Military buffs and museums of history take their artifacts very seriously, as nothing has an impact on our planet and our generations and times like war and all the many, many facets surrounding it. While time and the elements may do their best to break down physical pieces of history, digital preservation is beating mother nature and other hazards at their own game as it allows historical significance to be guarded virtually — and that means virtually forever — or as long as computers stand their ground.
While it may not be exactly the same as seeing an item while standing directly in front of it in a museum, viewing items online and having the opportunity to 3D print them is a pretty good deal — and World War I is on the minds of many currently as the 100th anniversary of its outbreak just passed in 2014.
Artec Group has been heavily involved with the business of preserving history lately — and this time they are involved in saving military history into digital perpetuity via their powerful 3D scanning technology which is being used in a collaboration between the National Museum of Military History in Sofia, Bulgaria and Threeding.
To see that a plethora of military history is able to be shared online, Threeding will be employing Artec’s technology so that items are available on the Threeding portal for 3D printing. All of the 3D models will also be available on the National Museum of Military History’s website as well, and they will be exploring a new line of income for the museum with this process.
As patrons and 3D printing enthusiasts will pay a fee to download the 3D models, the museum will receive royalties on each download. Since this process is not only a new avenue for a stream of revenue but is also meant for scientific and educational means, the museum will also receive digital copies of all the items that can be cataloged.
“The National Museum of Military History is certain that the majority of its visitors will be excited by this new form of museum interaction,” says director of the National Museum of Military History, Associate Professor Sonya Penkova. “The ambition to create a virtual museum is coupled with the wish to mark the anniversary of World War One using a novel approach for Bulgaria and the Balkans – acknowledging the cost of the war, its human and social ramifications. We hope that our joint efforts will accomplish this ambitious goal.”
Together, Threeding and Artec have both been involved in having a positive impact worldwide for saving our cultural heritage digitally. Threeding has also been working with regional libraries in Bulgaria at Varna and Pernik and has built up a vast collection of 3D models already, available at Threeding, featuring items such as ancient artwork and sculpture, pieces of ancient Greek and Roman buildings, medieval weapons, religious items, and tools.
For this project, the team at Threeding has already been quite busy, and with 3D scanning from Artec, already has a variety of weapons, equipment from military operations, and even art made by soldiers during World War I.
Would you be interested in checking out Threeding’s 3D scanned items and 3D printing them yourself? What do you think of the impact of 3D scanning and 3D printing in digital preservation, as well as giving access to the public for making their own replicas? Tell us your thoughts in the Threeding forum over at 3DPB.com.