I wanted to share with you guys a tool I use a lot that I’ll definitely be including in the Glowforge creative process. (And no, I have no affiliation with the company and make no money in any way from them.)
The Tool: The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner. Essentially, it’s a small, handheld flatbed scanner that can automatically “stitch” together multiple scans and doesn’t need to be hooked up to a computer. The lid comes off so you can hold it against or upside down on images you want to scan. This means you can take a 300dpi scan of any sized image anywhere (your own art/a map/document/photo/etc.) without distorting it (like a digital camera would) or moving the image from where it’s placed.
How I Use It: I scan a lot of large pieces that I’ve drawn or written and then want to change the colors on, convert to vectors, increase contrast, reduce size, or whatever, and then inkjet print multiples of on things like silk, watercolor paper, or shrink plastic. I also sometimes scan from books of royalty-free images (i.e. Dover books). I think it was originally designed for people doing genealogy, so they could scan historical documents while still in the archive.
Informal Specs: It’s about 10 x 7, I think, so it fits easily into a laptop bag, and it’s mostly empty space, so it isn’t a pain to lug around.