Minnesota 3D printer manufacturer Afinia has quietly been producing their line of high quality desktop 3D printers for several years now, sadly for many of their fans to little fanfair. Even after receiving plenty of accolades and industry awards, the brand, while well regarded and popular, never seemed to garner the same amount of buzz that many lesser 3D printers have. But with the impending release of their H800 3D printer, the industries nicest company might finally be getting the attention that they deserve. Early reports of the new H800 suggest that it is a pretty great machine and a big leap in quality from their already impressive H480. And before a single unit has even been shipped it has already taken home it’s first award. They just won the RAPID 2015 Exhibitor Innovation Award, which is awarded to the most innovative products featured at the RAPID 3D printing conference.
It looks like Afinia is now further expanding their line of products with their ES360 desktop 3D scanner. The ES360 uses white light scanning to easily create highly accurate 3D printable models in a fraction of the time that laser scanners require. Afinia says that the ES360 was designed to be used by anyone, and can capture a fully 3D printable model with just the touch of a button. The new turntable style 3D scanner is an ideal compliment for their new 3D printer, both in style, and in ease of use and is being aimed squarely at the education, hobbiest and 3D designer markets.
The Afinia ES360 notably offers two different scanning modes, making it ideal for a wide variety of environments and uses. The Automatic Scan mode is reportedly able to capture details from a 215mm x 215mm x 200mm sized object at an accuracy of ≤0.1mm within only three minutes. That is not only incredibly fast, but faster than just about every other comparable 3D scanner on the market. The new scanner also offers a Free Scan mode that will allow users to capture an area up to 700mm x 700mm x 700mm in size. And because the scanner uses white light and light phase shifting technology, it is much safer than standard laser scanners.
In terms of performance, the ES360 certainly looks to be a big step up from the MakerBot Digitizer both in speed, and accuracy. It seems closer in quality to the Matter and Form 3D scanner, which is probably one of the higher quality desktop scanners on the market. Currently Afinia has not released any specific pricing information, however they do promise that it will have a low, competitive price point. With the Digitizer and the Matter and Form coming in at $800 and $600 respectively, I’d guess Afinia would be hoping to offer the ES360 in the $500 to $600 range.
The scanner comes in at a little less than eight pounds, making it completely portable and it is obviously compatible with both the Afinia H480 3D printer and their new Afinia H800 3D printers, as well as printers from other manufacturers. Once the ES360 creates 3D models they are ready to be printed and can easily be sent directly to the attached printer, making an extremely portable 3D printing ecosystem. Currently the scanner is only supported by Windows, but Linux or OSX support are probably likely additions that will be available once the release date is closer.
So far Afinia has not announced any release date information for the ES360 3D scanner, but the company claims it will be sometime this fall.. Let us know what you think of the new scanner specs over on our New Afinia ES360 Desktop 3D Scanner forum at 3DPB.com.
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