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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:> 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

Paul Messier
Boston Art Conservation

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:24
                Distributed: Thursday, September 3, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-24-002
Received on Thursday, 3 September, 1998

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