131000071096_shining3dWhile 3D printing is just grabbing the attention of the mainstream public, many of the companies we see working on innovative, complex projects today have been a part of the industry either centrally or peripherally for years. Take Shining 3D, for example. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Hangzhou, the Chinese digitizing and 3D printing hardware company has been catering to the manufacturing, bio-medical, and educational sectors for over a decade now.

babylonWe’ve been following Shining 3D a great deal this year, and especially so with the last release of their desktop 3D scanner line, the EinScan, capable of scanning large objects and doing so at greater speed, accuracy, and affordability. Now, both an EinScan 3D scanner and Einstart 3D printer have been gifted to the Iraq government as they take on a massive project to support, protect, and repair their cultural heritage of Ancient Babylon.

Thousands of years old, Baghad endured from the 18th until the 6th century BC. Of great historical significance for all of the world, Babylon of course is of special significance to Iraq due to its proximity–and many there worry about the threat of Babylon’s further demise due to organized terrorist threats like ISIS. There is little money or support for the preservation of the ancient city, once a thriving urban center in a long-ago world. As war and strife have visited itself upon the area perpetually, its ruins are of large concern to historians and citizens both in Iraq and around the globe.

UntitledXinyu Zhang and Hong Liang traveled as delegates of Shining 3D to Babylon to present the scanner and printer in person to officials in the Iraqi government. The married couple also stars in and feature the trip in ‘On the Road,’ which is a very popular show on China’s video website, Youku. Along with presentation of the tools, they spent time with government officials instructing them on the proper use of the hardware, as well as introducing the technology and applications to some local citizens in hopes for preserving the relics of Babylon.

UntitledUsing a porcelain doll as an example, they were able to show the Iraqis how to reconstruct it with both 3D scanning and 3D printing. After filtering the data into a computer, the lost areas and support structure are 3D printed according to what is provided in the 3D simulation.

“Shining 3D endeavors to make more breakthroughs in 3D technology in the archaeological area,” states the Shining 3D team in their latest press release. “And we believe the establishment of the digital model and information storage for cultural relics and archaeological sites by using the computer technology has a broader research and application prospect with the further development of 3D scanning and 3D printing technology.”

This certainly couldn’t be a better example of global teamwork, working to save geographic and cultural history, as well as citizens of different countries working together in both teaching and learning contemporary new skillsets that offer so much benefit for archiving and preservation. Through their efforts, all involved are being rewarded with the enormous benefits 3D printing technology offers, from a self-sustainability angle in being to handle a project of this scope that’s only made possible due to accessibility, user-friendliness, and capability of the tools.

We’ve seen 3D scanning and 3D printing being used in other operations around the world to preserve ancient artifacts, such as the Million Image Database and Project Mosul.  Discuss this story in the 3D Printing Iraq forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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