Alexandria, Va. -- The rapid proliferation of 3-D printing technology in the early 2000s sent ripples of excitement through the tech world and beyond, but the high price of printers put them out of reach for most academic researchers and hobbyists. Now, more affordable printers have broken this barrier, and geoscientists have started testing the waters.
From the delicate geometry of a crystal lattice to the sweeping strata of an anticline, geology is an inherently 3-D discipline. Three-dimensional printing offers the chance to make those structures replicable, communicable and malleable. And it can make objects themselves "open source," enabling wider access to specimens for students and giving researchers the power to handle and manipulate the natural features they study. Read more about how geoscientists are using 3-D printing to transform their science in the September issue of EARTH Magazine: http://bit.
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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 49 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.