Digitizer Update 5 | Watertight Scans

Posted by on Friday, June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


When we announced the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, we asked people what they would scan. Art and artifacts were at the top of the list. This week we scanned this ancient relic we found at the thrift store to test and see the print results from our scan.

The Digitizer’s software automatically finds the bottom of the object and creates a closed flat surface. This is important because 3D models that aren’t completely watertight, or “manifold” in technical terms, can cause major problems for 3D printing algorithms. Making a model watertight can be labor intensive, so we automated the process.

There’s also the option to flatten the top of your model. Above, you can see what the scan file would look like without the flattened top (left) and what it looks like after this option is applied (right).

Have suggestions for our next scan Email us at [email protected], or click here to sign up for email updates about the Digitizer.

You can see the full “Digitized!” collection here.

Tagged with , , 8 comments

8 Comments so far

  • Wrecks
    June 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    When can I buy one???!!!

  • H
    June 22, 2013 at 6:50 am

    This is good idea, but this shows poor performance. I think this picture actually convinced me not to consider it. 🙁
    Can you please improve this product?

  • Lex
    June 22, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Resolution seems too low!

  • Printer Guy
    June 26, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I am now convinced not to buy!! The resolution sucks on this thing!!

  • B Miller
    June 30, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Thank you for posting this, at first I was pissed off that I purchased a NextEngine 3d Scanner HD and then found out you were making a scanner that was way less expensive. The quality of this scan is sub par compared to what my machine does, however I would expect a difference considering the price.

    Here is the quality of scan you should aim for. I scanned this item with the NextEngine scanner.

    Can you change the settings for the size of the point cloud? It looks like you have low settings for it now so the scanned object looks like melted wax. I had problems like that at first and it was narrowed down to how far the item was from the scanner and the size of the point cloud.

    My scanner produces scans that look like this when the settings are not set up properly.

  • Andrew
    July 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for your feedback, everyone! Be sure to check out our latest results so you can see the progress from one laser to two. See the latest here.

  • Warren
    July 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Wow, I think The Matterform 3Dscanner is going to crush you guys. Sorry to say that, it’s cheaper and makes a way better quality scan. I was hoping for you guys at makerbot to have something that will complement my replacator. It looks like you havea lot of work on your hands before you launch that baby.

  • Zheng3
    July 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I’m seeing some banding in the back of the model.

    Is this due to the original surface texture, or an artifact of the scanning process?


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