Google has partnered with Stratasys to 3D print models of ancient artifacts. The collaboration means historians can recreate artifacts digitally and physically using the Stratasys J750 3D printer, which offers advanced color and multi-material functionality. This also helps researchers to 3D print detailed models with real finishes and colors, raising awareness and accessibility of ancient history.
Rafie Grinvald, Enterprise Product Director of Rapid Prototyping, Stratasys, mentioned that the J750 empowers designers and engineers to match the final 3D print to what is on the computer screen. Combining rich colors and translucency in a single print, they can build models with heightened levels of accuracy and realism – mirroring opaque or transparent structures, and complex materials like rubber.
Under Google Arts and Culture’s Open Heritage Project, monuments can be recreated via 3D printed prototypes and files that are available for download globally, thereby increasing accessibility and promoting in-depth understanding and enriched appreciation of centuries-old cultures. According to Bryan Allen, Design Technologist at Google, the project aims to explore physically making artifacts to make people excited about seeing them in a museum or research context. Therefore, they adopted 3D printing.
Google Arts and Culture have restored rare plaster casts discovered in Guatemala by using 3D laser scanners to re-assemble and reconstruct them with Stratasys 3D printers. Currently, the replicas cannot be printed at home. However, Gina Scala, Director of Education at Stratasys, said that recreating history is a step-by-step process. Stratasys sees this as a way to enable more people to feel the models in their hands. Their goal is to have that realism reimagined where more people can feel and touch history.
Key pieces of the Google Arts and Culture Open Heritage Project are available 24/7 online – exploring the backstory and 3D printed representation of each historical location. Visitors can access the models at https://artsandculture.google.com/project/cyark.