3D scanning startup Fuel3D closes $6.4M Series A round

Fuel3D is prepping to release its relatively inexpensive consumer 3D scanner next year after raising $6.4 million in a second Series A round. Investors contributed $2.6 million in the first round in February. On top of increasing production, Fuel3D will use the money to expand into commercial applications such as biometrics and eyewear. The startup recently started shipping its first units to Kickstarter backers, who were originally scheduled to receive them in April. 3D scanners are of particular interest to 3D printer owners, who can use them to scan physical objects and then print a replica.

BMW workers get thumb protection courtesy of 3D scanning and printing

BMW is 3D-printing “finger cots” for some of its factory workers, the German carmaker said this week. Working alongside ergonomics researchers from the Technical University of Munich, BMW uses mobile 3D hand scanners to create tailored thumb-protectors for each worker. The printing is done with a selective laser sintering (SLS) process, using a precisely targeted laser to form a pre-modelled solid mass out of a thermoplastic polyurethane powder. The cots act as splints to counter thumb joint stress, helping workers who are fitting rubber plugs.