Undeniably fun: Now one new additive-manufacturing printer scans objects and makes copies on the fly. Announced late last week at South by Southwest, MakerBot's Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner turns objects while twin lasers shine down on its surface. A camera tracks the shapes illuminated by the lasers, send the information to a PC or Mac, and a CAD file is created. From there, the file is sent to a plastic-filament extruder.
The design will be released later this year, but that just gives creative types time to decide what they'll replicate. On my list: Replacement boat air scoops wickedly overpriced at the marine store, and an old pair of clogs too beat up to wear, but too cool to throw away. Can small pets be scanned, too?