MakerBot has unveiled digitizer technology to go with its 3D printer. The MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner can scan in objects so they can be used as 3D designs for your MakerBot printer. MakerBot says the digitizer can digitize an object - and turn it into a high quality 3D model - in as little as three minutes.
Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, said in the announcement, "We are super excited to announce at SXSW Interactive that we are developing the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner. It's a natural progression for us to create a product that makes 3D printing even easier. With the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, now everyone will be able to scan a physical item, digitize it, and print it in 3D - with little or no design experience."
The device uses cameras and lasers to build a 3D model of objects. The digitzer is expected to launch this fall. The digitizer and 3D printer combination is potentially disruptive to certain companies, such as makers of plastic plates, cups and plastic toy figurines, providing the plastic filament does not prove to more costly than it is to simply buy the products pre-made from a store.
The Verge reports that MakerBot says it biggest customer so far is NASA. This pleases the MakerBot CEO. Pettis told Verge, "Our biggest customer is NASA, which just makes the nerd in me so happy. They can make cheap prototypes on our machines before using their high end one."
Here is a report on the MarketBot digitzer from The Verge. A short video of the MakerBot press event at SXSW can be seen here. Take a look: