A certain dataset of objects is still online...


and you want to use it, while it lasts

A certain dataset of objects is still online... /img/teaser-3dscans.jpg

Exactly four years ago, while working in the H2020 Digital DIY project, I blogged about a “Large dataset of.. Objects”. Four years later, I am happy to see that it is still online doing a great service, because it was nothing but granted that this would be the case, back then. To celebrate, I am republishing the whole post, with minor edits.

Large dataset of.. Objects shows relevance of Digital DIY

In 2016, we of DiDIY discovered a very interesting project, which is also one more great proof that the DiDIY project is indeed researching a hot topic, one that will force society to rethink and update laws and norms in many fields, from “intellectual property” to product liability: how does life change, when practically everybody can manufacture copies of ANY PHYSICAL OBJECT?

The project we’re talking about is the “Large Dataset of Object Scans” by Redwood Data, and this is how they present it:

“We have created a dataset of more than ten thousand 3D scans of real objects [by means of recruited operators, who] scanned objects of their choosing, outside the laboratory and without direct supervision by computer vision professionals. The result is a large and diverse collection of object scans: from shoes, mugs, and toys to grand pianos, construction vehicles, and large outdoor sculptures. We worked with an attorney to ensure that data acquisition did not violate privacy constraints. The acquired data was irrevocably placed in the public domain”.

Why is this still relevant? Easy

Project like these are crucial these days, for a simple reason: because they give everybody with access to 3D printers or similar equipment (even indirectly, that is through third party service!) the possibility to have their own copy of some material object, or part of it, to enjoy it, or even as spare parts, or whole replacements, of products not otherwise available on the normal market. Think about it: what would life would be like, if you could:

  • legally have a copy of whatever you need, if you can afford the manufacturing price, even if that product is not manufactured anymore by its original supplier, or if that supplier went out of business?
  • and even if you are the only person in the world who needs one copy of that product?

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