3dprinted: 3D printing being used to restore ancient artefacts from Beijing’s Forbidden City. The Forbidden City’s Palace Museum is undergoing major restoration work, involving thousands of individual relics, funded by the Chinese government. Traditionally, objects needed to be measured, photographed and repaired using manual techniques - an extremely time consuming and expensive task. However, Loughborough Design School PhD student Fangjin Zhang and colleagues have been investigating the use of 3D printing within the context of restoration in order to save money. The team is capturing the shape of the original objects using laser or optical scanners then cleaning up the data using reverse engineering techniques. This allows damaged parts of intricate artefacts to be restored in the 3D model before being 3D printed. This has been possible for some time, but Zhang has developed a formalised approach tailored to the restoration of historic artefacts. The teams is working on the ceiling and enclosure of a pavilion in the Emperor Qianlong Garden.

(Source: wired.co.uk)

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