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3D scanning and printing artifacts at the V&A

When museum curators want to record or recreate an artifact, 3D scanning is incredibly useful because the artifact goes almost completely untouched in the process. Instead, the object of note is scanned with light. In 2018, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum worked with the Royal College of Art’s Rapid Prototyping team to produce 3D scans of 23 objects in the V&A’s collections, including this Parisian silver and blue glass flask from 1851.

After it was scanned, digital files of the flask were sent to a 3D printer where it was recreated layer by layer over eight hours. Each step of the task was captured in the V&A video above.

VandA 3d printing
VandA 3d printing
See how 3D scanning is used in scientific endeavors: 3D Printing Dinosaurs: The mad science of new paleontology, a cliff wall full of dinosaur footprints in Spain, and 3D scanning an anglerfish’s final meal.

Plus, from an artist residency at the V&A: Ceramic artist Michelle Erickson recreates an 18th-century agateware teapot.

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