3D Printing an Ancient Artifact
Courtney Link — the newest member of our Objex Unlimited finishing team — is no stranger to handling historical artifacts. Her past work in the cultural sector creating Artifact Reproductions involved duplicating irreplaceable pieces of history for use in hands-on events with the general public.
Producing these pieces in the traditional way means making multiple custom molds, waiting days for materials to set at each stage — not to mention the extreme care necessary for handle the originals.
But what if you could produce such artifacts without days of manual labour and waiting for materials to set? Now that Courtney works with our industrial 3D printers, she decided to try a faster way.
The first step was to choose an artifact. Museums and art galleries around the world have been working to digitize their collections, and some have been freely sharing the 3D scan files from that process.
In this case, the downloadable 3D model has no colour information, so we 3D printed it in a gypsum powder material that was perfect for painting.
The painting was done in two stages — a base layer for the general colouring, followed by a speckle layer to add detail. As you can see in this close-up, the results are spectacular:
We’ve already done work with several museums, but with Courtney on the team we’re looking forward to doing even more! You can follow her on twitter at @CourtneyVLink.