Sep 11, 2015 | By Kira

In yet another groundbreaking collaboration between the worlds of 3D printing and high art, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium has paired up with The Louvre, Fuel3D and Trideus to 3D scan and print a replica of the Venus de Galgenberg, one of the world’s oldest figurines. The facsimile is currently on display as part of their ‘2050—a brief history of the future’ exhibition and intends to demonstrate how technology will change the way we experience art.

The original Venus de Galgenberg, which is only 7.2 cm high, weighs 10 g, and portrays a woman in a dancing position, is permanently housed at the Museum of Natural History in Vienna. In order to ‘bring’ her to the Belgian public, Fuel3D used its SCANIFY handheld 3D scanner to capture several images of the Venus. Since the SCANIFY can capture high-resolution, full-color 3D models of objects in under 0.1 seconds, it probably made quick work of the minuscule figurine.

Those images were combined with Fuel3D Studio software to create a full 3D model, which was then sent to Trideus, a Belgian reseller and distributor of 3D printers, scanners, and equipment. They 3D printed the final figurine in full-color sandstone, which is now on display at the Museum.

“We are delighted with this part of our exhibition, which truly shows the potential of technologies like 3D printing and scanning,” said Jennifer Beauloye, curator of the exhibition. “With this, we hope to initiate a reflection and to open a debate on the evolution of the museum in the digital era.”

We have seen many artists and museums turn to 3D printing as a way of either preserving, researching, or replicating historical artifacts and fine art, such as a 3D printed replica of a Peabody Essex Museum maquette that saved the original from damage while it toured across the United States, the Canadian artist who used 3D printing and scanning to recreate 18th century Native American tools, and this theory on the Venus de Milo’s missing arms which was deduced by 3D scanning the original. Although 30,000 year old art and 3D printing may seem like strange bedfellows, the Venus de Galgenberg project is yet another fine example of how our experiences can be enhanced by meaningful, if unexpected, collaboration.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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