Using 3D printing to fix ancient artifacts

Published on December 13th, 2012 | by Sevaan Franks

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Researchers at Harvard University’s Semitic Museum are using 3D printers to recreate a ceramic lion that was destroyed 3,000 years ago by the Assyrians during an attack on the Mesopotamian city of Nuzi. [Thx to Bryan for the link!]

Using a process called photomodeling, the Harvard team photographed sculpture fragments in the museum’s collection from hundreds of angles to create 3-D renderings of each piece, then meshed them together to form a semi-complete 3-D model of the original artifact. They compared the digital model to scans of full statues found in the same location, noting the gaps and creating the missing pieces and support structures out of 3-D printed parts and CNC carved foam. The technique worked successfully: The reconstituted sculpture will be displayed at the museum when this gallery is reinstated in 2014-15, but will likely be online well before that.

[Full story]

Story: Joseph Flaherty, Wired | Photo: Learning Sites/Neathawk Signs and Designs

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