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:
- "Changing the landscape: Geoscientists embrace 3-D printing" at Earth Magazine
- "Iowa Researcher Uses 3-D Printing To Understand What Lies Beneath" at Oilprice.com
- "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)
The Scan, Model, Print, Share Workflow
Academic Journals specializing in digital methods
Interesting geological uses of 3D Scanning and Printing
- Scanning uncut gemstones to optimize cutting plans
- Scanning fossil teeth to understand human evolution