Tag Archives: 3D scanning

Video: Burning Man Team Offers 3D Prints of Burners in the Desert

Burning Man 3D Printing

Global non-profit ReAllocate is putting 3D printing on center stage at this year’s Burning Man.

Their pitch is this:

  • Go to their camp and get 3D scanned; they will start 3D printing a statue in your likeness
  • Leave their camp with a GPS transponder
  • A drone will come find you when your 3D print is ready and deliver it to you
Watch the video below where Sandra introduces Project: Blue Sky on crowd-funding site Indiegogo.


Burning man statue photo by Tanais Fox used under Creative Commons license.

Top 3D Printing Headlines Last Week: Dinosaurs, Action Figures, Organs, Olympics

3D Scanning Fossils

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from July 2 to July 8.

Monday, July 2

Tuesday, July 3

Wednesday, July 4

Thursday, July 5

Friday, July 6

3D Scanning and Printing Dinosaurs, Open-Sourcing Scientific Data

3D Printing Dinosaurs

In the past, scaling and reproducing fossils was cost prohibitive and was in the domain of artists. Now 3D printers and 3D scanners are affordable, which means that paleontologists can now recreate dinosaurs.

3D Scan and Print Dinosaurs

In the video below, Professor Kenneth Lacovara says ”the best thing you could do in science is to falsify your hypothesis.” 3D digital technology allows scientists to “open-source” their empirical data, including original discoveries like fossils. Now, instead of asking colleagues to fly across the globe to help validate new findings, a scientist can just send a digital file and the finding can be 3D printed at the other end.

3D Scanning Fossils

Scanning fossils has further application with the use of the 3D printer, of course. Holding the 1/10 scale leg bone of a dinosaur in the palm of his hand, Lacovara explained that uses in the classroom present attractive prospects, where examination of real specimens is hardly practical. The scans can also fill in the blanks of broken or incomplete bones by replicating data from a similar part. Of course, printing all of the specimens is still fairly expensive, so for now, they’re only printing fossils from which they hope to learn some new piece of information. The process is simple: Dr. Lacovara, and his students set a bone on a table, or, if size is less of a factor, on a small rotating pedestal. The scanner used in his lab is a $3,000 NextEngine scanner, which uses simple proprietary software to scan around 1 million points on a three-dimensional object in a few minutes. It is plugged into a Windows computer. The scanning produces an STL file, commonly used in CAD. The STL file is sent to another computer, and this time, it’s the one that is attached to the Dimension Elite 3D Printer which is housed in the Engineering Department, where the actual “printing” of the bone takes place. The complete process can take just a few hours. The printer uses fused deposit modeling, a 3D imaging and printing process developed in the 1980s and commercialized in the 1990s. It takes the STL file and essentially slices it into layers, automatically generating a disposable, breakaway support structure if needed. The printing material, a polymer plastic, is laid down in those corresponding layers, eventually completing the finished object. The result is a highly faithful and exact scale model of the object as originally scanned at a given scale. While the process is still somewhat expensive, it leads to the possibility — previously unthinkable — of endless duplication, and endless faithful reproductions.

Read the full article at The Verge.

Dental Labs Redefine Personal Care with Onsite 3D Printing

The world of dentistry and tooth repair dates back about 9000 years to the Indus Valley Civilization where evidence of tooth drilling has been found in a Neolithic graveyard. In 1840, the first dental school opened in the US, and over the last 160 years, preventative dental care has advanced signficantly.

Now modern dentistry is on the verge of a revolution with help from 3D printing and related technologies.

Imagine walking into your dentist’s office. She says: “You need a new crown.” She pulls over a machine that takes a 3D digital scan of your teeth and annotates that scan in her computer. Instructions are then sent to a 3D printer located in the dental office, which prints your crown onsite in 60 seconds. Your dentist can finish the job without you leaving the chair to get a magazine.

This real-world application is a good example of how 3D printing will be the catalyst for major change in the medical arena, leading to explosive growth and a $5 billion 3D printing industry by 2020.

Read more about dental advances at Today’s Medical Developments.