Makerbot Brings Us One Step Closer To At-Home Replicators

If 3D printing wasn’t intriguing enough already (just check out our roundup), there’s now technology in the works that lets you scan and replicate a real-world device in 3D. MakerBot’s Bre Pettis made the announcement at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, where he said, “It’s a natural progression for us to create a product that makes 3D printing even easier. With the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, now everyone will be able to scan a physical item, digitize it, and print it in 3D – with little or no design experience.”

The scanner will work just as you’d expect: You place an object in the scanning area, let the machine take its readings, and then you can take the file and print it on a replicator. MakerBot didn’t reveal any technical details, but it did say that the scanning will use lasers and cameras.

MakerBot 3D scanner

The MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner is just a prototype at this point, but it’s not hard to imagine that it will soon join MakerBot’s 3D printers, MakerBot Thingiverse store, and software as products you can buy and use at home.