You Can Now Have Art History 3D-Print Artifacts in Your Living Room!

Published May 22nd, 2021 - 03:41 GMT
"Fragile" by @muartive
"Fragile" by @muartive (Instagram/scantheworld)
Forget just looking at pictures on your computer. You can now bring some of the most famous and exalted works of art into your home.
You can visit some of the best virtually, from the comfort and safety of your own couch. But why stop there?

By Ewelina Lepionko

The pandemic has made it difficult for cultural institutions to reach people in traditional ways. As a result, museums and art galleries decided to reach art connoisseurs in other innovative manners. 

The digital developments of the past decade are now bringing the world of famous sculptures to you. The most important museums and cultural institutions in the world, together with the Scan the World organization have created a database of 18,000 iconic sculptures, objects of use, ranging from the era of ancient Egypt to modern works.

Scan the World is an ambitious community-built initiative whose mission is to share 3D printable sculpture and cultural artifacts using democratized 3D scanning technologies. In making culture accessible, communities are encouraged to share their scans, stories, and creations with the goal to bring tangible heritage to the masses.

The possibilities are endless while exploring Scan the World. Three-dimensional models of sculptures can be printed for free using 3D printers. This makes it possible for everyone to have a home collection of art prints!

"By making culture accessible, we encourage you to share your scans, stories, and creations in order to bring tangible heritage to the masses," explains the creators of the database.

It is a great surprise that over 2,000 institutions took part in the action. Moreover, the objects come from almost every corner of the world.

Included among the thousands of scans you can find even the legendary bust of Nefertiti. Among the famous works, as well, you can download and print are Michelangelo's La Pietà, Rodin‘s The Thinker, and The Capitoline Wolf.

On the website, we can clearly see that each of the objects, apart from a precise scan, has been described by museum curators and culture lovers. Next to the works, there is also information about the original dimensions or the volume of the insert needed to print. Users can search the collection by name, artist, or location. Or you can hit “random” to discover a new piece you’ve never seen before.

You can also embark on a virtual tour of some of the global locations whose splendors are being scanned, programmed, and rendered in resin.

Art lovers with little inclination to crack out the 3D printer will find interesting essays on such topics as the Gates of Hell, scanning in the pandemic, and the history of hairstyles in sculpture.

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