From classic cars to priceless antiques, 3D printing can and indeed is causing a stir in the world of professional restoration. Previously taking countless hours of careful skill and continual reworking, now with 3D printing technology, a restorers keen eye and skills can be transferred to the much easier task of printing out restoration components.
In a relatively short space of time, the restoration business has adopted 3D printing in some very unique ways. For example, Jim Caruso, a professional restorer and forum member over at Simplify3D.com, recently spoke about restoring a 1920’s safe, which had been submerged in flood water after Hurricane Sandy.
“The owner wanted to return the safe to its original condition, but recreating the brass hinge pieces was a dilemma. As you can imagine, there are no parts available for something like this, but the final result of a restoration often depends on small details like these brass hinges, so I found a solution. I modeled the hinges in CAD and used Simplify3D Software to print four PLA parts. Then I sent the parts to Matt Gorton at Printed Solid and he cast and polished new pieces in solid brass. This would have been a major problem without a 3D printer, but now these details are a piece of cake.”
Transforming Our Past and the Way we Learn
3D printing technology has not just been adopted by restorers for trade purposes, there are now a growing number of archaeologists and cultural organisations from across the world who are using 3D printing to bring past artistic achievements back to life.
In Iran, for example, since 2016, the government has been looking into the prospect of using 3D technology to restore Persia’s grand cultural monuments, from the time of King Cyrus the Great, the most precious being Persepolis, North East of the city of Shiraz in Iran’s Fars Province.
The project currently focuses on a handful of sites across the country, with the outline the plan including steps such as photogrammetry, making a three-dimensional computer model, 3D printing of the piece and the final procession of the piece (if and when necessary)
A Phoenix from the Ashes
In the wake of destruction caused by Daesh, the Syrian government along with international heritage organisations have been busily engaged in clearing up the mess that many of Syria’s ancient monuments and heritage sites have been left in. Since the removal of Daesh by Russia and the Syrian army in crucial provinces, there are now numerous projects being undertaken to restore Syria’s historic treasures.
London got to see just what 3D printing can achieve with the unveiling last year of a scale model of the Palmyra arch. An ancient Roman design that was completely destroyed during Daesh’s stranglehold on the town.
Back in Syria, there has now been several successful attempts to restore and rebuild the many artifacts that were destroyed in Syria.
3D printing, digitization and modeling have given new beginnings to some of the world’s most ancient artifacts. Also, it has revolutionised how we are able to learn about our past and appreciate it that little bit more.