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Michelangelo’s sculptures recreated with 3D scanners and printers

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Final edited polygon mesh of Michelangelo’s “Pieta” © Scansite

The ability to 3D scan, store and eventually copy a piece of history is arguably one of the best uses for this technology.

Based in California, the designers at Studio FATHOM focus on advanced technology combined with their expertise in 3D lighting and additive manufacturing. They collaborated with other companies around San Francisco to recreate Michelangelo’s famous Pietà, as well as 27 other works by Renaissance masters.

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Moses 3D printed from collected 3D data © Scansite

Under partnership with metal foundry Artworks Foundry and 3D scanning company scan site – A limited number of perfect reproductions of Michelangelo’s works of art can be produced almost from opposite sides of the world. These three professionals are one of the most advanced 3D copy projects ever completed create one.

Sculptors have used the same stereotypical metal casting techniques for centuries, but combining 3D scanning and printing offers a more seamless and sustainable way to recreate the classics.

Artwork Foundry founder Piero Mussi said: “And it’s never been done before.” After his 40 years of using Lost’s wax technique, which he learned from Italian metalworkers, Mussi puts together his 3D scans and his 3D prints. Combined. He considers this one of the most remarkable developments in centuries. Mussi uses traditional production methods, but his ability to preserve details and reproduce them using 3D technology has led him to support 3D technology. “We have a really good reproduction,” he said Mussi. “No artist can do that. Only technology can do that.”

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Bacchus image from 3D data to 3D printing
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Final edited 3D scans of Michelangelo’s Moses © Scansite

Scansite is responsible for collecting scan data from the original casting before processing the data into point clouds and 3D models. Once the final file is ready, I give it to Fathom, who uses a 3D printer to create the model. Once the model is 3D printed, it will be handed over to Musi and the Artworks Foundry to be used to make candle molds. The candle mold is finally used in the lost wax casting process to reproduce the bronze. The process, which is now used in conjunction with modern 3D scanning and his 3D printing technology, has remained unchanged for thousands of years.

Throughout the United States, identical bronze castings are available in Berkeley, California. Using a combination of advanced manufacturing techniques, the perfection of the replica is unprecedented.

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