The New York Times has a pretty good round up of way to do 3-D printing, some cheap(er) and some expensive… (Pictured here, a LEGO spaceship – Marty Katz for The New York Times)
Over the last few decades, the electronics industry has worked magic with documents by building gadgets that copy, e-mail, print or fax flat images. Now it is building boxes that do something similar with three-dimensional objects.
These tools are not news to the industrial designers of the world, who have been able to buy 3-D printers and scanners with prices in the tens of thousands of dollars. But now hobbyists and small businesses are starting to benefit from low-cost versions of the tools.
Laser scanners with arrays of cameras can create digital models of objects that encode all the significant bumps, cracks, corners and facets of real things. Computers can enhance, morph or tweak the models before shipping them to 3-D printers that may be halfway around the world. The result is a new version of the thing itself, but built from some resin or starch.
Beaming Up 3-D Objects on a Budget – New York Times – Link.