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3D printing is turning heads these days, especially with do-it-yourselfers. Y Combinator startup Matterport has invented a small scanner, pictured above, that can scan any space or object and create a 3D model.

“We turn reality into 3D models and our scanner is 20 times faster and 18 times cheaper than any other tool on the market,” says Matterport co-founder Michael Beebe, “We are creating fundamentally new technology, like the steam engine or the car.”

Best of all, no precision is needed. With a wave of the hand, the device smartly scans the environment and understands the shapes, features, and placement of everything it scans.

Beebe showed off the technology at Y Combinator’s Demo Day. The team highlighted that its scanner is currently being used in the construction, film making, and real estate industries.

Beyond just scanning a room, the implications for a 3D scanner can be quite cool. You could scan any object of your choosing and send the model to a 3D printer to get a 3D replica of virtually anything in the world. Excuse me while I go scan the new iPad and make a replica.

Matterport is one of 39 companies presenting at Y Combinator’s Demo Day Spring 2012 event. Check out other cool companies making their debut here

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