3D Scanners Are Getting Cheap so Fast, the Age of 3D Piracy Could Soon Be Upon Us

MakerBot, the leading maker of desktop 3D printers, is launching its own 3D scanner.

Just two weeks ago we wrote about the Fuel3D, a device for scanning 3D objects so you can replicate them on a 3D printer, with a proposed price tag of around $1,000. Now MakerBot, the leading maker of desktop 3D printers, is launching its own 3D scanner next week, and Signe Brewster at GigaOM is betting it will cost just $500.

That would make it appealing as an accessory for hobbyists who already own the MakerBot Replicator. It’s a low guess, but not unreasonable; since MakerBot today officially merged with the much larger Stratasys, which makes professional-level 3D printers for industrial prototyping, it has a lot of resources to scale the Digitizer up to cheap mass production.
At such prices, we could be about to enter an era that pundits have been wringing their hands about for some time: the age in which it’s possible to rip, mix and print physical objects with the same ease that was once reserved for music and other media. Indeed, US copyright czar Victoria Espinel has warned that it could lead to an increase in counterfeit and pirated goods. Some entrepreneurs seem eager to bring about this future: A company subtly named Pirate3D held a very successful Kickstarter campaign in June for its 3D printer, the equally subtly named The Buccaneer.

Read more at Quartz