Aluminum tube turns iPhone into a 3D scanner

Eora 3D scanner for iPhone

The 3D-printing future is here, but unfortunately it’s still cost-prohibitive for many people who want to get in on the newest making revolution. But an upcoming project just launched on Kickstarter may just have the solution to that problem.

The Eora 3D scanner connects to your smartphone to create precise and accurate models of just about anything you can put in front of it, and it will do it for way less money than you’d expect.

Eora 3D’s campaign launched on crowdfunding site Kickstarter today, and as of this writing, it’s raised $71,000 of the $80,000 its creators are seeking to finalize production. You can see the cool scanner in action in the video below.

Eora 3D works with both iOS and Android phones, but the creators clearly favor the iPhone for its promotional purposes. You run the scanner through a free app that lets you start scans and access your completed projects when you’re ready to send them off to the printer.

It’s definitely a good-looking design; the whole rig is just a simple, aluminum tube with the laser emitter at the top and a clamp on the side to hold your phone while it runs. The laser has a range of up to 1 meter, and the creators claim that it is accurate to less than 100 microns, or the thickness of a sheet of paper.

And if it lives up to all of these claims, the price point comes as even more of a surprise. Eora 3D will ship with an MSRP of $330, and if you pledge to the Kickstarter, you can get an early discount that will take it down to as low as $199. And since most personal scanners start out around $400, this could be a very good deal indeed.

We’re interested to see how this device turns out. If it delivers on its potential in being a highly affordable and accurate scanner, it could be a crucial step in making 3D printing more accessible and widespread. And we’re all in favor of that.


3D Printed Adapter Puts iPhone 5 Into Apple’s Universal Dock.

Got a “Universal” iPhone dock? Yeah, me too, and it’s pretty useless now most of my iDevices are Lightning powered. But Shapeways user nginear can help. He’s come up with an iPhone 5 adapter which will plug straight into your dock, letting you keep on using it for at least another year or so,.

The 3D-printed adapter clips into the Universal Dock and provides space for the Lightning-to-30-pin adapter you should already own. There’s a back plate to support the iPhone, and a scalloped cut-out to make pressing the home button easier.

The rub is that it costs $40. Or $40.01, to be precise. That’s in addition to the $29 you’ll pay fopr the 30-pin adapter. At least you don’t have to buy the dock – if you don’t already have one, you should probably look for a proper Lightning dock.

Then again, this setup does allow you to use the Apple IR remote with the iPhone (or iPad mini) and hook it up to a stereo. That’s pretty neat.

Source: Cult of Mac.