Feb.2, 2014

In the age of the Internet, museums and institutions make more and more collections available to the general public for free download, use and reproduction. And now some artists are working on making those museum collections available in 3D so people could 3D print the objects themselves.

California based Artist Cosmo Wenman spent a lot of time in 2012~2013 3D scanning artwork in museums and using those scans to 3D print life-size reproductions. He has been sharing his 3D printable files online so that anyone can 3D print their own copies too. For a project called "Lincoln 3D Scans," artist Oliver Laric worked with the Collection Museum and Usher Gallery in Lincoln, UK, to make some of their pieces available in a similar way.

The "Lincoln 3D Scans" project comprised of scanning and publishing 3-D models of works in the institutes' archive. Presented this month as part of First Look, the project is described as follows:

"[Lincoln 3D Scans] aims at making the collection available to an audience outside of its geographic proximity and to treat the objects as starting points for new works. All models can be downloaded and used without copyright restrictions."

Oliver Laric and the team used a portable 3D scanner to scan the artefacts and sculptures at The Collection, The Usher Gallery and The Museum of Lincolnshire Life. The software and technology they used to create these scans are custom made and designed for this specific project. They then used VXelements 2.0 to capture the high resolution data and process it into a workable STL File.

The first scans made available online include busts of Beethoven and Dante, Einstein by Matthew Williamson, in which an original nineteenth-century bronze bust has been transformed into a rotating GIF file. Underneath the GIFs are some basic identifying details and a button to download the scan as an STL file. Using that file, you can print the object yourself on a 3D printer. The "Lincoln 3D Scans" website contains 52 open source models and further pieces will continually be added.

The project started in 2012, when Ashley Gallant from the Collection invited the artist Oliver Laric to propose an idea for the Contemporary Art Society's Annual Award for museums. Laric's proposal to 3D scan and subsequently publish all data for free was chosen as the winning project.

Hannah Conroy's 3D prints

Laric's Gallery displays some of the results submitted by people. For example Hannah Conroy printed out the large and little 3d prints as below. The most popular sculpture is the Ella Rose Curtois's 19th-century sculpture of a marble player. An artist named Cyril pasted it in the middle of an early-20th-century city street; someone called Boris Quezada uploaded a photo that the "Marble player" is placed in a room - it is not clear if the image is a 3D print or just a photoshopped one (see below):

Cyril's Marble boy

Boris Quezada's Marble player

Bringing museum collections to every home and classroom through digitization and open access is an exciting idea. Everyone can now touch, alter, or insert new creation into these artworks and make a new art. Meanwhile it can help keep collections safe by minimizing handling, and museums can partner with artists in all new product development.

Posted in 3D Design



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3DWP wrote at 5/23/2014 7:25:59 PM:

3DWP printed 2 of the scans (Busts of Napoleon and Einstein): http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:317004 http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:334712 These are ''remixes'', touched up a bit, scaled bigger (original files were small) and made hollow for 3D printing.

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