Some museums provide replica objects that you can pick up and examine, rather than just peering at them through a glass case. There is a lot to be said at being able to feel an artefact, and look at the detail. It’s good for visually impaired people too.
Now, imagine being able to download a replica. Not just a 3D model that you can move about on screen, but a real, solid, object. Sounds like a fantasy? Nope. Z Corporation have built a 3D printer. The ZPrinter 310 Plus creates 3D models from pretty much any of the major 3D packages by using a powder printed using Hewlett-Packard‘s inkjet technology. It builds the model up in fine layers, in full 24 bit colour inside a heated build chamber.
So, whilst a physical object isn’t beamed straight onto your desk, it nearly is! You could download a 3D model, send it straight to the 3D printer, and there’s your replica object.
As 3D scanners and printers become more affordable, this could change the way that museums present their collections online forever. Loan boxes could be sent digitally across the world. The possibilities are quite endless.
Currently, the ZPrinter starts at a cool $19,900, so get saving!