MakerBot's 3D scanner: the Cyclops

The good people at MakerBot industries have released yet another awesome gizmo in their expanding repertoire of DIY 3D printing stuff: the new Cyclops 3D Scanner Kit is a build-it-yourself simple 3D scanner, suitable for turning real stuff into virtual stuff so you can send it to your 3D printer and turn it back into real stuff.
It's a cute little scanner kit with lots of depth- just assemble the laser cut parts we supply, and add your Optoma EP-PK-101 PICO Projector, your PlayStation Eye or a Microsoft LifeCam, and an iPod touch or iPhone, (or alternate VGA video source) and you've got a small format, low cost 3D Scanner!

The technology behind this device is known as Structured Light 3D Scanning. This kit is for 3D scanning experimenters, as you will need to be a bit savvy to get the best results. If you dont feel comfortable manipulating 3D point clouds, look through the documentation to see if this project is over your head.

New! MakerBot Cyclops 3D Scanner Kit! (via Beyond the Beyond)


  1. I want a 3D scanner I can build with my 3D printer. Then I can print out 2 of them, have one 3D scanner scan the other, and then send THAT data to the 3D printer.

    To draw it out even more, I can then scan that scanner (which is scanner C at this point), and print from that, creating scanner D. Now, scan scanner D, using scanner C, and continue, creating a Fibonacci set of 3D scanners. Continue until they break due to introduced flaws/loss of resolution.

  2. Could someone please recommend an affordable 3D printer for the amateur enthusiast trying to get into the maker hobby?

    1. @Yavar:

      affordable and 3d printer don’t belong in the same sentence.

      the makerbot is definitely affordable compared to commercial 3d printers ($750 compared to $10k) but it extrudes plastic instead of zapping goop or powder with a laser like the commercial kind. we have one at our hackerspace in cincinnati and have used it to make all manner of things, but it’s far from high fidelity.

      also, 3d printing is just part of the equation. getting 3d models of the stuff you want is another challenge. thankfully services like thingiverse have tons of them.

  3. And so, we come one step closer to home made “diamond age” technology, and one step closer to “object DRM”, and companies suing breakfasters for copying a spoon.

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