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MakerBot on Thursday opened pre-orders for the MakerBot Digitizer, a 3D desktop scanner that will go hand-in-hand with your MakerBot Replicator 3D printer. The scanner, which was first announced back in March, will allow users to create digital files of physical objects in exchange for $1,400 of your hard-earned money.
Simply place an object on the turntable and power up the Digitizer. From there, a series of lasers will scan the surface of the object and turn the data into a 3D file. The entire process takes about 12 minutes or so at which time you'll have a fully editable file to do with as you wish on your computer.
There are a few limitations to be aware of, however. For example, the machine is only capable of scanning devices that weigh 6.5 pounds or lighter and you'll want to use the machine in a well-lit room. But these issues pale in comparison to the great big elephant in the room that will seemingly be addressed sooner or later - copyright questions.
How exactly will MakerBot deal with the inevitable onslaught of intellectual property questions associated with the Digitizer? And by that, I specifically mean, what will happen when people start scanning and reproducing things for which they don't own the rights to? Trust me, it will happen.
For now, they aren't saying much really. In a FAQ on the company's website, they point out that the MakerBot Digitizer is a new technology in a new frontier. Pretty vague, eh?