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There’s a new concept floating around the 3D design and printing world, where makers leverage both in sort of a virtuous cycle. It starts with an object, either physical or digital. It’s built a certain way, and then scanned. In the digital space, it can be adapted, and then printed. Then, further modifications progress the project. And so on.

It’s a powerful concept, and today at MakerCon, HP’s Sprout division (a MakerCon and Maker Faire sponsor) announced a partnership with Dremel to help move toward a full-cycle approach. Dremel’s 3D printer, the thousand-dollar Idea Builder, was featured in Make:’s 3D printing issue last year, and performed well. (In fact, we have two in the Maker Media Lab. And an HP Sprout. Coincidence? Yes.)

“We think consumers wanted the ability to go to a store and buy a single solution, and we thought that Dremel was a great fit,” says Eric Monsef, head of immersion systems at HP. “So now, today, a customer can go to a store and buy an end-to-end solution.”


On stage, Monsef couldn’t resist sharing some of his other projects, including a Schwinn converted to electric, using lithium ion batteries housed in an old ammo box. “This also marks a cultural shift within HP,” he says.

“Sprout started out as a collection of hardware and software to try to deliver that 2D performance, but it grew into a 3D platform,” says Monsef. He took a sprout home, did a scan of his daughter’s face, used meshmixer to mix four of the faces, and printed it.

Sprout is also announcing a new application, called Stop Motion that takes advantage of Sprout’s downward-facing camera, and the way users can see both a digital image and the physical object simultaneously.

Interested in learning more? In January, we unboxed the Sprout.