Art Reproduction of Hand Carved Wooden Sculptures with 3D Printing

Artist Morgan Bulkeley, publisher Impress, Inc., the Berkshire Museum and Barnstorm Studio, LLC.
The Project


We were contacted by a local publisher, Impress, Inc. to determine whether it would be possible to 3D print reproductions of the hand carved wooden sculptures of artist Morgan Bulkeley. Because cateloging and preserving art is an important application of 3D technologies, we were excited about the opportunity. Indeed, 3D printing is gaining ground as a viable, cost effective method for preserving some of the worlds most valuable and imperilled artifacts, why not demonstrate how it can be used by artists and creatives of all levels to commercialize their works. 

During our initial interview with Hans Teensma, proprietor of Impress, we introduced technologies like Computational Hydrographics, and Thermoforming, methods for transfering full color films onto 3d printed objects. Using processes similar to commercial cell-phone dipping, it would be possible to reproduce Bulkeley's Masks and Relief Paintings, resulting in high quality reproductions suitable for museum gift shops and galleries. An important source of funding for these venues and the artists and public they serve.

Additional application for 3D technologies, beyond commercial reproduction and preservation are many. For example, 3D printed textural canvases and reproductions could present a unique opportunities for museums to offer installations for the blind or people with sensory integration disorders. In these instances patrons would be encouraged to touch paintings and reproductions for a change, feeling what artist themselves experience as they worked. The 3 dimensional aspect of creation, not just the visual. 

For a White Paper describing the economics of this project please follow this link.