Tag Archives: 3D scanner

When Will We See 3D Printers Make Their Way Into Our Homes?

3D printing has hype and controversy, but what about adoption?

This is a guest post by UK-based Laser Lines Ltd, whose bio is at the end of the article.

Earlier this year it was announced that Maplin Electronics would be the first UK retailer to stock a home 3D printer. With all the hype and controversy surrounding this technology, it’s left many wondering if 3D printers will be the next big gadget to make their way into every home.

3D printing is the process of printing layers of material, usually plastic, on-top of one another to build up a 3D object. The Velleman K8200, which retails at £700, allows customers to 3D print any object they want from the comfort of their home, from a chess piece to mobile phone case. The plastics come in red, black, white, orange, green, yellow and pink, costing £30 for 1kg of the resin. Certainly an interesting addition to any home office but isn’t this a rather expensive way of reproducing items that would ordinarily cost just a few pounds?

The idea of everyday consumers being able to access 3D printers has already caused controversy in the US following the announcement of printable handgun blueprints online. The handgun, which would have been made from plastic if successfully produced in this way, could have gone undetected by standard security scanner.

3D Printed Gun Liberator

Another widespread concern about 3D printers in the home is the likelihood of copyright infringement through the reproduction of products. Users would potentially be able to produce a 3D scan of a product and then using this scan blueprint re-create the object precisely at home.

Outside of the home however, 3D printing technology has been having far greater success. Manufacturers are able to benefit from quick prototype production, enabling sketched concepts to be swiftly tried and tested. The aerospace industry has already started producing fully functional parts via 3D print technology too, with NASA known for their frequent use of the procedure to make lightweight engine and shuttle parts. 3D printing has the potential to completely transform production supply chains, particularly when it comes to producing small parts that would have usually been shipped from one manufacturer to another.

NASA Space 3D Printing

There are incredible medical implications of this printing process too. Professionals believe that, ultimately, 3D printers could be produced to print living materials in place of plastics. Layering cells alongside a medical scaffolding substance called hydrogel, it should be possible to print the basis of human organs such as a liver or kidney, before leaving them to grown into the fully formed structure. Soon it will also be possible to print sophisticated human tissue specifically for pharmaceutical testing – which means risk free clinical testing and trials (though again a hugely controversial idea).

Organovo Pink Sheets Secondary 3D Printing

In conclusion, perhaps 3D printers will see their way into the homes of those who can afford such a novelty, but for the time being the real advantages will be found in manufacturing on professional scale machines. Even then 3D printing has a long way to go before it’s embraced by everyone.

About the author: This article is written by UK-based Laser Lines Ltd, a bespoke 3D printing company that have been providing 3D printing solutions for over 20 years. Visit their website to browse through their collection.

Laser Lines Ltd 3D Printing

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Radiant Fabrication Wants to Be the iTunes of 3D Printing

Radiant Fabrication Announces Lionhead, an All-In-One 3D Scanner and 3D Printer, Coming to Market in October

What Apple’s iTunes did for music, Wisconsin-based Radiant Fabrication is hoping to do for 3D printing. In 2001, Apple debuted it’s “Rip. Mix. Burn.” ad campaign which featured a young man asking famous musicians from a broad array of genres if they could perform for his mixed CD. With it’s new CD-RW hardware and iTunes software, Apple made it easy for anyone to rip a library of CDs, then select a variety of tracks and burn a new mix. Below is Apple’s 2001 ad.

Fast forward to 2013, when copy-and-paste of real-world objects is slowly becoming a reality thanks to technology like the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner and Fuel3D Handheld 3D Scanner. But there is still a problem: getting a design from 3D scanner to 3D printer.

Radiant Fabrication Lionhead Bunny

Introducing Lionhead All-In-One 3D Scanner and 3D Printer

Today, Radiant Fabrication announced Lionhead™, the first consumer-level 3D printer to incorporate printing and 3D scanning into a single device packaged with Radiant Li™, an intuitive and powerful 3D modeling software.

“We created the Lionhead and Li to streamline the 3D printing experience, allowing consumers to model, edit, print, and scan from one piece of software and hardware,” said Nathan Patterson, Radiant’s co-founder and president. “Together, it means that consumers spend less time and money learning complex software packages and maintaining their printer, and more time using and refining their ideas.”

The Lionhead is designed to be reliable, easy to use, and faster by automating common tasks and printing with multiple printheads simultaneously. The included Radiant Li editor uses controls similar to popular video games, like Minecraft, to make creating and modifying models simple and intuitive. For the first time, an integrated scanner and Li software simplifies recreating and modifying real world objects. Users can press the Scan button, place an object on the Lionhead printing platform, and close the doors. In a few minutes, a copy of the object will be ready in Li for any improvements to be made and one click of the Print button starts the printing process.

“While the market for 3D printing is estimated to triple by 2018, 3D printing adoption has been limited to engineers, designers, and hobbyists due to a steep learning curve,” a company spokesperson said. “Users have needed strong technical knowledge and skills to model objects using complex software such as Maya or SolidWorks and then print and maintain their 3D printers. Today, Radiant Fabrication is making 3D fabrication accessible by providing a complete and seamless 3D printing, scanning, and modeling workflow.”

If successful, the Lionhead’s simplified approach could broaden adoption of 3D technology, giving a large base of non-technical consumers a way to access the world of 3D printing, much in the way that Apple created an onramp for non-technical users to build digital libraries of music.

Here’s a photo gallery of the Lionhead Bunny, with front doors both open and closed.


Going to the Bank of Kickstarter

Like other companies before it, Radiant Fabrication is going to the bank of Kickstarter, i.e., crowdfunding, to raise money for bringing its initial systems to market.

The company will launch its Kickstarter campaign this month to introduce its printer/scanner to the SMB and consumer markets, gather user feedback, and raise funds to expedite delivery of enhanced full production systems. Upon reaching its Kickstarter goal, Radiant Fabrication will start shipping Lionhead Bunny (beta) systems in October 2013.

Follow @On3DPrinting on Twitter or Like Us on Facebook for the latest news on Radiant Fabrication’s Kickstarter campaign when it launches.

Radiant Fabrication will offer their four printhead Lionhead Bunny (beta) printer/scanners for $1,649.

3D Scanning and 3D Design

In the video below, company president Nathan Patterson demonstrates how 3D design works in their voxel-based software Radiant Li, available for Mac and Windows.

And in this next video, Patterson shows off the 3D scanner baked into Lionhead.

The product uses silhouette scanning, which takes photos at different angles and compares to a calibration photo to build the 3D model. Voxels are created at 0.5mm resolution. The scan literally takes less than 1 minute as shown in the video.


Learn more at www.radiantfabrication.com.

Top 3D Printing News Last Week: Medical List, Fuel3D Kickstarter, More

3D Printing News

A roundup of the top 3D printing news from August 26 to September 1:

3D Printing Medical Heart The Body Shop

Tuesday, August 27

Wednesday, August 28

Friday, August 30

Sunday, September 1 

Fuel3D Handheld 3D Scanner Closes in on $300,000 Kickstarter Funding

3D scanner captures consumer and investor interest with low-cost device for 3D printing enthusiasts, games developers and 3D designers

Earlier this month, we wrote about Fuel3D, a handheld 3D scanner for less than $1,000 that had been growing on Kickstarter.

The company achieved its initial campaign goal in 2 days. With 4 days left to go, the project has raised nearly $300,000.

Fuel3D is an affordable handheld 3D scanner that delivers high resolution shape and color capture for a range of 3D modeling applications, such as 3D printing, 3D art and 3D game development. At an expected final market price of $1,500, its imminent arrival heralds a new price point in handheld 3D scanning technology, which typically sees products retail for $15,000 and above. Kickstarter backers still have up to 3:00pm EDT on Sunday September 1st, to purchase the Fuel3D scanner from $990.

Fuel3D Joshua Harker Kickstarter Cover

“We have been delighted by the reaction to our Kickstarter campaign, which has been a huge validation of our vision for bringing a lower-cost 3D scanning option to the masses,” said Stuart Mead, CEO, Fuel3D. “We have vastly surpassed our initial goal and have received many orders from our core US and UK markets and beyond – as far afield as Australia and Japan. We have been inundated by approaches from distribution partners and technical collaborators, and the interest from venture capital companies and even national defense organizations tells me that we’re really on to something.”

“Thanks to Kickstarter feedback, we think that offering automated stitching of multiple scans to create 360 degree models is the most useful feature that we could add into the product bundle,” added Mead.

Fuel3D: A handheld 3D scanner for less than $1000

In a recent development, Fuel3D and Uformia will aim to develop automatic stitching of multiple scans as a standard feature in Uformia’s MeshUp software in time for the launch of the Fuel3D scanner. This capability will allow users to take multiple shots of a subject and then the software will automate “stitching” them together to create a complete 360 degree 3D model.

After achieving its stretch goal of $250,000, the company has now committed to adding a tripod mount to its final design, as well as the ability to trigger the camera direct from the laptop or computer, both of which have been suggested by pledgers.

For more information, visit www.fuel-3D.com

MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner Goes On Sale for $1400, Video from Bre

MakerBot Digitizer 3D Scanner Bre Pettis

MakerBot’s Desktop 3D Scanner Now Available for Sale

MakerBot, the New York-based desktop 3D printer startup that was recently acquired by Stratasys for $403 million, now officially has a new product line: desktop 3D scanners.

Their first product is called the MakerBot Digitizer, and is now available for sale. The price tag: $1400, plus an optional $150 for a MakerCare Service Plan. We covered the features of the 3D scanner last week, and here are more details.

“It’s a powerful and elegant tool for turning physical objects into digital designs,” said MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis.”You put something on the turntable, and it turns. Lasers shoot at it,” Pettis explained. “It’s a powerful tool that’s going to give you a whole new way of looking at things.”

MakerBot Digitizer 3D Scanner

Benefits of the MakerBot Digitizer

Professionals can create 3D models without having to start from scratch. Home users can explore the frontier of 3D scanning and then print them on a 3D printer or share on Thingiverse.

You can order the MakerBot Digitizer here.

Here’s a video from CEO Bre Pettis announcing the MakerBot Digitizer.

MakerCare Service Plan

In addition to purchasing the 3D scanner, MakerBot is offering a service option, called the MakerCare Service Plan for $150. MakerCare is designed to make your MakerBot Digitizer ownership experience as smooth as possible. The plan lasts a full year from the order ship date of your MakerBot Digitizer. If anything goes wrong with your MakerBot Digitizer during that time, you can contact the MakerBot Support team to identify the source of the trouble. The Support team will provide any replacement parts necessary, or arrange for you to ship your MakerBot Digitizer back to the company for repair.