We first spied the Makerbot Digitizer, a standalone 3-D scanner, back at South by Southwest--it's a rotating platform with a depth sensor, so anything you plop onto the platform can be scanned and then reproduced, like a sci-fi replicator. And now it's officially available for pre-order, for $1,400.
Routine questions for the makers of desktop 3-D printers: "what do you do with this thing?" and "why would you want one?" A study from Michigan Technical University answered that with some math: the researchers found that you could recoup the up-front cost of a 3-D printer in less than a year.