Most 3D Scans are In Jail

By on December 4th, 2013 in Ideas

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Every few weeks we are bombarded with press releases from research organizations that are keen to tell the story of how they have captured in great detail a 3D scan of a building or property. Museums in particular are getting into the scanning business. It’s thought that the Smithsonian, for example, has hundreds, perhaps thousands or even more exquisite 3D scans of their collection.
But there’s a pattern emerging: while these organizations are quite happy to tell you they’ve been creating scans, there are few or even no ways to access them. 
The scans are often of works that have long been in the public domain, perhaps even for centuries, and we’re wondering why organizations keep the scans hidden. 
Recently we’ve observed two divergences from this pattern. First, the Smithsonian has released some 3D scans – but only very few. 
The second initiative we’ve seen is AfricanFossils, which hopes to distribute 3D models of ancient man for educational purposes. 
We’re hoping there’s more such initiatives. 
Free the scans from their jails! 


By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!