Read original story on: Wired
Last week, HP unveiled Sprout, its newest PC offering. It features “HP Illuminator,” a downward-facing camera/scanner/projector combo that allows a user to easily digitalize physical objects and manipulate digital projections on an accompanying touch mat, placed where a keyboard would normally be. Innovatively blending virtual and physical reality, Sprout is set to ship on November 9.
In related news, HP has also launched a new smart-watch that leans heavier on luxury design than smart features. The MB Chronowing, led by fashion designer Michael Bastian, looks fantastic but doesn’t have a touchscreen. Instead, it relies on a black and white LCD for simple email and text notifications, and three chunky side buttons for navigation. HP has partnered with online fashion retailer Gilt to exclusively launch this watch on Nov. 7.
3D printing services are coming for you. Arctec, a manufacturer of 3D scanners is showing the capability of an easy-to-find off-the-shelf scanner with its new Shapify.me service, which uses the Microsoft Kinect camera to scan your entire body. The service is somewhat imperfect, as lighting issues and the constant turning can create problems with the scan, but the scans appear to be useable. At the end of the process, a user can download his or her scan or pay for a print for $59. While this application is whimsical at best, it could represent how we use 3D scanning and printing in the future, by scanning with easy to use home-based hardware for off-site printing.
FABtotum is breaking the mold when it comes to 3D printing. By incorporating a milling head, the device supports both additive and subtractive manufacturing, and can be used for far more than the average home or office 3D printer. The device also supports third-party tool attachments, allowing expandable capability. Possibly the greatest addition to the FABtotum is its built-in 3D scanner which uses laser scanning and Z probing to create scans with a precision down to 0.47 microns. The project is currently raising funds on IndieGoGo, but with a final expected retail price of $1,099, it can be expected to be a hot commodity for those who have been waiting to pull the trigger on a Makerbot or similar 3D printer. The device’s expandable capability set and scanning functions only serve to make it an even more valuable asset.
MakerBot is now taking pre-orders for its MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, a laser-equipped 3D scanner that allows users to convert objects into digital 3D models. The device was initially announced in March at SXSW, and costs $1400, plus an aditional option for MakerBot’s $150 service and support program called Digitizer MakerCare. It works by using two lasers and a camera to scan objects up to 8 inches tall and 8 inches in diameter to turn them into several standard 3D design file formats. According to MakerBot, the process takes just a few minutes, and doesn’t require any design experience. Expect the product to ship in mid-october, and to make the 3D printing of most standard objects a reality.
MakerBot got things started in Austin, delivering a keynote from CEO Bre Pettis. With 3D printing on the rise, it’s not surprising MakerBot was the one to kick things off at this year’s SXSW festival. During the keynote, Pettis reiterated the dramatic changes in terms of access as printer prices have dropped from $100,000 to around $2,000. Also interesting is the release of MakerBot Digitizer, the latest printer that can complete high quality scans in a matter of minutes. The user won’t need any experience with the software to use the scanner, and MakerBot hopes to see it in schools, businesses, and the home alike. All of these developments bring 3D printing into the consumer space, allowing people print just about anything from spare car parts to Happy Meal toys
Stay tuned throughout the 14th for live coverage from SXSW including original interviews from some of the most compelling tech and media companies from this year’s festival.