3D Systems Sense review: a 3D scanner for the masses (almost)

If we’ve crossed paths in the past week, there’s a pretty good chance I’ve scanned you. This extends well beyond the human race, into the realms of animal, vegetable, plush toy and fruit bowl. Some subjects were too small to be scanned, some too fidgety and, in the case of my attempted 3D selfie, not nearly flexible enough. Such issues were mere roadblocks in my strange one-man journey to 3D-scan the world. I may have a problem. I admit it. For starters, I’m not completely sure what I plan on doing with all these scans, but while such questions are entirely logical, they’ve yet to curb my enthusiasm for the device. Sense is one of those propositions that seems too good to be true: a user-friendly, (relatively) portable 3D scanner capable of capturing objects up to 10 feet by 10 feet, and at a fraction of the price of the competition.

If the product is indeed what 3D Systems claims, it could fill a major hole in the consumer 3D-printing market. In recent years, 3D-printing companies have largely focused on the printers themselves, which have gotten cheaper and easier to use. At the same time, the race to dominate the category has often caused companies to ignore the question of how those without extensive CAD experience can create 3D files in the first place. MakerBot unveiled its solution back at SXSW: the $1,400 Digitizer, a rotating, desktop scanning bed capable of capturing objects up to eight inches by eight inches. 3D Systems’ Sense takes a wholly different approach: This is a $400 handheld scanner that can digitize an entire human being.%Gallery-slideshow123207%

Filed under: Peripherals


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