Last week Toronto-based 3D scanning technology developer Matter and Form was awarded a rather significant grant from Canada’s Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Davenport MP Julie Dzerowicz announced that Matter and Form would be given a federal grant of over $850,000 (up to $858,560) to help enhance and improve their existing 3D scanning technology. The grant was awarded through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation initiative on behalf of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, who is also the head of FedDev Ontario, a Waterloo-based regional economic development organization. The grant was awarded to Matter and Form as part of an effort to encourage the development of a strong southern Ontario economy.
“We are proud to support Matter and Form to further develop its 3D scanner technology,” said member of Parliament for Davenport Julie Dzerowicz. “This product is an example of the innovative ideas that our companies are bringing to market here in Canada and abroad.”
Matter and Form was founded back in 2013 when a group of designers and programmers found themselves in need of a high-quality 3D scanner but were unable to find an inexpensive option. Instead of purchasing a 3D scanner that did not suit their needs, or their budget, they decided to develop their own. The Matter and Form desktop 3D scanner was launched on crowdfunding website Indiegogo in late March 2013, where they very quickly blew past their initial funding goal of $80,000 in a matter of days. By the time the campaign closed, it had pulled in almost $500,000, or 582% of their original goal.
At the time, the original Matter and Form 3D scanner was widely praised for both its affordable price of $400 and its high scan quality that could capture details as fine as 0.43mm. And while several companies, including MakerBot, would go on to release their own low-cost desktop 3D scanners, none of them would ever quite match the Matter and Form. The compact and portable scanner used a pair of powerful lasers and an HD sensor to capture an object as large as 9 inches by 8 inches in full color and export the 3D file in a variety of formats, including STL, OBJ, PLY, XYZ and PTX.
“Our support to Matter and Form is a great example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to creating the right conditions for ideas to thrive, helping Canadian companies develop innovative products while creating high-quality jobs here in southern Ontario,” Minister Bains said in his official Government statement.
After several years on the market, Matter and Form is now readying their next 3D scanner, the Bevel, set to be released in early September 2016. The Bevel is a small device that plugs into the headphone jack of any smartphone, turning it into the smallest and most affordable 3D scanner available. The device includes an eye-safe laser that works in tandem with the phone’s camera to capture incredibly detailed 3D data. The Bevel was launched on Kickstarter last summer, and more than 4,000 people managed to pull in over $300,000, with early bird specials ranging from an incredible $40 to a still-incredible $50. The final retail price is expected to be $79.
“Canada has the opportunity to establish itself as a powerhouse in 3D and other emerging technologies. Supporting companies like Matter and Form Inc. shows the Government’s commitment to ensuring the success of Canadian businesses that will lead us into the future. We are grateful for the support and the vision this demonstrates,” said Matter and Form co-founder and current CEO Drew Cox.
Thanks to the supplemental funding from FedDev Ontario, Matter and Form is expected to meet their end of summer shipping deadline for the Bevel. Additionally the small company will be able to add 12 new jobs to the economy, while maintaining their existing 8 jobs. You can learn more about the original Matter and Form 3D Scanner here, and you can learn more about Bevel here. Finally, you can view our 2016 3D Scanner Buying Guide here. Discuss this further in the Matter and Form Receives Grant for 3D Scanning Technology forum over at 3DPB.com.