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NTU start-up unveils compact rotary 3D printer-scanner

Posted: 20 Feb 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Blacksmith Group? NTU? 3D printer? scanner? Indiegogo?

Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) start-up Blacksmith Group has unveiled what it says is the world's first compact 3D printer that also has the capability to scan items into digitised models. Dubbed as the Blacksmith Genesis, the device enables users without much knowledge of 3D software to scan any item, then edit the digitised model on the computer and print it out in 3D.

The all-in-one 3D printer and scanner whose production was financed through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.com, was announced at the American Association Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in San Jose, California.

The first batch is ready to be shipped out in March to early adopters who supported Blacksmith Group's crowdfunding campaign.

Innovative design with several firsts

Housed in a black aluminium casing, the high-tech device weighing 6kg features a 2in LCD, Wi-Fi, an integrated SD-card reader and a USB connection for instant printing.

Blacksmith Genesis uses an innovative rotary platform for its printing and scanning, unlike other commercial 3D printers. This patent-pending revolving platform allows for true 360-degrees scanning, and can print items up to about 6.5L, twice the size of those printed by other similar-sized 3D printers in the market, stated the company.

Blacksmith Genesis

With production funded by crowdsourcing, the first unit will be delivered to the U.S. in March.

With a fine resolution of 50?m, the reproductions will be twice as detailed compared to other compact 3D printers. Likewise, scanning of objects with its 5MP camera takes only six minutes, twice as fast as other 3D scanners in the market.

Blacksmith Genesis is also the first to feature remote live monitoring and automatic error detection thanks to its in-built camera. This allows users to monitor and control the printing process on their smartphone from anywhere in the world through the Internet.

The device is the brainchild of Blacksmith Group's founders, NTU engineering graduate Alex Pui Tze Sian and Fang Kok Boon. Fang, CEO of Blacksmith Group, said their aim is to make 3D printing easy and accessible to the average consumers.

"We designed Blacksmith Genesis with the average hobbyist in mind. Most 3D printers sold on the market now are not really user-friendly as their 3D models and blueprints usually have to be designed from scratch on the computer.

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