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.ly/1p1SgX6.
For more stories about the science of our planet, check out EARTH magazine online or subscribe at http://www.earthmagazine.org. The September issue, now available on the digital newsstand, features stories about the dangers of living in the shadow of the world's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, the risks to geoscientists of contracting Valley Fever in the field, and a new historical look at the sometimes-serial approach of earthquakes in the Bay Area, plus much, much more.
Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine online at: http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.
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.
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