One of 3D printing’s most whimsical promises—and this is a technology whose promise, at this point, is mostly whimsical—is the ability to copy and riff on nearly any physical object. Last week, that promise, as far as a handful of famous sculptures is concerned, became a reality: a group of 3D printing enthusiasts from the MakerBot community visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and scanned 34 sculptures with 3D capture software loaded on their phones, while Met curators guided them through the galleries.
The scans were then converted into blue prints that people with 3D printers can use to make their own tiny copies or to make their own works of art. People have already begun to print their own, like the bust of Marsyas above, and post their photos on Thingiverse, MakerBot’s social database of designs.
We often write about the amazing, charming, ridiculous things that 3D printers makes possible: see the fabbed hermit crab shells, the space shuttle made of pureed scallops and cheese, the “pirated” Penrose Triangle. But machines that can make any physical object using only resin powder can also be turned to more nefarious ends. Security blogger Brain Krebs reports that someone has deployed at least one impressively sophisticated ATM skimmer in LA that appears to have been 3D printed. The device fits over the front of a bona fide Chase ATM. Just looking at these babies sends a chill down your spine—this person or persons knew what they were doing. Here’s more from Krebs: Read More