3D Technology for Art Restoration

Museums, galleries and even private collectors are turning more and more to the use of 3D CNC technology to assist with the restoration of sculptural art.

Here’s why:
Non-Invasive 3D Imaging: When it comes to priceless antiques the less handling the better. Thanks to sophisticated portable 3D scanners, it is possible to scan a piece without touching or moving it. Provided that you are using a 3D scanner specifically designed for sculptural image capture, the resulting scan will be an exact 3D digital version of the piece, right down to fine surface texture.

Digital Manipulation/Study: Once you have a digital copy of a piece, it is possible to make a full study of the sculptural work, again without handling or moving the piece in any way. Using powerful 3D modeling software the image can be easily manipulated for assessment from every angle. Unlike the actual piece, this model is easy to rotate, zoom in on small details or send halfway around the world for a second opinion.

Precise Restoration Fabrication: Having a 3D scan also vastly simplifies the actual restoration of a sculptural work. Let’s say for example that you are dealing with a newly discovered bronze sculpture of a horse from an ancient shipwreck. The statue is in fairly good condition but there is an irregularly shaped section missing from the neck. Using the digital scan it is possible to identify the exact dimensions of the hole and to automatically carve out the missing section on a 3D CNC router. An integrated 3D sculptural restoration system can even convert the 3D scan data into a mold prior to production, so that you can cast a bronze section to replace the missing area that is an exact fit.

Therefore, 3D CNC technology is a major asset to the restoration of sculptural works by minimizing the need to physically touch or move a sculpture while at the same time making the actual restoration faster, easier and more accurate though the inherent properties of an automated 3D CNC system.

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