We’ve all seen the enigmatic Easter Island monoliths called Moai, erected for mysterious purposes by long departed pacific islanders some 700ish years ago, and we find them quite intriguing. They were also very interesting to Mark Ganter of Open3DP, who wanted to 3D print one.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a readily available dataset containing a 3D scan of a Moai. Ganter searched high and low across the interwebs, and eventually encountered Anthropology Professor Carl Lipo, of the California State University Long Beach Institute for Integrated Research in Materials, Environments and Society (IIRMES) Department of Anthropology Archaeology. Lipo just happened to have such 3D scans – and one of them was stored under a Creative Commons license!
Lipo was surprised to learn of the 3D printing project using his data – and is anxiously awaiting delivery of a sample.
It’s amazing what can happen when data is made free. It travels to places where it becomes useful.