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New technology for crystal models
  
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Bob Carnein




Joined: 22 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Jul 07, 2020 16:19    Post subject: New technology for crystal models  

Forgive me if Forum users already know about this or if this post violates Forum rules, but it's brand-new to me and will be of interest to at least some of you. One of my favorite mineralogical objects is the amazing old crystal models made by various companies to teach introductory crystallography. Unfortunately, these seldom come on the market, and, when they do, they're usually well outside my comfort zone, in terms of price.

However, I just came across a website for "smorf" crystal models manufactured in steel or plastic by 3-D printing technology. As of July, 2020, the manufacturer lists 150 "items", including individual crystal models and sets in several sizes. I am especially intrigued by the models of twinned crystals, which, at least to my eyes, look pretty accurate. Anyone who loves crystal models may find these to be an interesting new addition to the venerable tradition of manufacturing these cool objects.



Carlsbad twin (2).jpg
 Dimensions: about 5 cm.
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smorf model of a Carlsbad twin
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Carlsbad twin (2).jpg


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Josele




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PostPosted: Jul 07, 2020 17:55    Post subject: Re: New technology for crystal models  

In Spanish FMF there is a thread about these crystal models: Modelos cristalográficos
(If you are not comfortable with Spanish can use Google translator at top left of the page)



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Impossible paragenesis in unstable balance:
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Bob Carnein




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PostPosted: Jul 08, 2020 09:47    Post subject: Re: New technology for crystal models  

Thank you, Josele, for referring me to that thread. I especially enjoyed the posts about quartz crystals and whether a face perpendicular to the c axis is a pedion or a pinacoid. FMF is a great place to learn new things or re-learn things I have forgotten!
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Bob Morgan




Joined: 18 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Jul 08, 2020 11:45    Post subject: Re: New technology for crystal models  

These are wonderful in capturing the mind's imagination for idealized crystals. That's what first attracted me to crystals. In time I've become more interested in the not so perfect to odd specimens.
I believe too they can be drawn using Shape software and sent in 3-d printer compatible files to Smorf.
At this point I've started writing a simple method for identifying crystal faces aimed at the newcomer's level. For that I will not use any drawings or Smorf models, just photos of actual crystals. There's something about them that's so much more appealing.
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