The company that makes the interesting head-changing ZMorph 3D printer has announced a couple of interesting developments.
First, they’ve updated their 3D printing software, Voxelizer. We’re quite interested in this software, as it is one of the very few that can deal with DICOM format. DICOM is used by various medical devices to represent 3D data, meaning if you happened to have access to DICOM files from, say, a dental x-ray or CAT-scan, you just might be able to manipulate the 3D model for printing. The new version, 1.2.1, adds file management features and provides increased ability to tune print settings.
The major announcement from the company is the release of an accessory: a tabletop 3D scanner. Here’s how they describe it:
As an external module it can be connected to the ZMorph personal fabricator, thus it fits successfully onto any desk in any home or office. It is built upon the concept of the shape of a small rotary table. This allows quickly and easily to scan the object at any angle.
The scanner is capable of capturing a 3D model from objects that fit within a 300 x 300 x 300mm envelope up to a resolution of 0.1mm in only seven minutes. Most importantly, their software automatically heals the inevitable scanning holes so that the final geometry produced is instantly printable. Some other scanners require third party software – and skills to operate them – to make models printable, but that’s not the case here.
The addition of a scanner might be considered a curious thing to do, but it does make sense for ZMorph. Their 3D printer is highly capable, as its interchangeable toolheads permit not only 3D printing but a variety of other manufacturing processes. The scanner thus puts another link on the work chain of personal manufacturing.
The scanner is only available by pre-order at this time, for a price of USD$445.