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The All-New 3D Systems Sense 3D Scanner: An Incredible Breakthrough at $399

The new 3D Systems Sense 3D scanner was launched today, and could mark a major break through for 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE: DDD  ) . At $399 for a complete integrated 3D scanner and software, this product competes head on with the Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS  ) Makerbot Digitizer scanner, which retails for $1400.

The Sense 3D Scanner: Courtesy of 3D Systems

At $1,000 cheaper, the Sense scanner looks to be major blow to the Digitizer, but time and user reviews will be the ultimate judge of who wins in the entry-level scanning arena. For investors and 3D-printing aficionados, this could mark a big turning point in making 3D design more accessible to entry-level users, and consequently driving 3D printing adoption at the entry level.

Investors and fans shouldn't assume the new Sense will only be used in concert with 3D printers, though. This inexpensive scanner should appeal to multiple disciplines, like graphic and video game design, to name a few. Engaget has done a feature-length story on the new scanner.

Final Thoughts
In the video below, Motley Fool analyst Blake Bos discusses just why this new scanner is such a breakthrough for 3D Systems, and what it could mean for the success of Makerbot's recent Digitizer scanner. Investors in 3D printing won't want to miss out on this story.

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  • Report this Comment On November 09, 2013, at 9:29 AM, amtberg wrote:

    Disclaimer: I own stock in both 3D Systems and Stratasys. I have purchased have not yet received a Sense Scanner.

    The Sense 3D Scanner appears to use similar, if not the same, technology to/as the Microsoft Kinect sensor which can already be used as a scanner with the assistance of third-party software, such as ReconstructME. This software is free for non-professional use and the Kinect costs about $100. Thus, I'm not sure how big of an impact the Sense scanner will have in the hobbyist market.

    It could be quite successful if the output is better than users are able to achieve with the Kinect, and/or if the output is similar but the user experience is much better with the Sense scanner. From a customer's perspective, it's somewhat troubling that 3D Systems hasn't provided sample output files on its website. Neither have they provided much information about the scanner's technical specifications, such as resolution or accuracy.

    My impression is that measuring the Sense against Makerbot's scanner is something of an apples/oranges comparison. I think that the Makerbot scanner is more accurate and higher resolution, albeit more limited in terms of the scale of objects that it can handle. Only time will tell as 3D Systems hasn't provided enough information to support an apples/apples comparison.

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