Long time ago — at least in terms of one’s life time — when I was at University of Michigan in 1990, we started dreaming about 3-D Fax technology.Â Something like the transporter in StarTrek.Â That dream did result in building a company — Imageware — which becam a leader in rapid-prototyping for automobile and aerospace industry.Â The basic idea was to use laser or CMM to get a cloud of 3-D points and then fit surfaces.Â Of course, in Fax, these surfaces will be sent to the other end for reconstruction of a similar object.
I am delighted to see that this technology is making a big breakthrough now and is coming back as consumer technology.Â NYT has a story on it – Beaming UP 3-D Objects -Â Â
OVER the last few decades, the electronics industry has worked magic with documents by building gadgets that copy, e-mail, print or fax flat images. Now it is building boxes that do something similar with three-dimensional objects.
These tools are not news to the industrial designers of the world, who have been able to buy 3-D printers and scanners with prices in the tens of thousands of dollars. But now hobbyists and small businesses are starting to benefit from low-cost versions of the tools.
The implications of this are mind-boggling.Â We used to dream of things ranging from medical industry to porno to clothing to …Â Great to see that this whole thing is progressing and getting some attention.