The future, as they say, is already here, but it’s just not very evenly distributed. To wit: the Zeus, a 3D printer that can scan and copy objects and, using the Internet, “fax” objects to other printers. That’s right – it’s the first 3D all-in-one.
Created by AIO Robotics, the $2,499 printer has a build area of 8 by 6 by 5.7 inches and can scan objects up to five inches high. It has a 7-inch front touch screen for managing print jobs and a replaceable extruder which makes it easy to fix things if they break. The system is, obviously, fairly simple: the 3D printer is a standard plastic filament system that can print at 80 microns and scan at 125 microns.
3D printers can be had as cheaply as $200 these days and 3D scanners are about the same price. But putting them both together, getting them to work together properly, and setting things up so you can transfer files between printers is a big deal. That said, I expect to see more and more of these things on the market as it gets easier to embed all of this hardware into a handsome case.
The Zeus is available for pre-order now and will ship this summer. Being able to copy objects is the Holy Grail for designers, artists, and makers, and devices like this one are simply amazing to me.