Is there such thing as an affordable laser printer? Well sure, even ones that print in color. What about a 3D scanner? Those tend to run several hundred dollars, and can easily creep into four-digit territory. So imagine what a color laser printer with 3D scanning functionality baked in would run. Conventional wisdom says such a device would cost and arm and a leg, but Hewlett Packard has something else in mind.
HP recently unveiled its TopShot LaserJet Pro M275, the company's very first color multi-function printer (MFP) with TopShot scanning that lets you scan, copy, and print from a single device. But what really sets this thing apart is it's capable of scanning 3D objects. Why would you want to do that? Here's the answer straight from the OEM's mouth:
As a 3D scanner, the M275 takes a series of snapshots consisting of three with flash from different angles and three without flash in ambient light conditions, and mashes them together. The result is a high definition 3D scan that you can upload directly to Web via HP's Scan Software.
As a standard 2D printer, the M275 is capable of up to 17ppm in black, up to 4ppm in color, and will spit out the first page in 16 seconds or less in black, and 27.5 seconds or less in color. It has a built-in 3.5-inch color tocuhscreen, 128MB of memory, an embedded ARM 11 processor, and robust connectivity options (USB 2.0, Wireless-N, and GbE LAN).
HP didn't announce a price, but at least one source is reporting this entry-level all-in-one 3D scanner / 2D printer will sell for under 300 Euros (around $409 USD).