Here’s an interesting exceprt from 3Dprint.com covering one of the ways that museums in Berlin are making use of 3D scanning and 3D printing:
…It is not at all uncommon for museums to make replicas of their holdings, especially in the case of objects that are of great interest to study but are too fragile for frequent handling. The Egyptian Museum in Berlin has in its possession a small sculpture of Queen Tiy with a Crown of Two Feathers. Tiy was the wife of King Amenhotep III and the mother of Akhenaten – a very important woman in the history of Ancient Egypt.
This gorgeous statue was created in approximately 1355 BCE and a molded copy of the head was made in the 1960s using gelatin casting techniques. However, the crown that sits atop the head of Queen Niy was not discovered to be among the museum’s collection until later and therefore has no replica. The state of the crown is such that the creation of a copy via the previously mentioned technique would almost surely damage it.
In collaboration with the Egyptian Museum, staff at TU’s Institute first scanned the crown and then printed a 3D replica. The utilization of scanning and printing to create replicas means they can be reprinted without having to risk the damage to the original object that would have been incurred through molding….
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