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Subject: Reproduction of museum objects

Reproduction of museum objects

From: Paul Messier <pmessier>
Date: Thursday, September 3, 1998
While I can not comment on the reproduction method outlined by Maria
Esteva, I am aware of a promising, less invasive, method to make
reproductions of 3-D objects.  The method relies on relatively new
technologies known as laser digitization and rapid prototyping. To
summarize the reproduction process: The source object is placed on a
rotating base for scanning.  The "topography" of the object is
sampled (scanned) by reflecting a laser onto the surface of the
object.  A surface map is generating by software that links the
sampled points, creating a web of triangular facets.  In the "rapid
prototyping" step, this image map is used by a robotic modeling
device to create a full scale reproduction, usually out of a
material like Styrofoam. The reproduction is then used to make a
conventional cast.

This technology is relatively new and, at the moment, I am only
aware of one museum that has used this technology for reproducing  &
documenting fine art.  See
<URL:http://www.uclan.ac.uk/clt/calm/rpart.htm> for a very brief
description of this project.

I submitted a more detailed post on this topic to the DistList late
last year.  To find this post search the DistList archives using the
keywords "laser digitization" at
http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/Architext/AT-cool_hypermailquery.html

Paul Messier
Conservator
Boston Art Conservation

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Received on Thursday, 3 September, 1998

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