Hat tip to Librarian in Black for pointing me at this awesome video explaining the importance of 3D printing. I’ve been talking about 3D printing on and off for a long time (the first post on my blog about 3D printing was in October 2006). This gives a good overview of the reason that this is a Very Big Deal.
“We also have to calculate the actual depth of objects from the stereo effect,” says Stollnitz, “comparing how they appear in different photos.” His software uses what it learns through that process to break each image apart and spread what it captures through virtual 3-D space (see video, below). The pieces from different photos are stitched together on the fly as a person navigates around the virtual space to generate his current viewpoint, creating the same view that would be seen if he were walking around the object in physical space.
I’m most interested in this sort of technology when it’s combined with my recent obsession, 3D printing. Libraries are starting to pay attention to this new technology…I had a chance to talk with Sarah Houghton-Jan, the assistant director for the San Rafael Public Library and better known online as the Librarian in Black. San Rafael is about to purchase a MakerBot for its tech area, and will be running programs on how to use it for their patrons. I can’t wait to get more information about how the patrons take to it.
When you can use your cellphone to “scan” a 3D object and then walk over to your PC and print a model of that object, what sort of things will we be able to do? How does our idea of ownership of objects change in a world like that? What can libraries do to be a part of this new, Star Trek–esque technology?
Boingboing is reporting that the first DMCA notice specifically relating to 3D printing has been sent. I wrote about my increasing fascination with fabbing over on the ALA Techsource blog this month, and the copyright issues that are going to be brought to light in this new creative arena are in their infancy. This will get very messy, very quickly.
Anyone want to make a guess as to when libraries will start trying to organize and collect these 3D files? Is anyone out there already?