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

store.makerbot.com/digitizer.html / 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.




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 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!