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SXSW: MakerBot unveils 3D scanner

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By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

March 9, 2013 | 2 min read

MakerBot, a startup which unveiled a prototype of its first desktop 3D printer at the South by Southwest Interactive conference four years ago, has revealed a new prototype for a 3D scanner.

Bre Pettis, company co-founder and keynote speaker at SXSW, revealed the desktop device which scans small three-dimensional objects using two lasers and a webcam.

Pettis explained that it can be used for objects up to eight inches and takes just three minutes.

The data is then used to print out replicas of the object via a 3D printer.

Pettis demonstrated the 3D scanner, called The Digitizer, by printing shot glasses.

Pettis, who said the Digitizer could be used for archiving or replicating prototypes, models, parts, artifacts, sculptures and other objects, explained: "This is something you would envision being science fiction, but in fact, it is real -- and it is so cool.

“If something gets broken, you can just scan it and print it again."

Pettis went on to tell the 3,000 strong crowd that the scanner would be available to purchase this year, although he did not say how much it would cost.

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