3D printing is awesome, but not without its drawbacks. For one, if you want to copy an existing object of yours, you have a bit of a challenge in front of you. You can either get to work on a 3D CAD program and recreate the piece, but that requires skills the average consumer doesn’t have. Or, you can scan it. 3D Scanners can be expensive though, which is why we’re impressed with the CowTech Ciclop by Jason Smith. It’s a kit that contains almost everything you need to made a scanner; what it doesn’t come with can be printed with your existing 3D printer. Included in your $99 are “lasers, a stepper motor, webcam, acrylic parts, CowTech-designed Arduino shield, Uno development board, power supply, and USB cord.” Features of this scanner include 0.5mm scan resolution, adjustable scan time (2-8 minutes), and a magnetic back cover for easy access to the electronics. Keep in mind this is an open-source project, and you will still need to have some basic knowledge of post processing programs to be able to take the point cloud file the scanner outputs and convert it to a .STL file that most printers can handle. Still, at $99 to be able to photocopy your objets, we think the CowTech Ciclop is a welcome addition to this burgeoning field.
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