The Skulpturhalle Basel museum in Basel, Switzerland will host a revolutionary 3D scanning and 3D printing project, under the title, Through a Scanner, Skulpturhalle, introduced by Cosmo Wenman, a 3D printing pioneer based in Southern California.
Wenman announced his plans to 3D-scan plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures in his project. Through it, 3D scans and 3D printable models will be released into the public domain at no cost and copyright free on Makerbot’s Thingiverse 3D printing website. In this way, anyone who has a 3D printer will be able to print their own copies.
Approximately 2,000 high-quality plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, the Venus of Milos, Winged Victory, the Medusa Rodanini and Athena Parthenos included, constitute the Skulpturhalle Basel museum’s collection. With the museum’s permission, Wenman will take hundreds of photographs of works of his own choice and will then process the images into 3D-printable files.
“There are millennia of beautiful physical forms that can be digitized, propagated, and remixed over and over again in perpetuity, starting now,” Wenman said. “They can become the foundation of an unlimited combinatorial explosion of adaptation and creation, and for untold new artwork and art forms in the coming years,” he added.
“Will the world’s back catalog of 3D art show up lit in pixels on our screens, 3D printed in our homes and classrooms, or embedded in our architecture or clothing? Or in something new? Mass 3D scanning and publishing projects like this are the first steps towards finding out,” he explained expressing his hope to digitizing the world’s cultural heritage.
“Eventually, 3D printable designs of the entire world’s cultural heritage of sculptural masterworks will be available to everyone, and this project is my attempt to make that happen sooner rather than later,” Wenman said.