CES 2014: Matterform, the layperson's 3-D scanner

Toronto-made scanner costs $579

Matterform 3-D scanner (Peter Nowak)

Matterform 3-D scanner (Peter Nowak)

For our final entry in this week-long Consumer Electronics Show gadget showcase, we go with a little CanCon in the form of Matterform, a 3-D scanning device invented by a group of Torontonians.

There are a few notable things about the product, which uses lasers to scan small-ish objects into 3-D computer files that can then be output through a 3-D printer. First is its price – at $579, it truly is affordable for anyone looking to get into 3-D printing.

Second is its compactness and pleasing form. It looks a bit like a vinyl record player, and it indeed houses a turntable that rotates objects placed for scanning. The scanner is also relatively fast – it takes between five and 45 minutes to do its job.

It’s essentially one-half of a reality photo copier, which is super cool. Plus, did I mention it users lasers?

As company founders Adam Brandejs and Drew Cox explain in the video below, 3-D scanners are rapidly becoming necessary for people who don’t have digital design skills: