Skip to main content

$443 3D scanner on sale: “Looks awesome. Shoots lasers.”


Weeks after 3D printing startup Makerbot announced that it would be selling a 3D scanner, a Canadian startup called Matterform has upped the ante: a C$450 ($443) “Photon 3D Scanner.”
Since it was announed late last month in pre-sale on Indiegogo (with an introductory price of C$350), the product has generated crazy levels of interest. The Toronto pair that makes up Matterform set out to raise C$81,000. Now with three weeks left in the fundraiser, the two have
already raised more than C$228,000 ($224,500). (By comparison, the NextEngine 3D scanner currently sells for $3,000.)
“We built [the Photon 3D Scanner] in mind for anyone with a 3D printer,” Drew Cox, one of Matterform’s co-founders, told Ars. “It’s a less complicated machinery [than a printer]. It doesn’t have the same amount of moving parts that a 3D printer has. There’s a rigidity that printers need to have. We don’t have to have a lot of weight. When it comes to price, it just ended up being [relatively low-cost].”

Inexpensive 3D printer creator says he’s a fan, too

 The Photon 3D can scan objects up to 190mm × 190mm × 250mm (an object with a 5-inch diameter and 9.75-inch height would fit the bill). The bundled software can export in STL, OBJ, and point cloud PLY formats. The description says it can scan an object in “around three minutes” on average.
“Currently the resolution of the Photon, on a 4-inch figurine, is 0.43mm @ 0.5 degree scans, with an accuracy of +/- .2mm,” the description adds.
“The resolution that we’re getting exceeds any of the resolutions that anyone can get with any home 3D printer that’s out there right now,” Cox argued.
The former video game programmer said he was pleasantly surprised about how popular the scanner has become, and he and his co-founder decided to raise the price to C$450 to afford hiring a third employee. ”There’s only so much we can do with two people,” Cox said, adding that Matterform is considering taking on more workers.
For now, the Photon 3D has made waves in the smaller, entrepreneur-focused end of the 3D printing world. Backers include Diego Porqueras, the owner of the Deezmaker 3D printer retail store and the designer of the forthcoming “Bukito” printer set to retail for around $700.
“I’m a backer—it looks really promising,” Porqueras told Ars. “We’re definitely keeping an eye out for that.”
He added that since announcing the $600 “Bukobot” last year, he’s been overwhelmed with orders and has been struggling to keep up. Currently, there are around 100 to 200 in the wild. Still, he’d love to see his Bukobot, or the new Bukito, bundled with the Photon 3D.
“We [definitely need good] 3D scanning. I’ve seen a lot but none of them have been good from start to finish,” he said. “It might scan well, but the software... If they can package that nicely it would be a huge thing. We haven’t found anything really good yet.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LG’s first flexible OLED phone due before the year is out

LG plans to launch a flexible OLED smartphone before the end of the year, the company’s VP of mobile has confirmed, though it’s unclear to what extent the work-in-progress handset will actually flex. The OLED panel in question is the handiwork of LG Display according to VP of LG mobile Yoon Bu-hyun, the WSJ  reports, with the proposed device set to launch sometime in Q4. LG Display’s work on flexible OLEDs has been underway for some time, though the company’s efforts have perhaps been overshadowed somewhat by rival Samsung’s YOUM development. Last year, according to a Korea Times report, LG Display was preparing for

Syrian Electronic Army claims credit for CBS Twitter accounts hack

Yesterday, several of CBS ’s Twitter accounts were hacked, including its main account, and its accounts for 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, and CBS Denver. The hackers got into the account and tweeted a series of things relating to President Obama and the United States being in cahoots with Al-Qaeda . The tweets also had links that led users to malware-infested sites. While CBS was able to regain access to its accounts, it was unable to figure out who was behind the attacks, until now. The Syrian Electronic Army , the same group that hacked 3 of the BBC’s Twitter accounts, claimed

Can Technology Do a Better Job of Finding Bombs?

 With the horrifying images of the Boston Marathon bombing still much too fresh in our minds, and with citywide marathons coming up this weekend in London, Hamburg, and Salt Lake City , law enforcement officers and citizens everywhere are asking how to prevent the tragedy from being repeated. As Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs adjunct professor Abraham Wagner observed last year, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, there’s “no magic bullet o