When it comes to classical works of Renaissance art, one name stands toward the top echelon of sculptors. That name is Michelangelo, and his works are some of the most extraordinary pieces we have ever seen. Over the centuries since his time, there have been many individuals and companies who have tried their hardest to replicate these works, but none have succeeded. There is one simple reason for this; very few artists, if any, have the talent that the legendary Michelangelo had.
We, however, live in an age of technology. Thanks to the recent advancements in 3D scanning and 3D printing capabilities, we are now able to recreate objects of the past with much greater precision and accuracy than ever before. Recently, three companies teamed up to take on a project unlike anything seen previously. Studio FATHOM, Artworks Foundry, and Scansite formed a partnership in order to create scaled down limited edition reproductions of some of history’s most recognizable artworks.
FATHOM specializes in 3D printing, while Scansite is known for their 3D scanning technology, and Artworks Foundry for their professional bronze casting. They proved that when these three technologies are combined, something amazing can occur.
The founder of Artworks Foundry, Piero Mussi, has been using traditional lost wax casting techniques for over 40 years, but recently he opened up to the idea of using 3D scanning and 3D printing as a means to create more precise replicas of ancient art.
“Now we have the facility to be able to reproduce something that is very faithful to the original,” explained Mussi, “and that’s something that’s never been done in the past. We get a reproduction that is really good. No artist can do it. Only the technology can do it.”
“What is so unique about this project is the utilization of 3D printing and 3D scanning in an industry which has remained unchanged for over a thousand years,” explained Rich Stump, Principal at FATHOM.
The work is being done for Renaissance Masters, an art liaison that has received authorization to reproduce 28 of Michelangelo’s works. They provided Scansite with permission to scan bronze castings of these works that were made from original molds crafted by the Marinelli Pontifical Foundry in Italy.
Scansite 3D scanned the statues, and then converted the point cloud data into 3D printable STL files that FATHOM can 3D print. Once these replicas are 3D printed, Artworks Foundry uses lost wax casting to cast them in bronze, thus allowing for the recreation of these amazing ancient works.
“For more than 500 years, Michelangelo’s marble sculpture Pietà has been housed in St. Peter’s Basilica,” writes FATHOM on their blog. “Across the Atlantic Ocean and the entirety of the United States, identical bronze castings now exist in Berkeley, California thanks to the blended use of advanced manufacturing technologies. The accuracy of the replicas is unprecedented.”
It should be interesting to see if this combination of technologies is used more and more as time goes on. The ability to have scaled down replicas of various works from history recreated could open a lot of doors within educational institutions. Imagine being able to study sculptures that are housed thousands of miles away in every university in the world, thanks to these incredible innovations.
You May Also Like
3DPOD Episode 46: Engineering CAD with nTopology CEO Brad Rothenberg
Max and I had a really great time talking to nTopology CEO Brad Rothenberg. Brad started nTopology as a series of tools for creating lattices, but it became much more...
3DPOD Episode 45: Sarah Goehrke, Additive Integrity, and Women in 3D Printing
Today, we’ve got the whirlwind that is Sarah Goehrke on the 3DPOD. Max and I had a great time talking to the former 3DPrint.com Editor-in-Chief about her editorial business, Additive...
3DPOD Episode 44: Jennifer Coyne of Wabtec & John Barnes
Today, we talk once again with John Barnes, but we also have Jennifer Coyne of the Wabtec Corporation joining the program. Wabtec is a huge Pittsburg-based train company that makes...
3DPOD Episode 43: Powder Bed Fusion Innovations with Aerosint’s Edouard Moens de Hase
Edouard Moens de Hase talks to us today about Aerosint. For the last few years, they have been working on improving powder bed fusion. The company has an innovative drum...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.