Saelig Company, Inc. announces the availability of the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, which uses laser line triangulation to scan an object to produce a ready-to-print 3D file usually without requiring any post-processing. It creates a digital 3D model of a physical object by taking a rapid sequence of pictures with a built-in camera as the object rotates automatically on a turntable. Two lasers, mounted on the left and right corners, create laser lines that profile the object as the camera takes image sequences. The included MakerWare for Digitizer software combines the images of the laser lines to create a point cloud. When the scan is complete, the software generates a viewable 3D mesh file for sending immediately to a MakerBot or other 3D printer, creating, in effect, a 3D copying machine.  

The industry-standard stereolithography (STL) files that are created are also compatible with almost any 3D modeling software. Ideal models for scanning are opaque objects larger than 2" cubed but smaller than 8" and weighing less than 6 pounds. Transparent objects, or ones that are shiny or reflective, very dark, or fuzzy are more challenging.  To produce optimum results, the MakerBot Digitizer's camera is fitted with a band-pass filter which rejects all wavelengths other than that of the laser, ensuring that the camera only records the laser lines on the object.  As the item is scanned, images are combined to create a detailed point cloud, which is then converted into a continuous mesh. The complete scanning process takes less than fifteen minutes. A calibration test object is also provided to insure that accurate scans are achieved by the software, which is compatible with Windows 7, Mac OSX v10.7, and Ubuntu Linux v12.04 or later versions.

  • ready-to-print 3D file
  • MakerWare for Digitizer software