While 3D printers are gradually becoming more popular, their possibilities are limited if you lack the skills to create custom 3D models. This has led to a surge in the development of user-friendly 3D software, as well as affordable 3D scanners that can digitize real world objects. Matterform's Photon 3D scanner is the latest and most affordable example to be launched via a successful crowdfunding campaign.
The Photon 3D scanner – which scans objects using a high definition camera and dual laser lines – is relatively small, so it can only handle objects up to 190 x 190 x 250 mm (7.5-inch diameter x 9.75-inch height). Matterform says that the scanner is user-friendly (requiring minimal set-up) and can scan objects in as little as three minutes. The scanned object data can then be output in the usual file formats (.STL, .OBJ, and point cloud .PLY), which can be imported for use on 3D printers or 3D modeling software.