If you want it, copy it… for now.

I am often looking online for other sculptures to print to show off the capabilities of the nozzles that I sell on Jerrill.com. Unfortunately, there are only so many complete sculptures online that can be fairly easily printed with an evening’s effort. However, today I found a previously untapped resource!

I was at a big box garden store today with my wife and daughter and came across the lawn sculpture aisles. I found a very pretty sculpture of an angel resting her head on a knee. The first thought was that I wish I had 3D model for all these wonderful sculptures. The second though was an epiphany.

I have a phone with a camera and the power of the cloud behind it. I fired up an amazing app called 123D Catch and began taking photos. I hit upload as I placed the statue back on her shelf and walked out of the aisle to find my wife and daughter who run away when I start doing things like this.



On the way home a beautiful, nearly perfect 3D model arrived on my phone that I could virtually walk around with the swipe of a finger.



Once I got home, I commenced to cleaning up the 3D model a bit. I had to remove the floor from the model and close up the hole in the bottom of the model that was left behind, but that was about it!



I fired up the Printrbot and a few hours later I had the following:



It was printed with a 0.25 mm nozzle, 0.15 mm layer height, sliced with KISSlicer version Mar 11 2012, post-processed with acetone steam for a couple of minutes. I’ve posted the design on Thingiverse for others to download for free, print their own copy free, and enjoy for free, and I am asking no compensation and no one else is getting any.

Wow. Think about the implications of the technology we have at our fingertips!

I saw something in a store that I wanted. And with my cell phone I was able to capture the complete exterior design of the thing and came home and had my own FREE copy in a few hours for very little effort. I’m left with a beautiful angel sculpture and all the ethical and legal questions that come with her. And I’ve shared what are effectively the photos I took with the rest of the world.

How is this any different from seeing something in a store on a shelf and thinking to myself, “Oh, I can make that at home..” and going home and doing just that?

There were no signs in the store saying photos were not allowed. There were no copyright notices posted. There was no signature on the mass produced plastics sculpture sitting on the shelf. Just a price tag that technology is increasingly making meaningless. Would it have made a difference if I have purchased the one statue? Is it a public domain statue? How would I know? How could I find out?

And this technology is in its infancy. I can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to do in 10 years.

Interesting times.

Thank you to the person that made the original statue, whoever you are.



2 Responses to “If you want it, copy it… for now.”

  1. batchix August 3, 2013 at 2:31 am #

    Wow! as a sculptor myself, that’s both exciting and disturbing.

    The sculpts I do by hand are being targeted recently by recasters- so it kind of hits home. The angel here is a mass produced item that the sculptor was probably paid in advance for or gets royalties off of… but what’s going to happen to art sculptors and individual artists if something like this takes off and people start photoing your work and reselling and printing it?

    That’s going to spawn a whole new age of copyright law… and paranoia on my part.

    On the other hand, it does make it easier to make custom parts for toys in the correct sizes easier on me! I need to get that program.

  2. Ben Dansie September 7, 2013 at 3:42 am #

    On a side note, I’ve created a sculpture for the purposes of pushing my Printrbot Jr and the 0.15mm nozzle I’ve got from you. That and pirates are always fun.


    There is now a photo of a bronze version that I printed in PLA then had cast with the help of the local Fab La, conveniently located in an art school.

    Thanks again for pursuing the smaller nozzles!

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