MakerBot Merges with Stratasys and Plans 3D Scanner Launch

The 3D printer manufacturer, MakerBot, will begin selling its Digitizer 3D scanner next week for a yet-to-be-announced price. The company first revealed an early prototype of the scanner at the South by Southwest conference. Users will be able to easily scan and distribute scanned image designs that are compatible with most 3D modeling software. In addition, MakerBot officially announced its merger with Israeli 3D printer and manufacturer Stratasys.

MakerBot announced on Wednesday that its Digitizer scanner will be released next week, with a yet to be revealed price, reports Engadget. This announcement adds to the expansion of 3D printing, such as a recent trial program of retail 3D printing offered by UPS.

“It’s the easiest, fastest way for anyone to create 3D models,” said MakerBot in the product’s announcement. “We optimized the whole process to work perfectly with MakerBot’s Replicator Desktop 3D printers.”

Scanned objects can be changed and uploaded to MakerBot’s Thingiverse, the company’s website for downloadable open source 3D designs. Designs on Thingiverse are standard 3D files that are compatible with third-party modeling applications.

The Digitizer offers simple and sophisticated software the can easily create clean, watertight 3D models, according to MakerBot. The scanner can scan an object into a design file in a few minutes.

The scanner does not require design, 3D modeling, nor CAD experience in order to get started. Also, the resulting file is a standard format that can be used with other modeling programs.

In related news, the merger between Stratasys and MakerBot is now official. “Following the terms of the merger, the Israeli 3D printer and manufacturer will exchange up to 4.7 million of its shares for 100 percent of MakerBot’s outstanding capital stock,” reports Engadget.

“Stratasys is a pioneer in 3D printing for prototyping and production, and for more than 25 years has enabled designers and engineers to bring their ideas to life,” notes the release. “MakerBot, founded in 2009, helped develop the desktop 3D printing market and has built the largest installed base of 3D printers in the category by making 3D printers highly accessible. MakerBot has sold more than 22,000 3D printers since 2009.”