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Monday, Jul 31, 2006 5:00 AM

BOSTON, Mass., USA, Aug. 1, 2006 - Z Corporation, maker of the world's fastest and only multicolor 3D printers, today unveiled the first handheld, self-positioning 3D scanner on the market that can digitize 3D surfaces in real time. The ZScanner™ 700 gives designers and engineers an entirely new way to capture 3D data with unprecedented speed, ease of use and versatility for a wide range of new and emerging applications. Z Corp. demonstrated the innovation today at SIGGRAPH 2006, the leading computer graphics conference.

The ZScanner 700's unique self-positioning capability makes 3D scanning simple and efficient. All other systems require fixed-position tripods, bulky mechanical arms, or external positioning devices that must be within the line of sight of the target surface, making hard-to-reach surfaces nearly impossible to scan. The ZScanner 700 is the first part-referenced 3D scanner, orienting itself to the target object rather than an external device. As a result, it is also the first 3D scanner that allows the user to move the target object during scanning, and it is the first 3D scanner to display a real-time on-screen image of the surface being scanned.

These capabilities plus handheld portability make the ZScanner 700 ideally suited for scanning complex surfaces and hard-to-reach areas like car interiors. It captures data in one continuous scan rather than in numerous shots from fixed positions, eliminating hours of post-processing time to integrate static shots into a cohesive scan. ZScan™ software, included with the scanner, automatically produces an .stl file for import into a 3D CAD software package or output to a 3D printer.

The ZScanner 700 is ideal for a wide range of applications, including:

  • Reverse Engineering - Speed, accuracy and ease of use for aftermarket product design.
  • Packaging Design - Create custom packaging by scanning product samples for exact geometry and texture data.
  • Ergonomic Design - Readily scan hand-crafted samples to produce complex designs from scratch.
  • Digital Archiving - Save money by storing tooling, samples and prototypes digitally.
  • Digital Media, Gaming and Animation - Create digital media for computer games and movies from artists' concept models.
  • Arts & Cultural Heritage - Produce high-resolution, low-impact scans for accurate restorations and reconstruction of priceless artwork and architecture. Document, research and even replicate great works for transportation, packaging, museum shops and historical archiving.
  • Medical Education - Create highly detailed reproductions of complex organs and bone structures.
  • Medical Orthosis - Custom design braces and other devices for precision comfort.

"The ZScanner 700 capitalizes on Z Corp.'s extensive background in 3D technologies, including its multi-patented 3D printers and the 2D scanning expertise acquired through our merger last year with Contex A/S of Denmark," said Z Corp. CEO Tom Clay. "We're interested in the entire 3D data life cycle - including capture, manipulation and output - and making previously cumbersome technologies fast, easy to use and versatile for our customers."

To scan, the user picks up the ZScanner 700 handheld unit and "paints" the object with a projected laser crosshair. The surface is recorded by the scanner's dual cameras. ZScan software generates a polygon mesh of the surface on the computer screen in real time. The ZScanner 700 is accurate within ±0.05mm and detects changes in surface height down to 0.1mm.

In Z Corp.'s head-to-head comparison with several tripod-mounted systems, the ZScanner 700 took only one-fourth the typical time to completely scan a bicycle helmet, a challenging target because of its many contours and crevices. The typical tripod system required 54 individual scans, plus additional hours to integrate the scans.

Pricing, Availability

The ZScanner 700 is available today through Z Corp.'s worldwide reseller network for a United States manufacturer's suggested retail price of $39,900 USD.

About Z Corporation

Z Corporation makes products that enable users to capture, edit, and print 3D data with unprecedented speed, ease, versatility and affordability. These products include the world's fastest high-definition 3D printers — machines that produce physical 3D models from digital data in full color - and uniquely portable 3D scanners - handheld machines that digitize 3D surfaces in real time. Z Corp. technology is enabling a wide range of applications in manufacturing, architecture, civil engineering, reverse engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), medicine and entertainment.

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