This 3-D scanner-printer is a flop. But the future is promising

Watch this 3D scanner-printer fail
Watch this 3D scanner-printer fail

We were excited to test out the Da Vinci AiO 3-D scanner-printer, because it had the potential to make 3-D printing approachable for anybody with an electrical socket.

Too bad it's a flop.

The all-in-one scanner and printer, made by XYZprinting, lets you 3-D print objects without knowing how to design anything. There's no complicated software involved. You can just put an object inside, and a couple hours later, you'll have a plastic replica of that object. It's like copy and print.

In theory, anyway.

In reality, the Da Vinci AiO totally failed when we tried to scan a Matchbox car. It also couldn't master a stress ball. We finally got it to work by scanning a cube-shaped foam die.

Related: The UPS Store will 3-D print stuff for you

So even though it's just $800, (insanely cheap for this kind of technology), you might not want to rush out to buy the Da Vinci AiO.

But the technology is promising.

If 3-D scanning and printing technology improves, you could envision a day where you could make spare parts, plastic silverware and cups without going to the store.

Did you break a window latch? Just copy one from another window. Missing that sixth screw from your Ikea furniture? Throw one of the screws into the scanner.

One day... but not quite yet.

Personal Finance

CNNMoney Sponsors