A bust of controversial whistleblower Edward Snowden has migrated to a digital format, suitable for 3D printing.
According to a report on the New York Post, activists installed a 100 pound (45Kg) bronze bust of the whistleblower on an empty plinth in a Brooklyn park. Authorities quickly detected the rogue sculpture and removed it, where it is now held by the 88th precinct police department as evidence for criminal activity.
The disposition of the sculpture is murky, as a criminal case is underway, attorneys are protesting, groups wish the statue to be exhibited legally in the park and a gallery has volunteered to display it properly.
Regardless, it now seems that the digital file of the bust has been publicly released on Thingiverse for anyone to download and 3D print if they so choose.
Be warned, however, the file is very large, amounting to over 50Mb of STL, which could choke 3D print slicing software running on lesser machines. We’ve had much trouble trying to get this one printed. But at least you have the 3D model and can work on it.
The interesting part to us is that what was originally a physical act of protestation has somehow morphed into a digital equivalent, where the statue is now floating in the cloud and available to all. Instead of one statue in a sleepy Brooklyn park, there could be dozens or hundreds of them around the world, printed in plastic, metal, wood or whatever making machines are handy.
They say things in the world are slowly being digitized and this is an excellent example of the phenomenon.