The world's first compact 3D printer that can also scan items into digitised models has been developed. The user-friendly device, named the Blacksmith Genesis, allows users without much knowledge of 3-D software to scan any item, then edit the digitised model on the computer and print it out in 3-D.
The all-in-one 3D printer and scanner whose production was financed through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, was recently unveiled at the American Association Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in San Jose, California.
Nanyang Technological University's (NTU Singapore) start-up Blacksmith Group developed the high-tech device which is housed in a black aluminium casing and weighs 6 kilograms. The device features a 2-inch LCD display, Wi-Fi, an integrated SD-card reader and a USB connection for instant printing.
Blacksmith Genesis uses an innovative rotary platform for its printing and scanning, unlike other commercial 3D printers, its makers say. The patent-pending revolving platform allows for true 360-degrees scanning, and can print items up to 6,650 cubic centimetre, twice the size of those printed by other similar-sized 3D printers in the market.
With a fine resolution of 50 micrometres, the reproductions will be twice as detailed compared to other compact 3D printers. Scanning of objects with its 5 megapixel camera takes only six minutes, twice as fast as other 3D scanners in the market.
Blacksmith Genesis is also the first to feature remote live monitoring and automatic error detection thanks to its in-built camera. This allows users to monitor and control the printing process on their smartphone from anywhere in the world through the Internet.
The device is the brainchild of Blacksmith Group's founders, NTU engineering graduate Dr Alex Pui Tze Sian and Fang Kok Boon. Fang, CEO of Blacksmith Group, said their aim is to make 3D printing easy and accessible to the average consumers. The Blacksmith Genesis is priced at USD 2,200.