Art Reproduction of Hand Carved Wooden Sculptures with 3D Printing

Artist Morgan Bulkeley, publisher Impress, Inc., the Berkshire Museum and Barnstorm Studio, LLC.
Art to be 3d scanned

Art to be 3d scanned

Complex, nested, free moving, hand carved and painted wooden sculptures

Challenge

Challenge

3D scan and print reproductions retaining similar function, detail and quality of commercial value to a museum

Photogrammetry scanner

Photogrammetry scanner

Measuring the distances of overlapping shadows with a camera, projector, turntable and commercial software

Resulting Point Cloud Model

Resulting Point Cloud Model

Extracted parts

Extracted parts

Scanning the second piece

Scanning the second piece

Full color result

Full color result

Photogrammetry systems can also capture full color information to create an overlay pattern for display or 3d printing

What a generated skin looks like

What a generated skin looks like

Editing the model

Editing the model

Editing the tessellated mesh

Editing the tessellated mesh

Closing holes and removing scan defects

Preliminary results

Preliminary results

Computer Aided Design (CAD) models

Preparing the models

Preparing the models

Software calculates the movements of the 3D printing system to maximize efficiency

Test printing

Test printing

To determine if the model has any problems that would prevent large scale production

Finished print

Finished print

Note support materials that hold nested parts in place

Support material removed

Support material removed

Nested parts move freely within the print

Slight print errors

Slight print errors

This resulted from lack of build plate adhesion and heat transfer at the base of the print

Hypothesis confirmed

Hypothesis confirmed

3D Printed reproductions retain similar function, detail and quality to be of commercial value. Direct full color printing is possible with additional technologies and processes.

Sample from NYC

Sample from NYC

Final 3D printed proof

Final 3D printed proof

Workflow proofs

Workflow proofs

Lots of 3D prints!

Lots of 3D prints!

Masking areas to be painted

Masking areas to be painted

Ready for spray painting

Ready for spray painting

Spray painting

Spray painting

In process

In process

Finished Whimsies

Finished Whimsies

The art of Morgan Bulkeley

The art of Morgan Bulkeley

Whimsy available for purchase

Whimsy available for purchase

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.