There’s not much point owning a 3D printer if you don’t have anything to print, but learning how to build wireframe models in programs like Blender is time consuming and – frankly – not much fun. If only there were some way of scanning a 360 degree view of everyday household objects into your computer and automatically generating printable constructs from them.

Wait, RS Online, what’s that you say? You’re going to be stocking the Sense handheld 3D scanner for just R6 300? Why, that’s awesome.

3D printers are relatively easy to get hold in South Africa now, and there’s a burgeoning community of enthusiasts who are building and designing their own. But scanning is less high profile and this is – as far as we know – something of a first.

Along with the decision to stock the Sense, RS is also expanding its selection of other 3D printers, and is now carrying the low end Cube and higher resolution CubeX too.

At R18 100 and R53 000 respectively, they aren’t cheap mind – but they are very good. If you don’t mind something just as capable but a bit less refined there are Dion Wired, OpenHardware.co.za and CAD House all have off the shelf printers to explore. RS themselves have a very reasonably priced RepRap Ormorod too at less than R10 000 too.

PS – for those of you who entered our 3D printer competition, apologies for the delay on announcing the winner. We’re still waiting for some parts to arrive from overseas…

[Image – Cubify]
Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.