Why 3D printing?
With this revolutionary technology we wanted to see these objects in their physical form, as representations of real artifacts, without any danger of harming them or having them be thought of as fakes (hence, they are printed in plastic, often in bright colors.)
What was the experience of 3D printing like?
My school, Cornell College, is in possession of two 3D printers: the Makerbot and the Cube Pro. It was interesting for me to see how these actually worked. The printer simply adds layers of hot filament from its extruder onto a plate or itself. The settings included adding a base, supports, or changing the filament’s thickness. These attributes add to the printing time. The long printing time can cause problems: I had a thunder storm cause my print job, which was to take 8 hours to print, stop when the power went out, just when it got close to the end. I had to print the object again but these things happen. 3D Printing was a new experience for me but by the end I feel more confident in loading and changing filaments, changing the printer’s settings, uploading the file to be printed, and troubleshooting issues that may arise.
How is this relevant to this project?
Since we had the printers available to us we though it was a great idea to integrate it to go farther with our goal of understanding the past. Ellen had the idea of working with a community museum (in San Juan Guelavía, Central Valleys, Oaxaca) that we hope might benefit from objects like these for the public to interact with. We thought that it might be beneficial for a community like Guelavía, that has a connection with the Zapotec culture to be able to be in possession of these objects so that they can come up with questions and/or answers to some artifacts that are unknown. We took these printed objects with us to Mexico to present them and gave them to the Guelavía community museum so that they may handle them in whichever way they see fit.
–Arturo Hernández Jr., Cornell College ’16