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NextEngine 3D Laser Scanner, NextEngine, $2,995

The NextEngine represents the low end of the “pro-grade” 3D scanner market, and though it is an order of magnitude more expensive than Kinect + ReconstructMe, it is also much more accurate and precise, especially at smaller scales. If you’re looking to duplicate mechanical parts or other intricate objects smaller than, say, an adult hand, a laser-line scanner is the way to go. The NextEngine boasts full color scanning, up to 0.005 inch accuracy, up to 400 data points per square inch, two minute capture times, and no inherent size limitations (besides field-of-view) on scanned objects.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.

In the Maker Shed

2012 Holiday Gift Guide – 3D Printers