3D printing is the process of creating physical models from their digital models. The technology can be used both to create a completely new physical object after it has been designed in advance, and to copy an existing object based on its 3D scan.
It is a fantastic tool in today’s world that brings together the constant desire to develop as well as the memory of the past. Looking to the future requires us to quickly produce new and better products or prototypes of them without the need for CNC machines and other expensive equipment, while the ability to replicate existing objects based on their digital models helps preserve history.
3D printing therefore perfectly fits in with the foundation’s work of preserving and disseminating cultural heritage in the area of monuments. Using a digital 3D model created with 3D scanners, we can reproduce virtually any historical object. This expands the possibilities of reconstructing, restoring or preserving historical objects, opens up new possibilities for researching such objects and helps to educate about them. Combined with current ways of doing things, 3D printing adds enormous value to any museum or church collection.
On the basis of the 3D-printed model, art restorers can plan restoration work, touching up or filling in missing parts without first interfering with the original object. It is on the copy of the object that all measurements and adjustments of missing elements can be made.
A physical copy of the real object (after appropriate treatment) can successfully replace the original object so as not to expose it to further damage. This is particularly important in the case of objects exposed to the weather or when the object has to be stored under strict conditions so that it cannot be made available to the wider public. The continuous development of 3D printing technology makes it possible to print a physical copy of an object in many materials depending on the requirements of the project, such as wood-like or flexible materials.
3D printing is an excellent solution for educating, disseminating and encouraging more knowledge about historical objects. Shrunken figurines of sculptures, statues or figures can be a fantastic addition to classes taught to children or used to ‘see’ historical relics by the blind. Current 3D printing technology allows physical copies to be created quickly and accurately from safe and durable materials.