While it’s not truly a 3D scanner, it looks useful.
HP recently announced the TopShot, their newest multifunctional printer/scanner/copy machine. What makes this particular model special is the addition of a “3D scanner.” It’s not what someone who is familiar with CAD/CAM would call a 3D scanner. Instead, it produces a regular photo of an object in an unconventional way that could be pretty useful.
I get the impression from HP’s advertising video (below) that they struggled a bit with what to call it. It’s a scanner designed for 3D objects, but it doesn’t generate 3D data. Basically, it takes several pictures from different angles and composites them together into one image.
The appeal of this is that it could be an extremely easy way to produce a high quality, well-lit image of a small object. HP is even specifically marketing this to people who sell things online (like our very own Ponoko Showroom).