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We’re excited about three new 3D scanners that debuted just too late to review in this issue. All three have a turntable that rotates the object for complete 360° scanning, and all claim to be easy to use, with custom software that creates water-tight scans ready for 3D printing.

Photo: Spencer Higgins

Photo: Spencer Higgins

MakerBot Digitizer / Available in the Maker Shed

Price $1,400
Object scan size 2″–8″×2″–8″ dia.
Resolution 0.5mm (0.0197″)
Scan time 12 minutes
OS supported Linux, Mac, Windows
File formats exported STL
Availability Now

The MakerBot Digitizer uses a camera and dual lasers to scan objects, capturing details down to 0.5mm. It spins the object twice — once for each laser — then combines the point clouds in software and, for MakerBot printer users, exports the 3D mesh straight into MakerWare for printing.

matterform scanner Preview: 3 Hot New Scanners


Price $579
Object scan size Up to 9.8″×7″ dia.
Resolution Details to 0.43mm, size to ±0.25mm
Scan time About 5 minutes
OS supported Mac, Windows
File formats exported STL, OBJ, and PLY (point cloud)
Availability Expected late November 2013

The sleek, dual-laser Matterform looks similar to MakerBot’s offering but at a much more maker-friendly price, and it promises the addition of full-color scanning, a moving camera head for capturing tricky angles, more file formats, and a clever portable case.

cadscan scanner Preview: 3 Hot New Scanners

CADScan Cubik

Price $1,125
Object scan size 0.4″–7.8″×0.4″–8.6″ dia.
Resolution 0.05mm—0.15mm (50—150 microns)
Accuracy ±50—150 microns
Scan time 15 minutes+
OS supported Linux, Mac, Windows
File formats exported STL, OBJ, PLY, Sketchfab
Availability Expected October 2013

CADScan’s Cubik senses depth with a “series of phase-shifted patterns” projected by LED arrays and captured by dual 5MP cameras. It’s their own patent-pending variant of structured-light scanning, and they’re promising much higher resolution than laser scanners, with full-color capture as well.

Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing 2014This review first appeared in MAKE’s Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing 2014, page 96. Check out the full issue for more!

Anna Kaziunas France

Digital Fabrication Editor of Maker Media.

She runs the digital fabrication hardware testing for Make:. She’s very interested in your ideas for practical digital fabrication focused books — anything that turns codes into things — hardware and software.

She’s also the Dean of the global Fab Academy program, the co-author of Getting Started with MakerBot, compiled the Make: 3D Printing book and ran the 2015 and 2014 3D Printer Shootout Weekend testing events.

She likes things that are computer-controlled, parametric, and open source — preferably all three.

Find her on her personal site, Twitter, , and Facebook.

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