Franek Hasiuk, Department of Geological and Atm Sciences

GeoFabLab at Iowa State

GeoFabLab Logo


follow us on Twitter! @geofablab

See what we are modeling on Thingiverse!

Press coverage of the GeoFabLab:

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.

Reseach Focus:

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.

Broader Impacts:

  • 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.


  • 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!)...

3D capture and modeling programs...

  • Free software
  • Commercial software