3D Printing Rosa Parks


Today is the first day of African American History Month and I wanted to publish a new model to celebrate. I’ve written before about the lack of models related to African American History and Culture in my posts 3D Printing Martin Luther King, Jr. and Looking for African American History on Thingiverse. The lack of models is a great opportunity for students to contribute designs. Things are improving slightly this year with Thingiverse featuring both an MLK and an African American History collection on the front page. I’m happy to have contributed some models and a little inspiration but there should more depth to these collections.

I was looking for a quick idea for a model and was thinking about a Run-DMC logo or silhouette of the group. (I’ve been watching Netflix’s excellent Hip-Hop Evolution series.) I found a list of 100 Greatest African-Americans and started searching names on Thingiverse and received mostly NO RESULTS FOUND messages.

Creating a model related to each of the names on the list would be a great class project. Each student could research the person, create a model related to their life and then publish the models with a detailed written description about the person and the object.

I saw Rosa Parks’ name and remembered that Autodesk 123D had a model of Rosa Parks. Doing a search, I found a 123D scan of Rosa Parks Bust taken at the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. http://www.123dapp.com/catch/Rosa-Parks-Bust/5595735  I downloaded the model and cleaned it up in Meshmixer and exported an STL file. I printed the model on the Dremel 3D40 and it looked great. I was all set to publish the design but realized I should check the copyright. The Rosa Parks bronze bust was created by Artis Lane with copyright 1990. http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID%3Anpg_NPG.91.2&repo=DPLA In this case, I’m don’t think I have rights to publish the STL on Thingiverse. Certainly, printing the design for use in the classroom would be a fair use but publishing to the world is a different story.


I wasn’t sure what to do, so I looked up Artis Lane http://www.artislane.com/, found her contact information and have asked for permission. Below is the letter I sent her.

Ms. Lane,

I am a teacher and 3D artist in Virginia. One of my interests is promoting a diversity of models in 3D printing repositories such as Thingiverse. Thingiverse is a site that has millions of models that can be downloaded and 3D printed on home 3D printers. There are lots of models related to popular culture on the site but very little related to history, culture, identity or social justice. I have curated a collection of models related to African American History and Culture on the site as well as contributing a few of my own. http://www.thingiverse.com/DesignMakeTeach/collections/african-american-history-and-culture
Today, I came across a 3D scan of your Rosa Parks bust taken at the Rosa Parks Museum. http://www.123dapp.com/catch/Rosa-Parks-Bust/5595735 I downloaded that scan and was able to clean it up and convert to a model that can be 3D printed. I would like permission to publish that model on Thingiverse and my blog http://DesignMakeTeach.com so that others can 3D print a model of the Rosa Parks bust. I’m hoping that schools would be especially interested in printing the bust for classroom activities.
The average consumer 3D printer has a print volume of less than 10″ x 10″ x 10″ and print out of plastic. There is little chance that the 3D model would take away from the original or from any official reproductions.
Thank you for your consideration.
-Josh Ajima

Leaving it here for now but hoping to be able to share the model with the world.