The scanner takes aim at owners of 3D printers, plus 3D artists who want to quickly create 3D models.

The Fuel3D portable 3D scanner has become a reality. The company was looking to raise US$75,000 (around £49,000) to bring its functioning prototype to market by this time next year – but has brought in almost four times that, raising over $280,000 (£180,000)

The technology behind Fuel3D was born out of an Oxford University research team that used it in medical imaging, but Fuel3D's makers want to evolve the product for the creative realm.

This flower is like Jeff Bridges in Tron.

The small handheld device uses pre-calibrated stereo cameras and photometric imaging to capture both an object’s shape and color down to 250 microns. To put that in context, that's about a fifth of a millimetre – just short of the resolution of desktop 3D printers such as MakerBot’s Replicator 2, which can detail down to 100 microns.

To help garner interest for its device, Fuel3D teamed up with 3D artist Joshua Harker to offer limited edition 3D-printed skull cases for 3D scanner, which were only available to high-spending funders.

See hi-res photos of the limited edition 3D-printed skull cases for Fuel3D 3D scanner here.

The obvious application will be for the Fuel3D will be for replicating objects using 3D printing, but it will also be of interest to 3D artists and game designers who will be able to bring any handheld object or individual into their worlds.

The Fuel 3D will be available for sale in the future for $1,500 (£965), but backers can pick one up for $990 (£640) before September 1.