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China Software Science Technology

Restoring China's Forbidden City With 3-D Printing 46

First time accepted submitter jcho5 writes "China's 600-year-old Forbidden City is looking less forbidding these days. As part of a major restoration, the Chinese Palace museum will use 3D-Printers to re-manufacture and replicate many of the city's most precious and unique objects. From the article: 'PhD student Fangjin Zhang—along with her colleagues at Loughborough Design School in the East Midlands of England—had, for a number of years, been looking into the use of 3D printing as means to restore sculptures and archaeological relics. According to a Loughborough press release, Zhang developed a “formalized approach tailored specifically to the restoration of historic artifacts.” After reviewing Zhang’s techniques, the Palace Museum then invited Loughborough researchers to repair several Forbidden City artifacts, including the ceiling and enclosure of a pavilion in the Emperor Chanlong Garden.'"
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Restoring China's Forbidden City With 3-D Printing

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  • Re: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rev0lt ( 1950662 ) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @05:56PM (#39695795)
    Because probably they'll be doing a single copy of each, using some hard material that substitutes whatever you pour into moulds. Moulds themselves are frequently done by casting a 3D-printed copy with the mould material.
  • burned (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ebonum ( 830686 ) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:07PM (#39695851)

    Sadly, Mao and the cultural revolution burned a good percentage of China's history. Things connected to the old dynasties were fare game. Much of their 5,000 year history went in to the fire and they did it to themselves.

  • Outgassing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:29PM (#39696279)

    As a former museum professional, the main problem I foresee is damage to real artifacts being caused by outgassing of the cheap plastics usually used in 3D printing applications. Outgassing and leaching of unstable compound are two of the main reasons preservationists generally are very careful to employ inert (and often extremely expensive) materials when restoring the fabric of fragile historic objects.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990