Upstart $200 Rubicon 3D Scanner Looks To Compete With MakerBot

MakerBot debuted its Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, an intriguing machine that costs $1,400, but an upstart competitor is working on a device called the Rubicon 3D Scanner that will cost a mere $200.

The Rubicon uses a webcam (which is not actually included with the scanner) that takes a series of photos with the device’s lasers on and off; the turntable rotates 0.45 degrees 800 times to get the full image, and the whole process takes about 3 minutes. It can accommodate objects as large as 160mm in diameter and 250mm in height.

Rubicon 3D Scanner

The fellow behind the project, Robert Mikelson, appears to have run everything on Windows, so its unclear if there will be support for Linux or Macs. He’s raising funds on Indiegogo, and he’s already blown past the $25,000 he was looking to raise, with over a month left in the campaign.

Rubicon 3D Scanner

The idea of an inexpensive desktop 3D scanner is tantalizing, but we’ll temper our expectations until we see something like this in action. The Rubicon appears to be the work of one guy, and he’s still prototyping his machine. Clearly, he’s not spending much (anything?) on marketing, and it remains to be seen if his software is any good or if the Rubicon delivers acceptable scanning quality.

But hey, the tech world is littered with brilliant nobodies that developed the Next Big Thing that was better than whatever huge companies at the time were coming up with, so who knows.