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Shoot and print: 3D printers to include scanners

Shoot and print: 3D printers to include scanners

Scanning printers will allow users to copy objects on the fly

XYZprinting, the startup that just released its first $US499 3D printer, plans to incorporate scanning technology in future iterations.

According to Gary Shu, senior manager of market development at XYZprinting, the company hopes to begin selling the scanning printer by the end of this year.

The built-in scanner will allow users to place an object in the printer, create a 3D image of it and then print that object out.

The company is also working on developing a more sophisticated printer and even cheaper models than its just-released da Vinci 1.0. "I think within a year, we'll have printers for a few thousand dollars and ones that are even less than $500," he said.

XYZ's 3D printer line currently includes the da Vinci 1.0, 2.0 and 2.1, which are priced at $499, $649 and $849, respectively.

The da Vinci 2.0 is expected to be on sale in July and the 2.1 model is expected to begin selling in the third quarter of this year. The 2.0 and 2.1 version of the da Vinci have dual printer heads in order to print more than one color filament at the same time.

The da Vinci 2.1 also has a 5-in. display with Wi-Fi that allows users to download CAD drawings to print, and will eventually also allow users to upload drawings to XYZprinting to have the company print the designs for them.

One major upgrade the company is hoping to add to its line is improved speeds with which the printers can churn out products. For example, printing a rook for a chess set can today take three hours.

"Our aim is to improve the speed, quality and usability of our printers," Shu said. "Also, we're hoping to add different applications...and 3D scanners are a hot topic right now."

Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com.

Read more about emerging technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.

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