Robert Mikelson of Riga, Latvia launched an Indiegogo project for his Rubicon 3D scanner, and it appears to be aimed at competing with similar scanners like the Matterform Photon and the MakerBot Digitizer, which was released about a month ago.

One major difference? The Rubicon 3D scanner and its software comes in at a stunning price of just $199 as opposed to the slightly pricier offering from Matterform and the considerably more expensive Makerbot machine.

While no camera is included in the Rubicon price, Mikelson says the Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam can be used at it sells for somewhere around $115.

The webcam takes a picture of the object on the turntable (with both lasers both on and off) then the software seeks differences in the images to detect the shape of the object. Once that step is complete,  the turntable then rotates in 0.45 degree steps and the process repeats itself 800 steps to complete a full 360° capture.

A vase being scanned


Once the scan is complete, the final files can be exported as a raw hi-polygon mesh or structured and optimized.

The current version allows users to scan objects up to 160 mm in diameter and about 250mm in height.

Mikelson says that, as the camera is movable, larger objects might fit in the scan window.

Not enough features for you? Mikelson says that while the prototype works on an arduino microcontroller with a stepper motor drive, he plans to develop and use a custom PCB of his own design.

For your $199, you get the software and a working, fully-assembled 3D scanner. To give it a bit of a personal touch, you can order yours in a custom color in either black, white, transparent, orange or a color of your specification.

Mikelson says he expects the project to be delivered by the second half of December 2013.