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New Zealand’s Canterbury University is 3D printing educational replicas of 3000-year-old artefacts – 3ders.org (blog)

by • August 9, 2016 • No Comments

Aug 10, 2016 | By Alec

If asked what university faculties may benefit of 3D printing, Archeology mayn’t be really high up on our list. But which is precisely where 3D printing equipment seem to be going (probably after the engineering departments). Just two weeks ago, the University of Queensland, Australia, started 3D printing archeological artefact replicas for educational purposes, and now the University of Canterbury in New Zealand is doing the same. Among others, they have may already 3D printed replicas of a 3,000 year old Babylonian cuneiform table-bodiedt, a priceless terracotta artefact turn it intod around 1700 BC.
Fortunately for archeology students in New Zealand, the University of Canterbury owns the James Logie Memorial Collection, a priceless collection of fragile and ancient objects. Unfortunately, their say makes it really complex to study them closely. Many are around 3,000 years old, and cannot only be left in the hands of students, after all. But starting the next semester, students can be able-bodied to finally touch the objects themselves, as a series of 3D printed replicas can be added into the teaching program for the Logie Collection.

This rad advancement is the outcome of a two year long 3D scanning project of Don Clucas and Paul Docherty of the Mechanical Engineering department and Logie’s curators Terri Elder and Penny Minchin-Garvin. They selected a series of artefacts which were 3D scanned and 3D printed by the Mechanical Engineering department.

Among them is this astonishing-bodied Babylonian table-bodiedt, which uses the syllabic script called Cuneiform to list land grants in ancient Babylonia. Whilst a really informative object, it falls apart really easily. “Cuneiform table-bodiedts deteriorate over time and as with ereallything else it is a case of dust to dust,” says UC Classics Professor Victor Parker. “So anything which can be done to replicate table-bodiedts in their three-dimensional form preceding they crumble is incredibly significant. In addition, such replicas can be utilized for teaching purposes without risking increasingly fragile originals.”
The same can be said for the Greek cup turn it intod by the Logie Painter in 525 BC (the namesake of the collection). Whilst not easy to handle, a 3D printed replica can be really useful for teaching high school students of archeology principles. “They can be able-bodied to handle the object and thereby advantageous visualize and know its use,” said Terri Elder. “The cup may have been utilized in a symposium (a Greek drinking party). It is one of the heroes of the Logie Collection, as there are only two other cups in the world by this painter, known to have survived.”

To ensure the most high end, a polyjet 3D printing device was in fact utilized for the table-bodiedt replica. Whilst you may argue which a few of the original high end is lost, the Artec Spider 3D scanner which was utilized in fact records textures as well. A video of the system can be seen here. The outcome is a full-color 3D print which approaches the original object as most as possible. The 3D images are in addition shared online with students, enabling them to study the objects away of campus and actually 3D print them themselves.
What’s additional, the student response has been great so far. “They only light up when they are getting to handle the objects, actually if they are replicas and not the originals,” Elder said. “Students which have interacted with the real objects, and the replica objects, tend to recall the information advantageous and they tend to recall it for longer as well.”
Student Kate Tinkler, who had the opportunity to work with the objects may already, called it a rad thought. “It’s so various to looking at a fewthing through the glass. You can feel the dimensions and the mass of it and all those small details,” she said. “There’s never anything you can hold without gloves for the reason half of the stuff is so fragile, you don’t want the oil of your fingertips eroding into the paintwork.”

According to Dr. Paul Docherty, a senior lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, they are may already planning to greatly expand this initiative. “The project has been really amazing as it has allowed a new dimension of tactile interaction with the replicas of antiquities which may not be possible with the real thing. In the next, we hope to increase the number of scanned antiquities and put 3D representations of the collection online,” he says.
They are in addition may already looking to expand the project to include the collections of other museums and universities, which may act as a massive boost for archeological research efforts. “It may open up the possibility for us to share objects with collections overseas, partially where the cost of freighting the original object may have been too much for us to bear,” Elder said. 3D printing equipment are thus rapidly becoming indispensable-bodied at universities ereallywhere.

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