The Cubify CubeX Duo was purchased along with a 3D scanner as part of a long-term project to generate models of archaeological artifacts. A collection of model archaeological artifacts would be assembled into interpretive collections for distribution to local primary and secondary schools to enhance students knowledge of local history and culture. These model artifacts would represent primarily the Mississippian culture which existed throughout much of the southeast United States from about 800 A.D. to approximately 1600 A.D. (New Georgia Encyclopedia)
So, what was printed? A rook, the test file provided by Cubify (above). The Murray State coaster and dime (on the coaster) provide scale. The print job took about 4 hours. The level of detail is pretty cool; not seen in the image is the spiral staircase running from the floor to roof inside the rook. Many of these 3D printers create very impressive levels of details even as seen from the outside. If one were to examine these objects closer, the interiors of most objects also contain high amounts fine details only visible by close scrutiny.
3D printing and scanning, outrageously expensive a mere 5 years ago, are becoming nearly commonplace. Such vendors as Cubify, Makerbot, and Printrbot provide entry level printers affordable to home enthusiasts. Some models are less than a $1000, putting them within reach of individuals, schools, and small businesses. 3D printing and scanning is rapidly becoming the basis of DIY, entrepreneurial fabrication, and a necessary tool for the Maker movement.