A British has inventor has unveiled the ultimate Star Trek gadget – a £650 handheld scanner that could be used to copy almost any item.
The Fuel3D scanner, originally developed at Oxford University, can capture everything from a flower’s petals to the contours of human skin.
It is able to capture images in seconds, and they can then be sent to a computer for processing.
When combined with a 3D printer, it could be used to create 3D copies of everything from broken parts to 3D portraits.
‘The explosion of 3D printing and the continued expansion of the games market means that there is an increasing demand for 3D scanning products that capture high resolution 3D data,’ said Stuart Mead, the head of Fuel3D Inc, the firm using the Kickstarter site to raise money for the scanner.
‘With Fuel3D, our goal is to bring high quality 3D scanning to a wider market by making it available at an affordable price-point.’
Experts say the scanner could kickstart the popularity of home 3D printers.
‘Right now, a large obstacle to 3D printing adoption is the difficulty in producing the digital 3D models required,’ said Roger Chang, CEO, Pirate 3D, a 3D printing firm.