It might be a while before 3D printers make their way into people's homes, but it's definitely going to be a really long time before the OrcaM Orbital Camera System becomes a household appliance. And if it ever comes to that, you're probably going to need a bigger house.
Developed by a German company called Nek (site is in German), the OrcaM uses a system of seven cameras to create 3D models of any object placed inside its "reconstruction sphere."
Currently, the machine is limited to objects that are no larger than 31.5 inches wide and 200 pounds in weight. Once placed inside the sphere and sealed shut, the cameras circle the orb taking high definition photos of the object at different angles. Meanwhile, inside the sphere a system of lights illuminate at different times to capture the object's geometry.
After the photographing session, or the acquisition process as they call it, is over, a computer automatically processes the images to create a 3D model that accurate down to the submillimeter range.
Nek says the aim of the OrcaM Orbital Camera System is to provide high-quality digital representations of objects for use on the Internet, movies, video games, and other digital media. Some examples the company gives is using the 3D models to showcase items up for auction on the Web and creating virtual museums.
To see just how accurate the OrcaM is, check out the video below.