Custom mineral specimen stand?

My mom is a mineral specimen seller ( also known as " ROCKS") lol
she recently asked me if I could make custom stands for her booth with a glow forge. I asked her for a picture and I am not sure how they accomplished this? is this like a CNC machine and a 3d scanner? is there something similar I could make for her on a glow forge? It doesn’t have to be exactly like this, but some sort of acrylic stand that is made custom for each mineral specimen she sells.
if not, she is happy with simple squares, but it really bumps the price if it has a custom stand and I’d love to be able to help her out.
thanks :slight_smile:


Very interesting! It does look like CNC, but I wonder if you could simulate something similar by generating a 3D model then slicing 1/8” slices of acrylic and stacking them? Or alternating wood and acrylic slices, that would look cool. I think Autodesk used to have free slicing software but I don’t know if it’s still available.


Yeah definitely cutable on the :glowforge: (check out the posts about lake maps) but getting the mapping is beyond my capabilities - there are others on here much better versed in 3D stuff

Possibly of use:

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They make home-use 3D scanners, I bet that is what the person who created that is using. I thought “Slicer” was open-source?

I had a lot of success with 123D Catch when it was available, made some awesome 3D-printed stuff from things like sculptures. I need to check out those links…

Cool project! I come from a long line of rock hunters myself.

You certainly could buy or build a 3D scanner, but I am trying to imagine the process. You would scan each mineral specimen to generate a 3D mesh, Then in a CAD program you’d rotate that mesh into the desired orientation before intersecting with planar layers to generate the contours. You could probably automate the mesh-to-contour processing fairly easily in OpenSCAD.

I am wondering if it would be possible to just use a line laser to illuminate the specimen at each layer. If you could photograph it on end, then you could convert the laser-lit pixels directly into the contour you would need for the cutter or CNC machine.