Among 3D printing’s many, many valuable applications, the preservation of history and culture is a big one. 3D scanning and 3D printing have been used to digitally preserve and even replicate, via 3D printing, everything from historical artifacts destroyed by war to meticulously detailed figures in traditional cultural attire. Now 3D printing enthusiasts and art lovers from around the world can have easy access to the beautiful pottery and other cultural artwork of Korea – most of it for free.
The Korea Culture Information Service Agency (KCISA), an affiliate of South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, was created to facilitate the spreading of Korean culture overseas – and what better way to share culture nowadays than by making it available online in 3D printable form? A few weeks ago, the agency entered into an agreement with 3D file-sharing platform 3Dupndown, a member of international trade platform Born2Global.
Under the agreement, 3Dupndown can distribute 3D files of Korean cultural heritage online for anyone to print. As of two days ago, the site began uploading 3D files of Korean sculpture, pottery, and ancient tools and weaponry from museum collections. You can access the online collection here. 3Dupndown plans to continuously update the collection, eventually amassing about 2,000 of Korean cultural heritage in 3D printable form.
“There is plenty of international interest in Korea’s cultural heritage which was 3D printed and displayed at Pangyo Startup Campus,” 3Dupndown CEO Alex. P. Hong said. “A lot of people around the world will download it, as 3D printers have been already commercialized abroad. We hope that this will be an opportunity to promote Korea’s cultural heritage through 3D printing and contribute to the development of the 3D printing industry.”
The majority of the items currently on the site are in the category of pottery, showing off Korea’s beautiful traditional celadon and white porcelain ceramics alongside an assortment of other objects discovered on archaeological sites, such as daggers, arrowheads and even an ancient hairpin. Each item has been digitally reproduced in minute detail, down to the cracks and chips that come with age. Most of the objects can be downloaded and printed for free, with the most expensive file (a celadon bowl) selling for a mere $4.99.
Obviously, visitors to the site can print the items in any materials or colors they choose, but those interested in authenticity can benefit from clear photographs and descriptions of the items, as well as historical information. A quick perusal of the collection reveals that several items have been downloaded already, and it’s easy to see why – much of the available pottery is incredibly beautiful, and I’d personally love to decorate my own home with it. The site also describes the pieces’ historical function as well as how they can be adapted today to be useful as well as decorative.
3Dupndown is one of the largest digital platforms in Asia, offering service in eight languages and 3D content in just about every category imaginable, from toys to fashion to sporting equipment. The Korean museum collection isn’t the site’s first cultural heritage selection; a generalized museum collection holds a variety of artifacts scanned and reproduced by users. Discuss in the 3Dupndown forum at 3DPB.com.