When you think of your normal copier or scanner, you probably don't have 3D copiers, scanners, or printers come to mind. Emerging technology, however, suggests that you should probably start now.
When I say "3D", there could be a couple of different ideas that pop into your head. You might be thinking 3D glasses or even 3D graphics. Well you are on the right track... sort of. These new 3D printers, scanners, and copiers are all more in the business of copying, scanning, and printing, actual objects instead of just paper. These devices are able to scan and create on more than just the typical flat plane. Instead, they are able to access the z-axis instead of just the x-axis and y-axis. Basically they are able to scan and print objects in real space, in case I lost you in the all the math talk. The scanners will scan the objects, create a 3D-rendered image on the software, and then the 3D printer can print of the object in real space, not on a piece of paper.
If you take a second to think about it, these new devices could become huge assets in the business office. Being able to scan and print off certain supplies that you might need in the office could become a huge money saver. Is your office cater to more graphic design work? Maybe you work for an architectural company? 3D scanners could become your best friend in the office. Why is that you may think? Well the fact that these scanners can gather full imaging of whatever object that you're scanning and then save that data to later be uploaded on the software is a big deal. Instead of just starting from complete scratch, you now have something to work with and edit to your liking. You can then "print" out your images and models to get an idea of what you want when you finally make the real thing.
Even though these new devices sound promise, can they still take over the photocopier? Are these new products able outshine your normal Xerox machine? They just might be able to. How you may ask? Well think if these products allow for both 2D and 3D scanning, printing, and copying. You then have something that could basically be a 6-in-one machine that can be used in the office. Some of these new 3D devices are portable as well. There are 3D scanners that you can even put on your iPad's camera lens in order to capture 3D rendered imagining such as that. We have home scanners and home printers. That's all well and good but what about the possibility of having these objects scanned, the 3D image information sent over to your 3D printer wirelessly, and printing out for you? Now we are getting more towards the future.
There are still times when all you really needs is a paper document copied and printed off. That being said, many companies are starting to go paperless and just send their memos via email. College classrooms are sending syllabuses via email now as well. When we need something on paper we still have that possibility, but we may be on the verge of seeing a technological shift from regular 2D paper copying, to 3D image scanning, rendering, and printing.