Just in case you thought 2D printing didn’t churn through enough ink, take a look at HP’s new TopShop LaserJet Pro M275. It can capture physical objects – shoes, jewelry, whatever – in a pseudo-3D way. Not to be confused with true 3D printers that build physical models, HP’s printer has a document scanner that’s mounted on top. The scanner actually contains 6 different cameras that snap a photo of the image from multiple angles. Then, through algorithmic magic, a 3-dimemsional object is printed (or saved) in 2D, with depth and clarity.
Not everyone’s cup of tea, this printer could be used to add a little intensity to eBay items, appraisals, presentations, sales pitches or any other venture where a more realistic looking image might be helpful. Sadly, I got to try the pre-production version of the printer the other evening and found it not quite up to snuff. I scanned a pedometer and the results were lackluster, to say the least. The saved image file (which can be posted to the web from the printer) was better than the printed image. HP isn’t announcing pricing or availability yet.