Our team has a deep interest in the world of art. Though I am almost completely inept in my artistic abilities, personally, I have a profound respect for those with a gift for engaging the imagination and sharing a story or idea with their hands. In this age of increasing pervasiveness of digital tools and means of self expression, those who maintain this “analog” ability are, in my opinion, more valuable than ever before.
Recently, I have become fond of describing Captured Dimensions as being in the business of “Digitizing Reality.” As our 3D Scanning capabilities and competence have increased, so too have the variety and quantity of opportunities to help those in need of such services. Few have been more exciting than those in the art community.
Here are a few of the challenges we have seen facing sculptors, museum curators, gallery owners, etc. and some of the solutions we are hoping to bring to the table for such people:
Art Scanning and Replication
Sculptures have always been very expensive to produce and extremely difficult to reproduce effectively. As with almost all other industries, I think that 3D Printing has the potential to have a serious impact and introduce some dramatic changes.
We have encountered many extremely talented artists who, after spending months of blood, sweat, and tears on a sculpture or other project, have to hand off the keys to their creation to their one buyer. Aside from a few pictures, they have no lasting memento of their work. They also have no way to produce another like it.
A number of these artists have told us of the desire many of their supporters and customers have had to purchase a replica, scaled version, or variation of their creation. This has previously not been an option for many of them; and they have acknowledged that they would love to have the ability to explore some of the alternatives we bring to the table.
We have had great success scanning statues of all kinds, from small jewelry items to 30+ foot statues. We employ a variety of methods to scan objects. We have hand-held portable scanners, structured light scanning setups, home-brewed photogrammetry rigs, aerial scanning capabilities, and beyond. I pledge to be constantly improving and expanding these capabilities so that we can help as many people as possible to attain the dream of sharing their work with the world in new and exciting ways.
Our goal is to be able to scan everything. Our skilled team can take this data and prepare it for 3D Printing, use in digital media, online showcase, or digital preservation.
One complaint many sculptors expressed when they saw our earlier attempts at sculpture replication was that our prints (at least with less expensive materials) appeared “cheap.” They felt this devalued the piece and made it appear far less substantial than they would like, even if it was far less expensive to produce than more conventional methods.
We have been hard at work researching and experimenting with new methods of finishing our printed objects and giving them that “real” feeling. We now feel fairly confident that we can help in many of these scenarios.
Heading up our print finishing department, Donna, has worked tirelessly for months to perfect the process of making our plastic prints appear as close as possible to real bronze. In fact, the models are actually coated in a thin layer of real bronze. This gives us the ability to apply real patinas and other metal aging processes. Our prints end up looking just like the real thing. See for yourself.
A few neat advantages of our bronzed prints:
- The price is substantially cheaper than an equivalent bronze casting.
- The turnaround time is extremely low. This is a common advantage to most 3D Printing applications. We can produce and finish a model within a few days, rather than weeks.
- Unlimited copies. We can make as many as you want, and they will be almost identical every time.
- Light weight. Obviously, traditional bronze statues are extremely heavy. Traveling galleries and non-superhuman customers appreciate this fact.
- The “cool factor” of being a part of the 3D Printing revolution.
- A far greater degree of complexity and intricacy than ever before can be imagined. This one is up to you, the artist. Overhangs, intersecting objects, all the other strong points of 3D Printed objects can now be produced in bronze. There are a lot of neat opportunities here.
I have a lot more to share on this subject, but this post is getting a little longer than I had hoped. One thing I really want to convey is that we LOVE experimentation and collaboration. We want to be challenged in new ways and want to help others attain what they hadn’t thought possible before.
I hope to continue this post soon with an exciting announcement for some of the artists in our community.
In the meantime, if you have a project that you could use help with, please reach out to us and start a conversation. We want to hear from you!