The Smithsonian Museum has recently decided to create 3D scans of many objects from their collection. Starting with Thomas Jefferson’s statue and continuing with many other items from the museum, the 3D scans will be used in 3D printers and copies will be created for some of those. In other cases, the 3D scans will be kept in digital form, which could be printed later, or they could just be used to help with the restoration when needed.
Imagine how useful it could be for students to have exact replicas of items from museums. These 3D printed objects could be created in the school’s own 3D printer, based on the 3D files downloaded from sites of museums. Just as easily you could have a scale model toy of the Apollo Lunar Module for your kid.
An initial collection of 3D models of primates, fossils and artifacts can be admired on their site right now. As for the 3D printed statues of Thomas Jefferson, the replica was created so it could be displayed in the museum, as part of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. You can see a picture of this 3D replica below.
The possible uses for 3D printed objects could be game changing for many industries and one of these possibilities can already be foreseen right now. 3D printed prosthetic fairings from Bespoke Innovations, a company from San Francisco, are created for amputees, in an effort to offer them something that restores the symmetry of their bodies. Since prosthetics are far from perfect, they are a bit more than crutches, but they are far from being as good looking as a real leg. 3D printed prosthetic fairings could offer amputees a better designed prosthetic, that has the same dimensions as the real thing and they look better as well. They are designed for each person individually, so they will be different in the way they look.
The cost of this custom made 3D printed fairing is between $4,000 and $6,000. They are created according to the wishes and the needs of the client, as well as the chosen materials. If only one of the legs is missing, the company will do a 3D scan of the existing leg and will create the fairing which goes over the regular prosthetic based on that scan. Basically, the company will make your prosthetic look better with the help of 3D technology.