"We get to set the standard in desktop 3D scanning," Bre Pettis says, beaming. "When we looked out at the world and saw what 3D scanners could do, we wanted to make something that could make really high quality models that you could create on your MakerBot." The CEO can't stop smiling at the close of the Digitizer's official press launch. It's the smile of a man who has just shown off a major piece of the puzzle -- an object that helps answer the question of just how, precisely, average consumers can create products to 3D print.
"We're really building out an ecosystem," he says of the scanner, which joins the Replicator 2, MakerWare software and the Thingiverse online database in the MakerBot portfolio. "The game is on, we're building a nice suite of products that work really well together." It's a pricey piece, of course, coming in at $1,400, but Pettis insists that it'll give users a much fuller experience than hacked Kinect-type solutions, thanks in large part to the Digitizer's software solution. "There are DIY options out there, but we've spent the time and energy on the software to make this a really seamless experience."
And as for a potential Replicator / Digitizer bundle deal, well, Pettis is only saying, "stay tuned."