Cloud

And Finally, the 3D Fax Machine—but Why Would You Want One?

The first all-in-one desktop 3D printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine is (supposedly, almost) upon us, hitting Kickstarter on September 4th. AIO Robotics hasn’t released anything more than a digital rendering, but from the company’spost on RepRap.org, a 3D printing enthusiasts’ site, here’s what we know about the proposed product:

1. It’s going to be cheap, or at least cheaper. “We have not finalized the pricing yet,” an AIO Robotics representative wrote on the forum, “but it will be significantly cheaper than the Makerbot Replicator + Digitizer,” a combo that would give you the same scanning and printing capabilities. For reference, the Makerbot Replicator (the 3D printer) costs $2799 and the Digitizer hasn’t been priced yet,though $500 is touted as a likely price tag.

2. It has an on-board computer that can handle 3D scanning data, so it doesn’t need to connect to a desktop PC.

3. All the scan data will be uploaded to the cloud, where they’ll be reassembled into a 3D rendering. When a RepRap user asked if local processing wasn’t better, someone from AIO wrote that using the cloud would make the device itself cheaper. But for anyone worried about privacy or a dodgy internet connection, AIO will offer a more expensive version that does the processing itself.

Read more at Quartz

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// April 22