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Smithsonian Aims To Make Objects In Museum Collection 3D-Printable

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the print-yourself-a-v2-rocket dept.

Technology 73

PatPending writes with this excerpt from CNet: "With just 2 percent of the Smithsonian's archive of 137 million items available to the public at any one time, an effort is under way at the world's largest museum and research institution to adopt 3D tools to expand its reach around the country. CNET has learned that the Smithsonian has a new initiative to create a series of 3D-printed models, exhibits, and scientific replicas — as well as to generate a new digital archive of 3D models of many of the physical objects in its collection. ... They've got technology on their side — with minimally invasive laser scanners they can capture the geometry of just about any object or site with accuracy down to the micron level."

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first 3d post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39191781)

Enjoy my frosty piss in all 3 directions!!

When do the lawsuits start? (2)

sehlat (180760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191787)

Along with the claims that physical objects are copyrighted?

Re:When do the lawsuits start? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39191839)

It would be especially amusing if a lawsuit were brought by the country of origin of the objects. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_copyright [wikipedia.org]

Crown copyright is often shorter (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192445)

Crown copyright applies to works first published by a government, and its term may differ from that of an individual author's copyright. For example, the copyright term of a work of the government of Canada or Great Britain is shorter (50 years instead of 50 or 70 pma), and that of a work of the United States government is zero.

Copyright in sculptures still expires (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191869)

The estate of a sculptor who died before 1942 has no case.

Re:Copyright in sculptures still expires (1, Troll)

pinfall (2430412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191921)

So a printed home [printedhome.com] counts as sculpture?

Your link goes to a Go Daddy parking page (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192093)

That depends on what a "printed home" is; your link just goes to a Go Daddy parking page. I will tell you this: Architectural works are just as subject to copyright as sculptural works.

Re:Your link goes to a Go Daddy parking page (2)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192243)

Architectural works are just as subject to copyright as sculptural works.

Do architects count as corporations? Because those have "people rights" which are uber.

Not usually works made for hire (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192387)

Under U.S. law, copyright in most architectural works goes to the architect as an independent contractor, rather than to the employer (Source: Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , citing Bonner v. Dawson and Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid).

Re:When do the lawsuits start? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39191909)

"capture the geometry of just about any object with accuracy down to the micron level"
Looks like there are going to be a lot fun times on the weekend if the interns are running this thing.

Re:When do the lawsuits start? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195215)

It won't be just the physical objects which are copyrighted, but the models themselves. Anyway I would expect most things exhibited by museums are out of copyright and many of the others would be unique objects which have been donated and are therefore for the museum to do with as it sees fit.

Reason to get a 3D printer (5, Interesting)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191935)

If they release these models into the public doman this might just be the self justification I need to convince myself to get a 3D printer. They should sell the printers and printer consumables off their website, and give away the models for free.

Re:Reason to get a 3D printer (1)

linatux (63153) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192285)

Take a small cut off the consumables & may well cover the cost of providing the blueprints.

Re:Reason to get a 3D printer (3, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194051)

Please not that. We've been down that road, and we know where it leads. HP will be selling 3D printer "ink" for $100 per microgram.

Re:Reason to get a 3D printer (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194825)

Please not that. We've been down that road, and we know where it leads. HP will be selling 3D printer "ink" for $100 per microgram.

We are already there.
http://cubify.com/cube/index.aspx [cubify.com]
They have "cheap" consumer 3D printer, but they charge arm and a leg for plastic AND they charge for individual 3D designs!!!11one

Re:Reason to get a 3D printer (2)

laird (2705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196555)

Exactly.

It's interesting to compare Makerbot and its more recent competitor, Cubify, as they do very similar things but with completely different business models, and that makes all the difference.

Cubify is a "consumer" service from a large, 3D printing company from the "enterprise" space, which views their cheap 3D printer as a way to grow their business by adding a content commerce chain, and adding a low cost home printer, so they're primarily focusing on making a commerce-enabled web site for loading 3D models that people pay to access and then print, with DRM, etc. The idea is that designers will put their work into their library because they get paid when people print their designs, which is a competitive, rather than collaborative, space. They also offer higher end printing services (a la Shapeways) using high end 3D printers, so they view the home 3D printer as just the "cheap option", which means that they didn't invest much effort into it (it looks like a rebadged Up! printer) and are not working too hard on making it better, just "cheap and easy" as an entryway for consumers, who they hope will then start buying high end print services. Another constrast, caused by this business model, is that their printer is a sealed device, with supplies sold in pre-packaged cartridges, so you can only buy supplies from them. It's such a closed box that they won't even tell how much plastic is in a cartridge. Their community is currently nearly invisible, though to be fair they aren't shipping their printer until the Fall, so there's not much to do there except create models that people might pay to access in six months.

Makerbot is a Maker/DIY company, focused on their 3D printer as their product, and it's all done in a very open way - their designs are open sourced, anyone can download the designs and manufacture their own, people contribute their own improvements to the hardware and software, which MBI can adopt, competing 3D printer products share many components with MBI, other companies sell replacement parts and even complete "clones" of their designs, etc., so it's a very open, flexible, competitive arena. MBI sells parts and supplies for their printers, but you're free to print your own parts, and to buy supplies from anywhere else that you like, and there are plenty of reviews comparing competing suppliers. Makerbot runs a site, Thingiverse, that is a collection of 3D models, with people actively contributing and collaborating. Of course, if you want paid 3D models, you have to go elsewhere (and you can, no lock-in) but there's a powerful collaborative dynamic in Thingiverse, where designs are contributed by one person, enhanced by others, merged into mash-ups, etc. so there are now so many new posts a day on Thingiverse that it's nearly impossible to keep up. And it's not limited to Makerbot customers - there are people with any kind of 3D printer, from completely DIY RepRaps to $100K Z-Corp printers, all working together and sharing ideas. It very much reminds me of the early days of software, when everyone helped each other out, because the challenge was in figuring this new stuff out and making it work to get something done.

I suspect that 3D printing is fundamentally a creative market. That is, people won't be satisfied just printing what others have designed, because most of the potential of home 3D printing isn't just in being able to print in your home, it's in being able to 3D print things that are uniquely yours. For example, if you want a standard measuring cup, you can easily buy them in a store. But if you want to print your own, in exactly the sizes that you need, with your name embossed in it, there's an easily customizable design (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:17174) on Thingiverse. And to illustrate the power of open collaboration, that design was derived from someone else's, where I added the printed labels, and someone else can come along and add a handle, or put Stephen Colbert's face onto them, etc., whatever weird and cool thing they want. That is admittedly a somewhat silly example, but then look at the fully functional 3D printed mechanical clock (http://blog.thingiverse.com/2012/02/06/clockwork-from-the-future/), built up from individually design gears, hands, face, etc., or the 3D printed quad copter (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:17612), etc. This creativity isn't restricted to professional designers, though - my son has been designing 3D objects since he was 5 (SketchUp is amazingly fun and easy to use, not to mention free), so we have a huge collection of spy cars, spy hideouts, spy watches, etc., (yeah, he's kinda into spies) and th "Go To School" robot (which will go to school for him when he wants to stay home), all printable. And aside from everything else, the fact that my son, to whom homework is torture, can spend hours in a 3D CAD package tweaking geometry to get it just right, is a wonderful thing.

Re:Reason to get a 3D printer (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197177)

Thank you for a comprehensive and useful post. Do you know of any open source CAD programs that support the STL format? I'll be experimenting with various AM machines in a few months (hopefully).

Re:Reason to get a 3D printer (1)

laird (2705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39228549)

There are quite a few free and/or open source CAD programs.

Google SketchUp is free, though not open source. It is quite friendly to use, runs cross-platform, and can produce STL using an open source plugin. My son has been using it since he was 5, and it's easy to make nice looking things in it.

OpenSCAD is an open source programming language used for CAD modeling. It's great (I'm a programmer, YMMV) because it allows you to describe exactly what you want, and it's easy to make things parametric, meaning that you can write (for example) an OpenSCAD script to make measuring cups, and you can make any size measuring cup, labeled exactly as you want it, by setting two variables. Sure, not for the visual artist, but great for engineering.

A lot of people like FreeCAD, though I haven't used it.

Re:Reason to get a 3D printer (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194133)

yea this isnt going to be done with a hot glue gun being fed water bottles like your average shitty rep-rap

just the outside? (2)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191977)

Can the lasers penetrate the insides too, or is the 3D object just a convex hull?

Re:just the outside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39192015)

Your use of "hull" in your "or" clause presumes the laser is already doing what you're asking. Anyway, no, these are solid models.

Re:just the outside? (2)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192063)

Thanks for the incorrect grammar advice, Comic Book Guy.

Re:just the outside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39192115)

It wasn't about your grammar. And since you want to be snarky about a legitimate correction to a misstated question, why would you think lasers non-destructively pass-thru opaque solid matter in the first place?

Re:just the outside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193057)

I think lasers will pass through a pass-thru in opaque solid matter. Does that count?

Re:just the outside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193193)

Are you thru? [reference.com]

Re:just the outside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194237)

What a great site! pass-thru [reference.com] snicker.

Re:just the outside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194679)

Good catch; thank you.

Re:just the outside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194951)

Upon passing a passageway I shall passionately write a passel of passable passageworks to passalong your passthrough passage to passersby.

Re:just the outside? (2)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192041)

The lasers are just good for scanning what can be seen.

If you want to get inside geometry you need to use a CT scanner.
http://www.asianart.com/articles/ghysels/1.html [asianart.com]

Oh goody (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39192083)

Slashdot has been slacking off on the 3D printing bandwagon lately. Don't forget: 3D printing isn't just spurting out poorly formed gobs of plastic into a rickety empty shell that barely resembles the original 1 cubic inch at a time, it's a full-fledged Star Trek replicator! Anyone seen Bre Pettis' shriveled little cock? I think it needs more sucking.

Re:Oh goody (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193677)

Anyone seen Bre Pettis' shriveled little cock? I think it needs more sucking.

it's because all the 3d-printing nutters scanned it and printed themselves ABS pacifiers, and are now sucking them instead of the original.

totally and completely useless (4, Insightful)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192107)

my interest in a museum has never been to see a reproduction of an historical achievement. I've no interest in seeing a photograph of the first telephone, nor in seeing a model of the first telephone, nor in seeing a drawing of the first telephone, nor an impressionist painting of the first telephone, nor a spot-on to-the-micron reproduction of the first telephone.

my interest in a museum is to see the first telephone. Not something created ten minutes ago for me to see, but something created ages ago as an achievement.

I could care less about the reproduction. Actually, that's a lie. I'd feel ripped off by it.

Quite frankly, I'd be upset to hear that my country spent good money to create the reproduction, store the reproduction, and hide the original from me.

show me the original, or destroy the original because it can't be shown.

possibly obvious... Re:totally and completely usel (4, Interesting)

Fubari (196373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192267)

Some (possibly obvious) points; 1) this is about as close to backing up atoms (physical things) as we can get in 2012. Suppose a fire, or nuke, or whatever, takes out the originals (I for one would be grateful to have "just" replicas).
2) The data points & measurements will surely be of interest to historians & scholars.
3) I would love to see the scans in a high rez 3d display; could drive useful virtual reality tech. I don't have days (weeks?) to visit the actual museum. And if I ever do get the opportunity to go, I would love to preview the collection and come up with a short list of what I want to look at in person.
4) Self funding: I suspect the Smithsonian doesn't have as much budget as they might wish. The museum could sell replicas. I wold love to be able buy a nice bit of sculpture or history to display. I'd love to see the patent office do this for some of their old-school "models".

my interest in a museum has never been to see a reproduction of an historical achievement. I've no interest in seeing a photograph of the first telephone, nor in seeing a model of the first telephone, nor in seeing a drawing of the first telephone, nor an impressionist painting of the first telephone, nor a spot-on to-the-micron reproduction of the first telephone.

my interest in a museum is to see the first telephone. Not something created ten minutes ago for me to see, but something created ages ago as an achievement.

I could care less about the reproduction. Actually, that's a lie. I'd feel ripped off by it.

Quite frankly, I'd be upset to hear that my country spent good money to create the reproduction, store the reproduction, and hide the original from me.

show me the original, or destroy the original because it can't be shown.

Re:possibly obvious... Re:totally and completely u (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192749)

1) as close as we can get doesn't make it good enough for anything. just means that unknown errors become major problems. the idea of an original is that it's definitely correct. not actually correct, definitely correct. there's a big difference.

2) "of interest" is rarely worth anything. Think about how much anyone cares about 10'000 year old pots, and what they can teach us about prehistoric civilizations. Now imagine that you actually have a near-perfect replica of that bowl. by the way, in different materialsp it's totally meaningless. more so, it devalues the original, because people don't know any better.

3) a 3d replica of a sculpture is no different than a photocopy of a photograph. or a copy of a painting. if you had a pro painter copying the mona lisa on every street corner, are you saying that you won't need to see the real thing? that you'd want to see the copy before seeing the real thing? you're talking about turning every one of humanity's expressions into an academic exercise. and yeah, people will care about them the same way any elementary school student always does -- not at all. but teachers will drag them just the same.

4) yes, money will be made, just like most bad ideas make money. most illegal ideas too, by the way. and I too would very much enjoy having archie bunker's chair in my living room. but it's just as cheesy to have a replica as it's always been. someone somewhere has the real 50 million dollar painting, and I have the $10 reprint. look how nice my wall is. I also have a build-your-own ferrari in the garage, and very large fake gold statues on my lawn.

you've always been able to have fake stuff at a fraction of the cost. but only the most impoverished have ever cared. to everyone else, it winds up being cheesy.

so, like with every advancement, when the ability to copy is new, having a copy is having an original copy. it's the ability to copy that's impressive. and the moment it's common, they all become valueless.

and that's called devaluing an entire industry. and that's exactly what you'll get. you already have people on minimum wage with music collections larger than the wealthiest audiophiles of the 1980's. and so, music has zero value today. and not just the music. speakers suck, concert venues suck, car stereos suck. the actual quality of the music has dropped because the entire industry is now consumerized.

if you want the same to happen to everything, that's what you'll get.

Re:possibly obvious... Re:totally and completely u (1)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193681)

You're only looking at this from only one angle. The angle of replicas on display in museums, and you protest as if this was something new. It isn't, museums have been showing replicas for as long as they've existed. Virtually every dinosaur display is a cast of the real thing. The world you think exists is already mostly a dream. The difference with this though is we can have our own copy where before the process was so expensive it wasn't possible. You don't value this, I don't begrudge your opinion on the matter, but don't you dare say its worthless because YOU don't find worth in it.

Re:possibly obvious... Re:totally and completely u (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193753)

it's worthless because it devalues everything. yes, I miss the days when I saw real dinosaurs in exhibits.

but it's important to explain to people who don't know better that they too should find it worthless. otherwise, you get marketing industries generating value where none exists. and that's just bad for civilization as a whole.

it's not I who finds it worthless. it actually is worthless. the fact that someone can be conduced into attributing value to the item doesn't actually ascribe that value. it just fakes that value. and faked values are called bubbles in the finance world, and much much worse things in the biological world.

Re:possibly obvious... Re:totally and completely u (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194541)

cool story, bro

care to share with us any other "absolute truth"?

Re:possibly obvious... Re:totally and completely u (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194699)

1 + 1 = 2, most of the time.
easily-produced replicas will eliminate all of the tourism in washington dc.
it'll take you another 20 years to prove it to yourself.

Re:possibly obvious... Re:totally and completely u (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197281)

easily-produced replicas will eliminate all of the tourism in washington dc.

That sounds like the same logic that the MPAA and the RIAA use.

Re:possibly obvious... Re:totally and completely u (1)

voidphoenix (710468) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194685)

it's worthless because it devalues everything. yes, I miss the days when I saw real dinosaurs in exhibits.

When did they ever have *real dinosaurs* in exhibits? Most fossils aren't the real thing, but mineralized casts, and I'm pretty sure there aren't any whole frozen dinosaurs.

but it's important to explain to people who don't know better that they too should find it worthless.

...snip

it's not I who finds it worthless. it actually is worthless.

Contradict yourself much? How about a citation as to the actual worthlessness you keep referring to?

the fact that someone can be conduced into attributing value to the item doesn't actually ascribe that value. it just fakes that value. and faked values are called bubbles in the finance world, and much much worse things in the biological world.

"Value" is a matter of perception and relative to context, and therefore subjective. It's all "fake". On that note, what exactly are "faked values" in the biological world, and what are they called? I'm curious.

You opinions, no matter how strongly you feel about them, are not facts. When you learn the difference, your arguments will make much more sense.

Re:possibly obvious... Re:totally and completely u (1)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195233)

At the core of your argument is that you only 'value' some particular quality but not another and you have the gall to speak like you're an authority on the matter "it's important to explain to people who don't know better", the arrogance of that statement is truly amazing. We know it isn't the authentic item, that in no way diminishes our enjoyment of it. That's like saying because grape juice exists suddenly an aged fine wine has had its existence devalued.

Re:totally and completely useless (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192343)

My interest in a museum is the information it conveys, particularly in the case of technology.

Being able to "print" small examples of machines, tools, etc would convey much more than a photograph. One could get the tactile experience not available from observing objects in a glass cabinet.

Re:totally and completely useless (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192777)

not true. because the material is different. having a sand version of a chair conveys nothing. not the strength, not the feeling, not the comfort. in fact, nothing but the shape. and you forget that the colour won't be the same either. so the lighting will be totally different. so the perceived shape will be incorrect as well.

it won't even cast the same shadow, since opacity won't be the same.

it won't attract the same insects, it won't be the same softness.

if I told you that I can take the first ever NFL superbowl's game ball, and make an identical replicat out of foam, would you prize it? or would you call it what it is: nerf. because you see, it's nerf, and it's nothing.

Re:totally and completely useless (5, Informative)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192761)

Wow, you'd make a really terrible archivist.

As someone who works with archivists and preservationists all over the country, every day, I can tell you that whether or not you feel "ripped off" is completely irrelevant to that community of folks. Archivists have two main missions. First and foremost, preservation: keeping the original artifact / object / document / etc. intact and protected, as close to its original state as possible. If this means keeping the original out of bright light, prohibiting flash photography, or even eliminating public access altogether and vaulting it, then so be it. This is becoming more and more of a popular trend in museums, for example at certain branches of the Smithsonian -- high-quality repros of paintings, documents, and photographs are displayed, and the originals are vaulted. Secondarily, access is another goal -- again, so long as the artifact can be protected. The high-profile case of theft of original presidential papers at the MD Historical Society last year [baltimoresun.com] has made archivists re-think public access to original artifacts, and sent shock waves through institutions all across the country. Digitization efforts, such as the one in TFA, have taken on an even more important role in terms of achieving the goal of increasing access.

But don't think for a second that archivists value your selfish desire to view an object "in person" over the need to preserve that object, ever.

Re:totally and completely useless (3, Insightful)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192885)

no, you misunderstand me. my point is that you're doing neither. archivist want to protect an object so it can be used in future whatevers. if that means hiding from the public, then yeah, do it. but it's for that end goal. if it will absolutely never be used for anything, then there's no point in keeping it.

and when it comes to granting access, your second goal, you need to actually grant access. granting access to something else doesn't count. a sand-printed version of archie bunker's chair doesn't grant the public access to anything. it doesn't show if it was hard or soft, what colour, what comfort, nothing. so it's entirely useless.

archivists, and society in general, need to decide what the end-goal is. if it's to be able to know what was, then it needs to be protected for as long as possible, and studied only with gloved hands by the most esteemed and restricted experts. if it's to share the past with the present, then it needs to be shared. and certainly there's a balance of the two. and I'd be perfectly ok with saying that archie bunker's chair should be preserved until 2050, and then access until it degrades, because by 2055, nobody will care about a television chair anymore.

I think we can all say that pride aside, having the original presidential papers is far less important than what they stood for. they aren't humanity's achievement, they are merely representitive of that achievement. same with archie's chair. and while I'd be dissappointed to hear that there are no originals of anything from 100 years ago, I'd be equally disappointment to hear that we kept everything for 1'000 years without allowing anyone to touch them.

not to mention that there's the issue of scale. for the last 100 years, we've attempted to keep everything. so it 500 years from now, when you're living on venus, are you really going to care than 600 years earlier, a culture-busting tv show's chair is still being protected back on earth?

I love archie bunkers chair. and I treat it with the greatest respect. but in and of itself, it has no value in 500 years.

so what exactly are we saving? for whom and what for? do you really want to ressurect the dinosaurs, sure, there are loads of things that we could learn in doing so. do we really want to ressurect a mayan kitchen cabinet? there's a big difference there. more than one.

and when the cost is to specifically hide archie bunker's chair from the people today who would really enjoy seeing it, or sitting in it. there is undoubtedly more money to be had by selling expensive tickets to sit in that chair than to orbit the planet. there are enough people who would pay over a thousand dollars to sit in the chair. and enough contract law, and insurance, to cover malicious intent.

you can share the present, or you can protect the past, or you can do neither. both just isn't worth it.

Re:totally and completely useless (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193007)

I love archie bunkers chair. and I treat it with the greatest respect. but in and of itself, it has no value in 500 years.

That's not for you, or anyone else, to decide in 2012. There's no way to tell exactly what information, and artifacts, will be of value in the future, and what will not. Professional archivists and preservation people know this, and that's why they do what they do.

you can share the present, or you can protect the past, or you can do neither. both just isn't worth it.

Nonsense. Large-scale digitization efforts like HathiTrust [hathitrust.org] and Internet Archive [archive.org] do it every day. You are completely talking out of your ass.

Re:totally and completely useless (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193091)

so whose job is it to decide what is useless today? you're saying that the chair is more valuable in 100 years than to someone today.

neither is more likely. but more importantly, it's called hoarding.

but we're not talking about any of that. we're talking about 3d printed reproductions. which aren't accurate enough to be worth anything, because the material's different. so they are totally useless. and they serve to devalue the originals just the same.

Re:totally and completely useless (1)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193775)

The people 500 years from now judge whats important in 500 years. We store cultural artifacts for them, not us. What is the limit for storing cultural artifacts? Those in charge of storing those artifacts will decide that. Why do they have a right to decide that? Because those who owned the items and donated them to the archive gave them that right.

Re:totally and completely useless (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194175)

none of that makes it better. you're by definition storing some things that no one will ever want.
but still, that's not the discussion here. we're talking about crappy copies, not storage.

Re:totally and completely useless (1)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195181)

Storage is part of the discussion as you want things to be publicly accessible until they are destroyed. The current consensus is we don't want that, which you have been arguing against.

Re:totally and completely useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193795)

The 3D printings are worthless, just as a dot-matrix printout of the Constitution is worthless.

Don't fall for the "OMG 3DEE PRINTZABLE" hype, that's ust to sell the project to idiots. The real point of this is the 3D model, which is far from useless...

Re:totally and completely useless (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194183)

can't believe they marked you to zero. what a dumb group.

Re:totally and completely useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194821)

As one who neither has nor wants an account, my posts start at zero.

Re:totally and completely useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197381)

Can you replicate some capital letters and use them? Your post looks as though a grade school student wrote it.
The Mayans had kitchen cabinets? I want to see one; even a replica would be interesting.

Re:totally and completely useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194635)

>a spot-on to-the-micron reproduction of the first telephone.
I wouldn't mind being able to own my very own micron accurate reproduction of the first telephone though.

Re:totally and completely useless (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194689)

I wouldn't mind if all of washington dc never again has any tourism whatsoever. doesn't make for a better civilization though.
but yeah, me too.

Builders (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195383)

Some people ARE interested in what is in a museum. Builders of historical instruments, for instance. As an instrument builder, I like this tremendously. The object of my interest can now be printed, and I can take a good look up close. In the museum, the object is behind glass, unless you make an appointment to measure it. In the case of the Haags Gemeentemuseum, for example, this fails.

Re:totally and completely useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39195583)

I have absolutely no idea what you're saying, as I only see a copy of the original text you wrote. Thus, it is totally and completely useless to me.

Re:totally and completely useless (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197719)

Seems like you want to go to the circus or the fair and not a museum..

Re:totally and completely useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201523)

and an exploratorium (for its hands-on, touchy/feely aspect)

Smithsonian policies are restrictive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39192157)

You can take a picture of the polygraph (copying device "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygraph_%28duplicating_device%29") at the Smithsonian, a favorite of Jefferson's, but you cannot publish it in the Wikimedia Commons (at least not without some tortuous-to-obtain special permission), so how are you going to get the whole device (copied) out under less restrictive permissions? - Leonard G.

Re:Smithsonian policies are restrictive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39192205)

You really think "3D printing" can replicate fully functional copies of items? Internal wiring, different chemical elements, etc.. How simple-mided and delusional are you? Leonard? Answer me.

At *best*, after months of fiddling and thousands of dollars, you're getting a rough approximation of the external shape of a given item. In one material, that has nothing to do with the original material.

Great Idea Bad Timing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39192477)

Just from watching the stargate SG-1 props go at eBay lately, I fuckin thought damn, IF I could only make teok' o's gauaould prayer statue,. (1 of 6 or whatever just went for like $125 on eBay) OH how I love those black temple cats, even though the object is basically for show and made like a piece of shit, when you look up close. But yeah, if only the banksters and government were not trying to make a NWO, maybe we would have money to buy some American plastic shit? But as it is this fucking treasonous bailouts, the fed printing money devaluating the dollar, the unconstitutional not declared endless wars now driving gas and commodities way the fuck up, and all these bullshit new laws have fucked me leaving me in a quazi legal limbo with copyright, and along with the NDAA, someone just posting a rant could end me up raided, spied on, tortured, no trial or, struck by a fucking drone by my own fucking country by these fucking treasonous psychopathic tyrants. I digress.

I think the IDEA is genius, 3D artifacts, awesome.
Nobody globally is going to have thousands to pay for a giant plastic King Tut Casket in this monetary enviornment. And if they do it won't be much longer.

Ya think I'm wrong?

Gives new meaning to "Museum quality print" (2)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192829)

I really wish the consumer level 3D printers could match the quality of the ones they're using. (Disclaimer: I've never handled the output from either so I'm just looking at pictures. But the ones shown in the link look much better without any obvious pixelization or should I say "voxelization"?).

Oh well, another 5 years I guess. (Still I'm glad to be living now and not, say, during the middle ages!).

Yet more landfill fodder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39192835)

Although having 3d models of things in the museum is a great idea, I think the idea that people will actually 3d print these replicas really is sad.

I doubt it will really happen much in a home environment (just like nobody really prints a book at home), however, I notice lots of people wasting paper/ink printing things in the office (where it is "free"). Fortunatly most businesses don't have 3d printers yet, but I can see a day where people are printing out things for meeting and for show & tell. I see people still actually printing color slide handouts for people to look at during meetings and these are the same people that would not think twice about printing 3d objects if they had access to that capability...

Hopefully some sort of cheap virtual reality technology will make these 3d printable objects stay in the digital world where they won't damage the environment. If that happens, in theory you can print them, but nobody would...

I want to print.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193093)

I want to print Archie Bunker's chair and Mister Roger's sweater, both in the Smithsonian collection.

Just to clarify (2)

amanamac (1049100) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193249)

these two guys are focusing on many organic items, that in time will degrade. It is a pity that the article did not stress that aspect. Yeah, 3D printing is the new buzz, but being able to document the geometry of things that crumble with time and oxidation is a service that is invaluable.

The perfect chair (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194795)

At last, I can make a 3d model of the archie bunker chair [si.edu] . I hope they scan that before the padding goes away. If it worked for Archie to sit around in, it may make a really good programming chair.

3d models available? (2)

macshit (157376) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193929)

Anyone know if the 3d models (of those things they've scanned so far) are already available as a download somewhere? It'd be cool throw Jefferson into a render or two...

Physibles (2)

djh2400 (1362925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194273)

Excellent! They can use TPB's physibles [thepiratebay.se] category.

I'd be happy just to have the files / dimensions (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196209)

The guy who was hired to prepare a replica of Pres. Thomas Jefferson's lap desk charges a modest fee for the plans which I've never been able to justify --- just being able to download a file w/ accurate dimensions would let me make my own.

William

Great for Paleontology! (1)

DEmmons (1538383) | more than 2 years ago | (#39200775)

Tons of dinosaurs and other creatures lie 'undiscovered' because the holotypes are sitting in a museum basement and no one has gotten around to describing them. If museums were able to scan their entire collections, and were willing to put up the data in an open-access way, paleontologists could get a lot more done. Of course, at some point someone would have to actually brave the dust and examine the fossil itself, but for cladistic studies and searching for new material to work on, it seems like a heck of a resource.

Buried Lede (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201445)

"[A]n effort is under way at the world's largest museum and research institution to adopt 3D tools to expand its reach around the country."

Buried lede: Smithsonian Gives Nation A Reacharound

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