A desktop 3D scanner has gone on sale just one month after electronic retailer Maplin started selling the first 3D printer for domestic use.

The MakerBot Digitizer scans objects onto a computer so they can be replicated using a 3D printer.

Makerbot’s $1,400 (£900) scanner was made available for pre-order online last week and will be shipped from October.

The device points several lasers at the selected object to detect contours on the surface.

The amount of time required to scan an object varies but the company demonstrates that it takes roughly 12 minutes to process a small gnome.

"The MakerBot Digitizer is for early adopters, experimenters, and visionaries who want to be pioneers in Desktop 3D Scanning," the company says.

It is aimed at architects, designers, creative hobbyists, educators, and artists, according to the MakerBot website.

However, the machine isn’t capable of scanning more complex objects and the company has warned users not to expect too much from the product.

"Expectations should be realistic,” reads the company’s FAQ page. “You will not be able to, for example, scan a hamburger and then eat the digital design."

The page reveals that shiny, reflective, and fuzzy object are not well suited to 3D scanning.

In July it was announced that Maplin would become the first high street retailer to sell 3D printers for home use, with the Velleman K8200 available to preorder for £700.

The companies behind 3D printing and scanning products stand to cash in on a booming market, which could triple by 2018, according to a note published by Citigroup analyst Kenneth Wong on Monday. The industry was valued at $1.7bn in 2011.

However, some scientists have warned that the airborne particles produced as a result of 3D printing could have detrimental health impacts.

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