Legacy of Water Culture: 3D Printing a Landscape – 3DPrint.com
The sand table is a relatively common form of cultural display in museums and similar centers. Compared to simple text and images, miniature dioramas directly show the audience a realistic scene and deepen their memory. However, the production of sand table scenes has traditionally been extremely laborious, requiring a great deal of time and energy. However, with the advent of 3D scanning and 3D printing, creating such a screen has become increasingly simple.
Capturing Chinese History with 3D Printing
Traditionally, museum dioramas can be made with clay, which is difficult to preserve. In addition, the clay figurine production process is time-consuming, with more stringent requirements for designers. However, 3D scanning and printing technologies are disrupting traditional craftsmanship.
Demonstrating the possibilities, this technology was crucial for the production of a sand table exposing the Hangzhou Xianlin Reservoir. Chinese calligrapher, essayist, foodie, pharmacologist, poet, politician and travel writer in the Song dynasty, Su Dongpo performed treatment of West Lake while he was governor of Hangzhou in 1089. To recreate this event for the audience, 3D printing and scanning were used. The technology has greatly shortened the production time of the project, while vividly presenting the historically significant event of Su Dongpo’s treatment of West Lake.
Let’s take a look behind the scenes of the creation of the diorama.
Step 1: 3D scanning
We used an iReal handheld color 3D scanner to capture complete and accurate 3D models of actors who wore specific costumes and performed predetermined actions, designed according to a concept drawing.
Using infrared structured light technology, the scanner provided a safe and comfortable scanning experience for actors. The large field of view and depth of field allowed for smooth and fast scanning, benefiting models who needed to stand still in specific poses. The device can scan a complete human body in just a few minutes. In this project, we scanned more than 10 individuals.
Step 2: Process scan data
Next, we performed post-processing of the 3D scan data. This included improving details, sculpting where images were incomplete, modifying scanning errors, adjusting poses, and creating tools in third-party software, such as ZBrush or Blender, to make it more detailed. Optimized 3D data can additionally be saved for digital archiving to be used in a variety of production processes, such as CNC engraving, open mold production, copper casting and foam carving, depending on various requirements. from the scene.
Step 3: 3D printing the figurines for the diorama
A UnionTech 3D printer was used to get the figures quickly. Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing has a number of advantages for this process, such as producing smooth (easily paintable) surfaces, fast printing and rich detail.
Step 4: Paint
Less toxic acrylic paints can be used to color objects, due to their quick drying, durability and water resistance after drying.
Step 5: Final configuration
Finally, we set up the scenes from the drawing presented in the showroom.
Cultural heritage artifacts are imbued with the national spirit, but also serve as a historical treasure for all mankind. It is therefore everyone’s responsibility to protect cultural heritage, thus conferring national heritage on future generations, whenever possible. By blending technology and culture, we continue to explore new avenues of cultural heritage and protection. New digital technologies, such as the Internet, 3D scanning, 3D printing, augmented reality and virtual reality are increasingly introduced into the protection and heritage of cultural artifacts, so that vivid presentations of these materials are preserved today and in the future.
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