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3D copiers and scanner | Are they the future | SOM | Sydney

There are a few things you can expect to be welcomed to when you walk into your office building. The chatter of other employees on the phone. The smell of coffee being made. You can definitely expect to see the ever-so-familiar line at the photocopier as well. Doesn’t it all seem a bit monotonous? Wouldn’t it be nice to spice things up a little bit? You might not be able to have a dance floor in your office, but you might be able to upgrade that old copier that you have in the office.

When you think of your normal copier or scanner, you probably don’t have 3D copiers, scanners, or printers come to mind. Emerging technology, however, suggests that you should probably start now.

When we say “3D”, there could be a couple of different ideas that pop into your head. You might be thinking 3D glasses or even 3D graphics. Well, you are on the right track. These new 3D printers, scanners, and copiers are all more in the business of copying, scanning, and printing, actual objects instead of just paper. These devices are able to scan and create on more than just the typical flat plan. They are actually able to access the z-axis instead of just the x-axis and y-axis. Basically they are able to scan and print objects in real space. The scanners will scan the objects, create a 3D-rendered image on the software, and then the 3D printer can print of the object in real space, not on a piece of paper.

Is It Really The Future?

Even though these new devices sound promise, can they still take over the photocopier? Are these new products able outshine your normal Xerox machine?

Well, think if these products allow for both 2D and 3D scanning, printing, and copying. You then have something that could basically be a 6-in-one machine that can be used in the office. Some of these new 3D devices are portable as well. There are 3D scanners that you can even put on your iPad’s camera lens in order to capture 3D rendered imagining as such. We have home scanners and home printers. That’s all well and good but what about the possibility of having these objects scanned, the 3D image information sent over to your 3D printer wirelessly, and printing out for you? Now we are getting more towards the future.

There are still times when all you really needs is a paper document copied and printed off. That being said, many companies are starting to go paperless and just send their memos via email. When we need something on paper we still have that possibility, but we may be on the verge of seeing a technological shift from regular 2D paper copying, to 3D image scanning, rendering, and printing.

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