Texas-based 3D scanner manufacturer NVision has recently partnered with the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas to provide visually impaired people with 3D printed copies of historical sculptures. The company scanned several sculptures of famous artists Auguste Rodin, Giulio Gonzalez and Raymond Duchamp-Villon, and 3D printed sculptures for the workshop jointly organized by Nasher and Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind replica. For the blind participants of the workshop, touching the famous sculptures is undoubtedly a rare educational experience. “Thanks to the 3D scanning, we were able to present them with a rare hands-on experience.” said Lynda Wilbur, the tourism project manager of the Nasher Sculpture Center.

The workshop jointly created by Nasher and Dallas Lighthouse aims to cultivate sculpture appreciation, helping the blind and visually impaired to experience the works of great sculptors. Nasher chose NVision because of its experience in museum and art 3D scanning services. Previously, NVision had scanned the Balloon Flower sculptures by sculptors Somers Randolph and Jeff Koons for preservation and reproduction. With the assistance of Nasher, NVision technicians scanned the four sculptures at the Nasher Nature Conservation and Art Storage Site. Technicians use NVision’s portable HandHeld 3D laser scanner to collect data on the unique and complex geometric shapes of the sculpture. The scanner is attached to the robotic arm and can move around the object.

The scan took two and a half hours in total. After converting the point cloud data of the sculpture into the original STL file, the necessary steps can be taken to convert the data into a CAD model for 3D Printing for use in the workshop. Steve Kersen, president of NVision, said: 3D scanning is a valuable tool for preserving and copying priceless sculptures, without sacrificing the artistry of the original works, and allowing artworks to be displayed more widely. Indeed, the application of 3D scanning and 3D printing in protecting cultural heritage is becoming more and more common. As part of Google’s open heritage 3D scanning project, Google and 3D printer OEM Stratasys collaborated to produce 3D printed copies of world cultural relics and historical monuments. London’s V&A is known as the “world’s leading art and design museum” and has exhibited two 3D printed sculptures to commemorate the reopening of Cast Courts in January 2019. These two 3D printed sculptures were produced by Scan the World, a cultural heritage project founded by Jonathan Beck, which scanned 14,000 artworks from all over the world.

Link to this article:NVision reproduces the master's sculptures by 3D scanning for the blind

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