Semaphore Colloquium Series: Remaking the Humanities


By Amy Ratelle on Sep 30th, 2013

In a recent colloquium talk, Isaac Record, a postdoctoral fellow at Semaphore, presented his current research. He is examining the application of 3D printers in studying the history and philosophy of science. Over the past year or so, 3D scanning and printing have become a viable manufacturing options for at-home tinkerers, inventors and makers, in fact some retailers now offer in-store 3D printing services.

According to Record, 3D printing allows for investigations into material culture that were simply not available to a wide range of educators, academics, and historians. As costs of the technology have come down, and 3D printing devices have become more widespread, material culture research can change. Record’s approach to look at 3D printing as a way of looking at history, by scanning and printing artifacts, showing that this technology allows for certain kinds of investigations that should become standard methods for humanities research. 3D scanning and printing can help re-create objects in such a way that they can become more clearly readable, without damaging the object, and allow for active engagement. Active engagement allows researchers to handle recreations of objects to understand how someone may have used that particular artifact. Above is a clip from the talk, and if you'd like to view the full video (47 min), please click here

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