Cabe--Great article. I have spent hour upon hour measuring dimensions from actual part configurations to produce drawings. Early in my career, I was a team member given the task of reproducing drawings after a fire that destroyed much of the data base for many of the products manufactured by our company. Back in those days everything was "paper", no CAD, etc etc. We, of course, did have copies but many of those were unreliable for various reasons. This project took the better part of six months and was a painstaking process. I will say one thing, as a "rookie" engineer, I certainly did get the feel for the products we were manufacturing and that greatly aided my efforts in understanding design processes and reasons for certain features. We certainly could have used the software from Rapidform 3D at that time.
I wonder if there will be some fuss made about the ability to copy things without having to design them. Right now we have all kinds of inconveniences and limitations because of the crybabies. We have digital rights management code deciding if we can make a copy to keep in the car, or transfer to a different media, or make our own collection of music. Likewise with DVDs. And you just can't play a CD from other parts of the world, no matter how legal it is.
So just imagine the howels when somebody produces a copy of some overpriced item. We will have an interesting situation indeed. Imagine a "duplicate" Rolex watch, if you will. Of course, the quality may be really hard to copy, but not the image and appearance. At least that is how it looks to me. And just imagine what it would be like if somebody could copy some of the more serious military weapons. Grab one and scan it and then print out and asemble dozens.
So digital bootleging may inspire some sort of regulations, but I can't imagine how they would work.
The D-Shape is definitely art-oriented, and also architecture oriented. If you look at the stuff the inventor has done with it, like fancy, swirly shaped architectural elements, I think it would be the perfect candidate for our cave art wall.
Herzog is definitely a nut, but a creative, innovative one. I'd forgotten the crack about crocodiles--that was weird. If you mean the D-Shape 3D printer or others of its type, like I wrote about in a recent Future Cities blog http://www.ubmfuturecities.com/author.asp?section_id=262&doc_id=523906 they don't actually print stone, but some of its constituent materials: e.g., sand, gravel, or clay, using a binder. But that said, whatever came out of it would look like the real thing.
That was one of my favorite Herzog movies, and one of the few I've ever wanted to see in 3D (although we didn't get to). He is an odd duck, but definitely a genius--who else would have thought to make that movie? Having part of Altamira, Lascaux or Chauvet in one's living room would be an amazing experience.
I look forward to the maturation of 3D scanning. I hope it becomes accessible, like 3D printing, to the masses. I'm sure we will see countless bootlegging of products, but that the way the world works. It may force companies to create better products, beyond the quality of household printing.
I foresee someone taking the 3D scanned caves and building the places into their homes. Imagine if part of our homes were an accurate recreation of Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams."
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