Summary:

For less than $1,000, Fuel3D owners will be able to generate realistic 3D models of faces, flowers and any other object around them.

Fuel3D handheld 3D scanner images
photo: Fuel3D

You have a part that is broken and you want to 3D print a working replica. How do you create it? Traditionally, you would use a design program and build it by hand, which is time-consuming and difficult for a beginner. 3D scanners offer an alternative: Simply scan the original object and a replica is automatically generated.

Fuel3D, a handheld scanner that will cost less than $1,000, launched on Kickstarter Wednesday. On Thursday, it surpassed its goal of $75,000.

Fuel3D isn’t for just 3D printing. It’s also built for game developers, designers and artists–especially those who can’t afford more expensive options. It works similarly to a point-and- shoot camera and takes in information like color and texture. Scans taken with a prototype show the scanner can pick up a nice level of detail from objects like flowers and even human faces.

The first 50 backers will get the scanner for $750. Fuel3D expects to ship them in April 2014. Backers who paid $990 for just a scanner or $1,090 for a scanner bundled with software can expect to receive theirs in July 2014.

By the time they ship next year, Fuel3D will likely face a lot of competition. There will be cheaper options such as the Matterform, which was successful on IndieGoGo earlier this year. MakerBot is also planning a desktop scanner. The CADScan desktop 3D scanner reached its goal on Kickstarter earlier this year and is expected to ship in the next few months. Fuel3D will stand out because it is handheld, which gives it a maneuverability that a desktop system can’t match.

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