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3D Printing in Stone, or Copy a Sculpture in Rock

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the no-chisel-required dept.

Robotics 186

An anonymous reader writes "With all this design your own parts and electronics talk lately here on /., what about creating your own stone sculpture on a PC or Copying a Stone Sculpture? You can do that with an outfit called Studio Roc in CA. The New York Times has an interesting article on this marriage of CAD, laser scanning, and rocks. 'Using a huge Italian-made Omag Mill5 five-axis milling machine equipped with a scanner and 30 interchangeable diamond-tipped bits and blades, the Mill5 can record nearly any object in minutes and carve a duplicate in any stone in a few hours.'"

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186 comments

So now I can have... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778391)

...my own Venus De Milo RealDoll(tm)?

Just wait 'till the porn industry hears about this (1)

appelflapje (655855) | about 10 years ago | (#9778478)

Then you can expect various life size body parts of famous porn actors. :) ...shudder...

Are you sure? (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about 10 years ago | (#9778883)

Are you sure you are hard enough for her?

peeking out from the grave (2, Funny)

i621148 (728860) | about 10 years ago | (#9778392)

now you can have your head scanned and have a really scare tombstone !!! :)

Re:peeking out from the grave (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778841)

A friend of used to do exactly this. He works as a facial reconstruction surgeon. He would take an MRI scan of a patients head, and then make a foam copy of their skull using a 5 axis mill. He could then design and check whatever metal plate(s) he intended to insert before opening the pateint up. Very clever stuff. Made some nice models to keep on your desk too.

My Sculpture! (3, Funny)

toetagger1 (795806) | about 10 years ago | (#9778396)

I wonder if that machine could make a life-sized sculputure of myself? Where shall I put it?

Re:My Sculpture! (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | about 10 years ago | (#9778424)

Not enough rock, you'd have to follow a diet or to <sic!>sculputure</sic!> the Moon.

Re:My Sculpture! (2, Funny)

Smidge204 (605297) | about 10 years ago | (#9778465)

Use it as a stand-in for any meetings you have to go to, of course!

=Smidge=

Re:My Sculpture! (1)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | about 10 years ago | (#9778570)

Ditto, comes in ebony, ivory, green, and pinstripe!

Re:My Sculpture! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778645)

Don't forget the greys! Also pinstrip was only-quasi legal.

Re:My Sculpture! (1, Funny)

squaretorus (459130) | about 10 years ago | (#9778670)

you jest - but MAN I'd love one of those. Of me - not you - obviously - you might be fat!!!!

Re:My Sculpture! (1, Funny)

egjertse (197141) | about 10 years ago | (#9778689)

Yeah, I want my life-size basrelief carved into a large slab of carbon or some other black material. Mmmm..

in any stone? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778402)

the Mill5 can record nearly any object in minutes and carve a duplicate in any stone in a few hours.
I wanna see it carve something in diamond... maybe use that huge 182 carat diamond they found in Guinea a couple days ago.

Re:in any stone? (1)

thebdj (768618) | about 10 years ago | (#9778545)

diamond is not a stone. i believe it is technically considered a mineral

Re:in any stone? (1)

afidel (530433) | about 10 years ago | (#9778632)

Correct, diamond is one of the six mineral allatropes of carbon. There were origionally only three known allatropes:amorphous,graphite and diamond. In 1969 white carbon was added to the list. Buckminsterfullerene's were added in the 1990's. Finally a new form was found late last year which AFAIK has not yet been given an official name.

Actually (1)

gregarican (694358) | about 10 years ago | (#9778607)

An uncut 182 carats is roughly the size of your fist. Not too huge really...

Re:Actually (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778642)

Say that to the poor sap thats gotta buy it for an engagement ring...

Re:in any stone? (2, Funny)

JediTrainer (314273) | about 10 years ago | (#9778614)

maybe use that huge 182 carat diamond they found in Guinea a couple days ago.

Shh... don't spoil it. Everyone's still waiting for the /. article about that.

Obligitory hosting diss... (0, Flamebait)

mobiux (118006) | about 10 years ago | (#9778403)

What? Are they serving the site from the milling machine?

Obligitory slashdot diss... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778491)

No, but slashdot, as usual, is pulling it out from the past.

The byline of the article says: "Posted on: 10/10/2001"

Of course, how much difference does the age of a stone really make, anyway? :-)

A Slashdot dream come true (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778405)

So there you are, kids. You can now really have Natalie Portman petrified.

Which she probably already is...

Re:A Slashdot dream come true (2, Funny)

Alranor (472986) | about 10 years ago | (#9778718)

And then smash her up with a hammer, warm in an oven for a few hours and have your very own genuine Natalie Portman Hot Grit

Pick it up at Staples.... (3, Funny)

Himring (646324) | about 10 years ago | (#9778408)

what about creating your own stone sculpture? ...'Using a huge Italian-made Omag Mill5 five-axis milling machine

Sounds great! I'm supposing Staples will have the huge Italian-made Omag Mill5 five-axis milling machine....

Nice (5, Insightful)

nycsubway (79012) | about 10 years ago | (#9778410)

Oh, this is nice, especially for restoring old buildings. If an artist can recreate a plaster mold, they can get a stone copy. That could save a lot of time in restoration.

This could also have potential in restoring wood carvings, assuming the machine can mill wood.

Because someone had to say it (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | about 10 years ago | (#9778472)

How much wood would a stone mill mill if a stone mill could mill wood?

Re:Because someone had to say it (0, Offtopic)

yow2000 (763256) | about 10 years ago | (#9778641)

It's funny the parent wasn't rated "funny"...
it's more like: hey, nicely done.

Close, but not sig

Re:Because someone had to say it (1)

popeyethesailor (325796) | about 10 years ago | (#9778742)

ZOT!

Re:Because someone had to say it (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 10 years ago | (#9778760)

a stone mill could mill as much wood as a miller would since a stone mill could mill wood.

Re:Nice (2, Informative)

RPI Geek (640282) | about 10 years ago | (#9778473)

If the machine can mill stone, it can mill wood. I've done it before, but you do have to be careful about the feedrate and small features or else you run the risk of splintering the wood.

I don't see how it could restore a wood carving though...

Re:Nice (1)

tony_gardner (533494) | about 10 years ago | (#9778695)

Try this:
1) Make copy of original.
2) Build back areas which have been eroded with material of choice (clay/plaster).
3) Make copy of repaired carving.

Didn't you ever tidy up a cut and paste job using a photocopier?

Re:Nice (1)

RPI Geek (640282) | about 10 years ago | (#9778849)

I was assuming that by "restore" he meant "make the original better," not "make a restored copy." I was also assuming that the process should be automated, which I just didn't see happening.
Nope, never done that with a photocopier, but I see how you could.

Re:Nice (1)

marnargulus (776948) | about 10 years ago | (#9778658)

If it is anything like our mill it can't do wood. Our blades and mill are too powerful, and instead of taking out a carving it takes chunks out. The problem comes when you try to cut out either a very strong wood or a weak one. If it is too strong it will pull parts of the wood with it when you cut, but too soft will actually "melt" the wood, or cut huge chunks even with really low RPM.

Of course it would be able to... (3, Informative)

cnelzie (451984) | about 10 years ago | (#9778712)

...you could also get that done at virtually most protoype machine shops across the US.

If they have laser scan capable CMMs (That's Coordinate Measuring Machines), just about any 5-Axis Vertical Milling Machine and some decent machine operators it can be done.

Heck, you could even have that milled out of high-quality Aircraft Aluminum, like a 7000-series. You could also go with tooling steel, like Cold Drawn 1018 Carbon Steel or S-7 Tooling Steel...

None of this is really new. The technology has been around for at least 10 years, from the laser scanning to the 5-Axis Mills.

etc (1)

destinedforgreatness (753788) | about 10 years ago | (#9778412)

I'm still using hammer and chisel you insensitive clod! I *love* the tombstone idea, complete with red LED eyes and a recorded voice.

needed a really big one of these last year.... (1)

asr_man (620632) | about 10 years ago | (#9778421)

Would have helped New Hampsire save face. [nh.gov]

Re:needed a really big one of these last year.... (1)

mblase (200735) | about 10 years ago | (#9778616)

Would have helped New Hampsire save face.

Yeah, their governor really got his nose bent out of shape over that one.

I wonder... (2, Funny)

lankiveil (796473) | about 10 years ago | (#9778422)

I wonder how long it's going to be before someone figures out how to use this wonderful new technology for smut?

Re:I wonder... (1)

mirko (198274) | about 10 years ago | (#9778448)

Rodin [musee-rodin.fr] has already been [bc.edu] there [amweb.free.fr] , done [iinet.net.au] that [statue.com] ...

Re:I wonder... (1)

jstave (734089) | about 10 years ago | (#9778470)

Given how quickly it occurred to pretty much everyone here (admit it, you all had the same thought), I'm guessing its already in the works (or already done)

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778557)

I believe the /. crowd managed in the first post :)

Soon on P2P (2, Funny)

t_allardyce (48447) | about 10 years ago | (#9778425)

Oh great, get ready for a host of law-suits as Da Vinci comes back from the dead to sew 'Sculpture Pirates' copying ancient IP.

Re:Soon on P2P (1)

B2382F29 (742174) | about 10 years ago | (#9778480)

Da Vinci comes back from the dead to sew 'Sculpture Pirates' copying ancient IP

Kinda like voodoo-punishment with needles? At least he doesn't saw them.

Copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778889)

As a slashdot reader, surely you should recognise a copyright case, and know the 50 year rule. It's in the public domain now, we're all allowed a copy. Whatever the SIAA (Sculpture Industry Association of America) try to tell you!

Can't resist... (2, Funny)

agraupe (769778) | about 10 years ago | (#9778429)

It seems so useless, but yet I am compelled to get one. Such is the /. way

Re:Can't resist... (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | about 10 years ago | (#9778484)

Hey, I just bought an iPod. Go figure.

Then again, I still don't have a cell phone.

Question on the cutting (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 10 years ago | (#9778433)

Does anyone know why they use a diamond tipped cutter instead of a laser cutter? Does the laser simply slice too far, too fast? Or is the diamond cutter really that much more efficient?

Re:Question on the cutting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778467)

please show me links to your sci-fi laser that can easily and quickly cut through stone as well as stop cutting within millimeters in a plunge cut.

Oh wait IT DONT EXIST.

maybe that is the reason?? Please stop watching Science Fiction and start reading about science. it will make you smarter.

Re:Question on the cutting (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 10 years ago | (#9778534)

It seems that Laser Engraving equipment does exist [epiloglaser.com] and can cut Marble without problem. Why would a laser need to perform a plunge cut? (Not that there aren't reasons, I just don't know them.)

Re:Question on the cutting (1)

tjw (27390) | about 10 years ago | (#9778910)

It seems that Laser Engraving equipment does exist and can cut Marble without problem.

No, that URL says it can engrave marble. There's a big difference. Also, I wouldn't be surprized if by 'engrave' they actually mean 'etch' because I think even a 45W laser engraver will have problems getting much depth in marble.

One of the coolest things I've seen these things do is mark steel [uslasercorp.com] .

Re:Question on the cutting (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778481)

Does anyone know why they use a diamond tipped cutter instead of a laser cutter?

Probably because the frickin' sharks demanded better benefits.

Re:Question on the cutting (1)

JPelorat (5320) | about 10 years ago | (#9778582)

The frickin' sharks are female!

Re:Question on the cutting (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778487)

Laser cutting (or abrasive waterjet) is usually for flat items like sheetmetal where you make the cut all the way through the material. If you need to make a partial cut, a mechanical device is your only choice.

Re:Question on the cutting (5, Informative)

RPI Geek (640282) | about 10 years ago | (#9778504)

There's a few reasons.

Conventional millers are cheaper.

Lasers can't get inside features like hollowed-out areas (they can't control depth as well because they don't know the exact material properties inside the stone, and if it hit an unexpected soft spot, oops! there goes the whole thing.

A laser cutter would use much more energy to burn the material away than a conventional mill uses to just chip it.

Hope this helps.

Re:Question on the cutting (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 10 years ago | (#9778539)

Someone give this man some mod points. That was what I wanted to know. Thanks! :-)

Re:Question on the cutting (1)

MindStalker (22827) | about 10 years ago | (#9778510)

Lasers are often used for engraving small type or image lines into stone, and possibly for making finished details. But the laser cuts a very thin line very slowly it would take forever to cut through stone where a diamond tipped cutter would do it much, much faster.

Re:Question on the cutting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778591)

you'd need a massive room sized laser, lots of money for gasses and electricity to mill rocks en masse. a diamond is small, and cuts nicely. it's the industry standard, i'll bet. Real lasers aren't like movie lasers. Also, industrial diamonds are cheap - you can probably find diamond tipped drill bits at your hardware store. really.

So diamonds are cheap, and lasers are expensive.

Iiiiiinteresting (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778445)

Just like people are writing software that compose their own music, this could potentially give software the ability to create its own "artistic" sculptures... cool!

PS. Han Solo hates the idea of a full size sculpture of himself. ;o)

Nip / tuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778451)

Who needs to go all the way to Hollywood to get the best plastic surgeons? Now, all you have to do is call them up, then stick your head in an internet-enabled sculpting "printer" and let them go at it remotely.

Hopefully, you'll have a secure line, or else you'll get Cialis adverts tattoo'ed on your cheeks.

Family albums (2, Interesting)

jstave (734089) | about 10 years ago | (#9778453)

Just think how weird one could get with this. Instead of bronzing the baby's shoes, you can make multiple, lifesized statues of them as they grow up.

Re:Family albums (1)

pubjames (468013) | about 10 years ago | (#9778687)

Good idea. The only problem is that the baby would have to keep completely still while scanned, which might be diffcult.

Would work for a sleeping baby though.

The SMAA will not like this (4, Funny)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 10 years ago | (#9778459)

The Stone Masson Association of America will not stand for such a thing. They will soon lobby for a DMCA-like legislation to outlaw progress like this.

Re:The SMAA will not like this (2, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | about 10 years ago | (#9778651)

The Stone Masson Association of America will not stand for such a thing. They will soon lobby for a DMCA-like legislation to outlaw progress like this.

You joke about this, but this is exactly what happened with industries in the past - laws have been passed so that people can continue profitting from them when new technologies have threatened people's livelyhoods.

Consider - once upon a time, if you were a story teller, the way you would make more money was by visiting towns and telling your stories, and people would pay you for them, presumably the better ones would get a bigger audience and so earn more. But you wouldn't get rich by it. Then the printing press came along, which had the potential to rob storytellers of their livelyhood. So we made laws such that the original storyteller could make money on every copy of his work sold.

Similarly, if you were a musician a few hundred years ago, the only way you could make money was by playing live. Then recorded music came along - this had the potential to rob musicians of their income - they were now only needed to play the music once, and the a recording to be listened to again and again. So again, laws were made so that musicians could maintain their income.

In the past, artists and composers were comissioned by weathly people to do original artworks for them. Now they can profit from reproductions of their works, so they don't need the wealthy patrons. But only because we have made laws that allow that.

I want a Venus De Milo !!! (1)

randalware (720317) | about 10 years ago | (#9778463)

Am I the only one who would want a "almost" exact copy of the the Venus De Milo ?

I say almost exact, because I want the missing pieces added back in.

Which face to use would be a hard choice.

I think I would have to do a survey of the beatiful classic female faces for the correct historical ethnic/area first.

I couldn't use a favorite model/actress face.

Like a Julia Robert, Sandara Bullock, (insert the top 1000 rated women list here),etc, etc.
Because, I wouldn't want my statue seized by the copyright nazi's.

How much is one I want one or at least the use of one.

Obligatory HHGTTG Reference (1)

soltarusprime (791124) | about 10 years ago | (#9778514)

Perhaps this is what Agrajag utilized to make his monstrous Arthur Dent replica, yet I am suprised that he ever lived long enough to manage to make it to the shop to place the order.

Re:Obligatory HHGTTG Reference (1)

dragonp12 (798787) | about 10 years ago | (#9778603)

Then again, he did get enough chances; in one of his lives he was bound to have had the time to do it...

why? (1)

Skadet (528657) | about 10 years ago | (#9778519)

Engineer: I wonder if we can make a machine that creates stone replicas of stuff?
DeForest Kelley: You're so caught up in whether or not you could, you never stopped to think if you should!!

Seriously, why?

Re:why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778724)

Wouldnt it be cool to have stone tux's in front of buildings instead of ugly concret triangles?

Finally! (1)

Beelub (252407) | about 10 years ago | (#9778546)


A printer Fred Flinstone could love!

Carving in stone. (1)

CmdrTostado (653672) | about 10 years ago | (#9778549)

this rocks !!!

Free Sculpture Foundation (4, Funny)

Stiletto (12066) | about 10 years ago | (#9778551)


Friday, July 23, 4004
NEW YORK (AP) - A new organization has been created to promote the copying and redistribution of stone sculptures. Calling itself the Free Sculpture Foundation, or FSF, the group aims to "free" works of art which until now have been "hoarded" by stone copyrighters.

"How can you copyright a piece of rock?? It's the earth, man!" Hippie and founder Richard Stoneman said he got his idea from a recent Slashdot post, "3D Printing in Stone, or Copy a Sculpture in Rock". Great works such as those by Michelangelo will be among his first projects.

Industry groups are not impressed. Chiseled Sales, Inc. spokeswoman Hillary Rocken announced the formation of a trade group opposed to Mr. Stoneman's band of fredom fighters. The Rock Is Available Association, or RIAA is set to lobby government officials to crack down on these "rock robbers". "The talented sculpturers we represent are losing hard earned profits by these thieves. Stone may come from the earth, but that shouldn't stop us from selling it," Rocken said in a prepared statement.

The debate is not likely to go away any time soon. Shortly after the formation of the FSF, a new rival group was formed, calling itself the Open Stone movement. President Erock S Raymond called for a meeting of the minds between business and stone consumers, noting the benefits of opening up the hardware "blueprints" to great works of art.

Re:Free Sculpture Foundation (2, Funny)

whimdot (591032) | about 10 years ago | (#9778612)

To protect intellectual property they might have to chip the originals.

Re:Free Sculpture Foundation (1)

dragonp12 (798787) | about 10 years ago | (#9778621)

"How can you copyright a piece of rock?? It's the earth, man!" :-\ -> "How can you copyright a silicon chip?? It's only sand, man!"

Re:Free Sculpture Foundation (1)

goldspider (445116) | about 10 years ago | (#9778688)

If silicon microchips were a naturally-occuring phenomenon, you might have been on to something.

Re:Free Sculpture Foundation (1)

dragonp12 (798787) | about 10 years ago | (#9778751)

Well, technically most works of art aren't naturally-occuring phenomena either.

Re:Free Sculpture Foundation (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 10 years ago | (#9778730)

Hee hee, gotta love how the parent has been modded "informative"...

Re:Free Sculpture Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778919)

Informative? What the hell have the mods been smoking?

DRM? (2, Funny)

thesp (307649) | about 10 years ago | (#9778553)

Does this mean statues will now come equipped with DRM? If this machine can make Venus de Milo knockoffs with arbitrary precision, it can save the data it uses to carve. Then put that datafile on a P2P, and anyone with a statue burner will be able to make bootleg Venuses! I'm sure the art industry is already getting worried!

Re:DRM? (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | about 10 years ago | (#9778586)

Probably there will be a hidden watermark in your Venus of Milo ;)

copy this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778558)

Stonehenge

Imagine the possibilities (1)

Zorilla (791636) | about 10 years ago | (#9778569)

Imagine what a troll could do with this sort of power. Giant stone ASCII art of Trollkor and Goatse man. All they need after that is the power to screw up the layout by widening the stones.

(Before going, "I don't get it, -1 for you!" browse at -1 for a bit)

Re:Imagine the possibilities (1, Troll)

(TK4)Dessimat0r (669989) | about 10 years ago | (#9778594)

-PENIS--PENIS--PENIS--PENIS-
P_______________________8..P
E__Bow down to the_____#~..E
N__Lord's penis_______8.',-N
I_____________________#',-.I
S__Jesus wants your__8',-..S
-__anus, and he_____#~',-..-
P__wants it NOW! ___8_',-..P
E__________________##',-',-E
N__An original_____8',-',";N
I__TrollKore______##',-',";I
S__work of art.___8',-',";.S
-__By Dessimat0r ##',-',";.-
P________________8',-',";,.P
E_______________#'',-',";,.E
N______________8(',-',";,..N
I_____________#(',-',";,.,.I
S__________#8#8_',-',";,.,.S
-_________#',-.8',-',";,.,.-
P________8~',-..#',-',";,..P
E_______#'',-',";8_',-',";.E
N_____8=',-',";.+#+',-',";.N
I____#=',-',";,._8',-',";,.I
S___#=',-',";,..(#',-',";.8S
-__8(',-',CMDR,.(8',-',";s#-
P_8(',-',.TACO.";#',-',-s8_P
E_#z',-','WOZ',";8',-..s#__E
N_8_.,#',"ERE',";~#,..88___N
I_#.##',-,',',,";~8,8#_____I
S_8##',-+~'',-',-~#'8______S
-_#.,..-',-',";.'=8#_______-
P_.8+_',-',";,.'88_________P
E___888',-',";~8___________E
N______8#888#88____________N
I__________________________I
S____.oO TrollKore Oo._____S
-_At the head of the game._-
P__________________________P
-PENIS--PENIS--PENIS--PENIS-

Get the code to the TrollKore ASCII penis here... [slashdot.org]

All you cock-loving fuckers out there, here is a special treat for you bastards, take a look at this knob. NOW SUCK IT, MOTHERFUCKERS!

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Record nearly any object... (2, Funny)

mikael (484) | about 10 years ago | (#9778572)

the Mill5 can record nearly any object in minutes and carve a duplicate in any stone in a few hours.'

If it can duplicate CD's and DVD's, the RIAA are going to be annoyed.

Re:Record nearly any object... (1)

mopslik (688435) | about 10 years ago | (#9778783)

If it can duplicate CD's and DVD's, the RIAA are going to be annoyed

The Stone Roses, the Rolling Stones, and Sly & the Family Stone were unavailable for comment.

Re:Record nearly any object... (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about 10 years ago | (#9778850)

> If it can duplicate CD's and DVD's, the RIAA are going to be annoyed.

Not really. You can't play stone DVDs.

zxd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778580)

zxc

3D Models (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 10 years ago | (#9778638)

No one seems to be mentioning 3D modelling.
Imagine what Blizzard or id could do to their lobbies with a few statues of Klesk, the Demon Hunter and the like.
And just for people who are better with 3DS Max than with a chissle.

Michaelangelo's David (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778682)

Now we can finally fix Michaelangelo's David statue. I could never figure out why he gave the perfect man such a small package.

(The best part of this post is that I looked up how to spell Michaelangelo correctly from a Ninja Turtles Page.)

This isn't 3D printing, sorry (4, Informative)

panurge (573432) | about 10 years ago | (#9778683)

You need a block of stone in the first place, from which you remove stuff. It's exactly the same as standard sculpture except that instead of apprentices, laborers and great big stone saws, they're using a milling machine to get a high quality rough. And (RTFA) this does produce a rough: hand finishing is required, just as special finishing is required with the output of most machine tools. The comments this is getting suggest to me that too many people nowadays don't have a clue about manufacturing - and we in the West will surely regret this one day.

Printing is a process that involves ADDING material to a substrate, not taking it away.

So yes, it's a nice application of one of those multi-axis machine tools the Italians do so well, but it's basically the same as any die-sinking process.

great power for good or for awesome (2, Funny)

darksaber (46072) | about 10 years ago | (#9778721)

Wouldn't you love for your girlfriend (mythical or otherwise) to pose naked for this?

"They can take a twelve-inch piece and in less than a week we'll have it twelve feet," said Jon Lash, director of the institute's Digital Atelier division. "Then they'll come in and do the final manipulation of the surface."

and then again, you could pose and give her something to keep her company while you are away... perhaps with some editing, but you don't want her to prefer it to the real thing, do you?

Stone henge (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 10 years ago | (#9778757)

So when can I have my very own first stone henge then?

interesting (1)

tekunokurato (531385) | about 10 years ago | (#9778779)

Okay, so I tried to find a website for this Studio Roc place, and simply can't. Anyone have any suggestions?

Aside from that, I think this is really great. For the last seventy or so years, new buildings have been devoid of the beautiful, distinguishing sculptures that used to adorn every building out there--the columnades, the lions heads, the leafy designs, all that stuff that you only find on/around the ritziest places now. Hopefully we can get back to having architecture that's creative and beautiful rather than creative and hideous [mit.edu] (that's MIT's Stata, designed by Frank Gehry, if you don't follow these things).

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778911)

That was kind of an incomplete post. What I meant is that without slave labor or extremely cheap skilled labor (not that I'm advocating either of these), the sort of beautiful stonework we have to go touristy places to appreciate (but which used to exist in every city and on every church in the world) simply can't exist. But with good 3d printing, crafstmen can work digitally and design the sort of beautiful [mindseyepro.com] stonework [blueyonder.co.uk] we love to see everywhere.

DIY (2, Informative)

Coupons (793098) | about 10 years ago | (#9778785)

This is lovely, but beyond the means of the average /.er.

With a little ingenuity and, say, $100,000 you can build your own and save a bundle.

McRae and Sons Inc. [mcraeandsons.com] , the last US paint brush handle factory, builds their own 4 axis 3D wood carving machines for considerably less. The same principles can be applied to carving stone.

McRae's machines rely on Actek Inc. [actekinc.com] motion controllers, though manufacturers abound. You might be surprised how many are amenable to working with amatures.

Check eBay - no kidding - for cheap machines that can be canibalized or restored.

Can I get ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778788)

a petrified stone sculpture of Ms Portman?

Finally.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778808)

The Italians can fix all those broken statues they seem so proud of.

Thank you, try the veal.

Ep.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9778822)

things the rIght

or, if you're not in a hurry, (1)

nusratt (751548) | about 10 years ago | (#9778837)

. . . just outsource it to a ten-thousand-worker project team of carvers with hand-tools in some third-world country.

hmmm I wonder (1, Funny)

MarsDude (74832) | about 10 years ago | (#9778839)

Wonder when angelina jolie has a day off to go there ;-)
As I'm not expecting her to come here :-(

Stone Tablets Redux (2, Funny)

VernonNemitz (581327) | about 10 years ago | (#9778928)

Oh, boy! Now we can start preserving all of today's data in really long-lasting form! They should start with instructions of how to build and program one of these machines!

This could revolutionise the garden gnome industry (2, Funny)

Binarysleeper (798882) | about 10 years ago | (#9778945)

If you could scale down models it would be fantastic. Just imagine the heights of tackyness that could be reached in gardens all over the world!
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