Moedls hands-on

Moedls (pronounced moy-dles) inventor John Fehr, being a semifinalist in our Insert Coin competition, is obviously on hand here at Expand. While we were impressed with what we saw from afar, we were really excited to see the low-cost 3D scanner in person. The laser-cut housing for the lasers is delightfully DIY, but it will eventually be replaced with a more polished case. The specially sourced lights, which cast a delightful green glow, are part of what allows the scanner to create surprisingly high-quality results. For the moment they don't actually connect to the companion app on the phone, but Fehr promises to at least consider the possibility if he wins our $20,000 grand prize. There's no need for a direct connection, however. The camera on your smartphone is ultimately what is really doing the heavy lifting here. In conjunction with the aforementioned app of course.

The biggest stumbling block when trying to generate these 3D models is stability. To that end, Fehr has built a custom mount for a phone, based around a standard dashboard version. The robust joints minimize movement and the spring-loaded holster allows it to fit practically any device... at least until Samsung's 6.3-inch Note VII hits the market. The belt-driven turntable is also specially sourced -- this is not just a hacked up record player. The prototype is still a little bulky and wobbly, but the final version will be slimmed down, have an aluminum base and ball bearings under the platform to minimize vibrations. The models come together pretty quick under the app, which is still clearly under development and has a view rough edges, though it's certainly functional. In total we're still looking at about $300 in hardware and you'll have an opportunity to throw your weight behind the project on Monday when the Kickstarter launches. Head on after the break to get a quick video tour of the device.

Gallery | 18 Photos

Moedls hands-on

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.