Earlier this month we learned that MakerBot has a 3D scanner in the works for hobbyists looking to scan objects for output on 3D printers. However, the company didn't offer pricing or release information. It's looking like MakerBot may want to put a rush on things, because a new company has announced its own very affordable 3D scanner that's just about ready to hit the market.
Created by Canada-based Matterform, the Photon is an attractive little 3D scanner that allows even beginners to quickly scan existing objects in high resolution and then transfer those digital scans to a 3D printer for modification and output back into the real world. Photon 3D scanner is beautifully designed with simple lines and a small footprint that is reminiscent of an old portable record player, and rather than relying on a Kinect, it uses actual frikkin' lasers to make it scans.
When not in use, the Photon folds up into a slick case that makes the device extremely portable, but the most attractive aspect of the Photon is certainly its price: just $399, which is about the cost of a mid-level iPad mini. The product is currently up for grabs on Indiegogo, and early backers will start receiving their devices as soon as July.
For all others interested, the Photon will be widely available in August, and you can see it in action in the video below.