the requirements can be duplicated using a 3D printer, such as MakerBot’s own Replicator models. The scanned object can also be manipulated in third-party modelling software, or uploaded to MakerBot’s Thingiverse, where models for printing are shared with the 100,000 members of Thingiverse’s 3D-printing community.

As with MakerBot’s printers, which cater for home users as well as businesses by being affordable and reliable, the Digitizer is said by the CEO of MakerBot, Bre Pettis, to be ‘focused on [being] super easy to use, intuitive and simple.’

Pettis added that new features and capabilities would be added to the Digitizer in the future via software updates.

As 3D printing becomes cheaper and easier for everyday users, devices and software is becoming more and more prevalent, with Microsoft announcing this week that Windows 8.1 would feature support for native 3D printing.

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