3d Printing In Archaeology

Decent Essays

Will 3D printing revolutionize our understanding of archaeology? 3D printing is a captivating advancement of technology that has profuse uses. Different from all the previous manufacturing methods, 3D printing generates a product in an additive mode to form an intricate three dimensional object, and therefore has the ability to produce the most complicated irregular object. This unique characteristic deems it highly impactful for archaeology, where the structures of historical human forms and the tools they used are often very complicated and unique, and there are currently no simple means to reproduce and study them. Clearly, 3D printing and scanning has many useful benefits to archaeology, and there is definitely room for improvement. …show more content…

The process stays the same, though. 3D scanning works by running a laser over the entire surface of the object you want to scan. As the laser moves over the object, a “point cloud” is created: millions of dots on a computer screen that fit together to create a 3D image. This process is extremely quick; the scanner can generate about 750,000 dots per second. These groundbreaking innovations have aided people in amazing ways.

There is definitely a lot of potential for 3D printing in archaeology. One of the most advantageous benefits is that with non-contact 3D scanners and 3D printers, archaeologists can meticulously duplicate historical artifacts and preserve the originals. This will allow them to study the objects hands-on without bringing harm to them. An added bonus of 3D scanners is their speed. It only takes a few minutes to scan a human-sized statue. This will assist archaeologists when time is a dilemma. Occasionally, archaeological sites are located on construction areas, and archaeologists typically don’t have long at the actual location. Developed 3D scanners equipped with a GPS could give archaeologists a visual model of the area, making it easier to view locations of …show more content…

First of all, plastic is the main material in most printers, and this material biodegrades EXTREMELY slowly: 450 to 1,000 years! This would create a serious environmental problem if objects were discarded and thrown into landfills, especially because technology is bound to become cheaper, and this will lead to more people owning personal 3D printers. Another worrying aspect is the fact that guns and other weapons can be 3D printed with ease, though it would take quite a long time. Already some people own their own 3D printer, and the numbers are sure to rise in the following decades. It will be quite difficult to keep tabs on the printers, causing a dangerous issue. Of course, if the trouble increases, it is always possible for the government to set a law stating that only individuals with a license can own 3D printers. The difficulties don’t end there, though. Consider this dilemma. If every single human in the world owned a personal 3D printer and scanner, what would happen to businesses? If there was a product someone took interest in, they could simply print it at home without spending any money! In archaeology, complications arise as well. In order to print larger artifacts, you need a substantially larger 3D printer. If you were to replicate a house, a relatively sizable printer would be required, along with a large stock of plastic and a printer larger than a house. This also means that the cost of

Get Access