MakerBot is already one of the biggest names in desktop 3D printing, and now the company plans to expand into scanning. CEO Bre Pettis announced the arrival of the Digitizer this week at the Austin’s SXSW Interactive. The scanner consists of a turntable upon which you can mount small objects that can then be scanned by lasers and be digitized into computer files. Easier than writing code from scratch, the new device could be joined with a suite of printers and filament fabricators to create a small-scale design studio in the home.

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Able to scan objects 8 inches around to 8 inches high, the Digitizer 3D scanner is the newest addition to the MakerBot “ecosystem” of machines. It effectively eliminates the need to create CAD files to replicate real-world objects, and instead relies on lasers to create points on the surface of the item, which are wrapped to fashion a 3D model.

“If you’ve seen Tron, this is kind of like what happens when Flynn gets digitized into the game grid,” explained Pettis to the SXSW audience. “And then it makes it into a 3D model. Then you can make as many copies as you need.”

The Digitizer is still in the development phase, but should be available for order in the fall. The price has not yet been released, but those interested in signing up for more information about the Digitizer can head over to the MakerBot website for more details.

+ MakerBot

Via Make