There’s been plenty of buzz about 3-D printers lately. The devices create three-dimensional objects from digital scans and are considered an educational trend to watch in the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report 2013 Higher Education Edition because the cost of the machines has been falling to the point where they have become an affordable option for schools and colleges to purchase.
National Public Radio teamed with Nicolas Burrus, co-founder of the 3-D scanning firm manctl, to scan an NPR correspondent in Germany and then have the imagery printed on a 3-D printer in Menlo Park, CA, with the resulting object shown in the video below.
“We are going to see more and more applications built that are going to allow you—people who don’t necessarily know how to do digital design—to be empowered to make the things that they want, just the way they want them,” Bre Pettis, founder of the company that produced the 3-D printer used, said in a report on NPR.
The big concern connected to 3-D printing technology that has yet to be adequately addressed is copyright infringement. Firms have already created web sites that allow people to share 3-D scans, some that appear to be very similar to copyrighted images, such as Yoda from the Star Wars films.