GeoFabLab at Iowa State
follow us on Twitter! @geofablab
See what we are modeling on Thingiverse! www.thingiverse.com/geofablab/designs
The mission of the Geological Fabrication Laboratory is to develop and deploy novel techniques for describing and interpreting geology. This is accomplished by not only through a deep understanding of industry and academic techniques, but also by interactions with other fields of research like materials science and biotechnology where people are interested in porous materials, microscopy, surface chemistry, etc.
Printing Permeable Porosity: The current focus of the GeoFabLab is to produce a workflow for photocopying rocks. That is, by combining CT scanning, 3D visualization and editing, and 3D printing, we think we can make useful reproductions of porous geological materials for reservoir flow research.
- Models for the Masses: GeoFabLab is busy scanning as many geological things as it can (Now over 100 model uploaded to Thingiverse) so anyone in the world (with a 3D printer) can print out any geological thing their heart desires. Some examples:
- Touchable Topography: GeoFabLab seeks to streamline the production of 3D printouts of digital elevation data for learning and research. Some examples:
- Flexible Fossils: Inspired by a flexible trilobite model on Thingiverse, GeoFabLab would like to create models of organisms (fossil and otherwise) that move to imporve understanding of moden and ancient life.
Press coverage of the GeoFabLab:
- "3D-printed fossils & rocks could transform geology" at LiveScience (same story at Fox News, at the Oregon Herald, at Yahoo! News) Re-coverage of the story at RapidReadyTechnology and at Mak3r (en français).
- "Print your own dinosaur bones" at DotMed
- "3D Printing Human Evolution, and the Geologic Material Around It" at 3D Printing Industry
- The GeoFabLab currently runs one MakerBot Replicator 2X producing scale models of porous geological materials.
- The GeoFabLab also has acquired a MakerBot Digitizer. GFL students are busy scanning everything that they can from the geology collection...check out the GeoFabLab's page on Thingiverse.
- CT scanning is being accomplished through collaboration with Dr. Joe Gray at Iowa State's Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE)
On-line sources of free 3D models (and places to publish your own models!)...
- ThingiVerse (Makerbot)
- Digimorph • This collection of 3D models of fossils is generated at the National Science Foundation's multi-user CT lab, UTCT.
- GB3D • The UK repository for digitized type fossil specimens.
- 3D Warehouse (Google/Trimble)...3D version of GeoFabLab's home (Science I Building)
- AutoDesk 123D
- Smorf.nl is a website that allows you to interactively render crystal structures on-line and buy 3D-printed models at $10/piece.
- UK Natural History Museum (Example data from MicroCT, NanoCT)
- CLICK, the USGS On-Line LIDAR protal
- Bathymetry and Topography from around the US and World from the US National Geophysical Data Center
On-line 3D PRinting Communities
- Communities for specific, popular 3D printer makes:
- Part Making Communities:
3D capture and modeling programs...
- Free software
- Blob3D and Quant3D (UTCT's CT analysis software, requires free IDL install)
- MeshLab (Mesh editor)
- Meshmixer (Autocad)
- Blender (Full-featured 3D graphics program)
- Autodesk 123D (basic 3D graphics programs/apps integrated with cloud services, free account needed))
- SketchUp (basic 3D graphics program integrated with 3D Warehouse, free to educators)
- Scenect (3D scanning program for the Xbox Kinect sensor)
- OpenKinect (3D scanning program for the Xbox Kinect sensor)
- OpenSCAD (basic 3D modeling software with a "programmer's interface")
- 3DTIN (web-based)
- TinkerCAD (web-based, free account needed)
- Wings3D (polygon modeler)
- SPIERS: The Serial Palaeontological Image Editing and Rendering System
- 3D Slicer:
- OsiriX:Open-Source PACS Workstation DICOM Viewer
- Commercial software
- Commercial Print Labs (Upload a model, they send you a 3D print)