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Academics Use 3D Printing to Rebuild Artifacts Destroyed by ISIS

September 16, 2015
ColorJet 3D Printing

3D print by RapidMade for Decimate Mesh Art

Since ISIS began destroying priceless artifacts in territory it controls, archaeologists and artists around the world have been scrambling to salvage and, or recreate the objects being annihilated.  Recently RapidMade worked on one of these projects:  Ryan Woodring’s Decimate Mesh Art Exhibit.

Closer to the tragedy, in a bold and proactive counter offensive, 

“Archaeologists at Oxford and Harvard have launched a high-tech offensive against Isis by creating a full digital record of threatened ancient sites and artefacts in the Middle East by Islamic State.

Using 3D cameras, the academics  who’ve partnered with Unesco, plan to collect millions of digital images that will enable them to capture and reconstruct any piece that is destroyed. Their plan involves positioning “hundreds of the internet-enabled 3D cameras around important sites where they will take full photographic records from several different angles before uploading them to an open-source database online.

Given the wide-scale destruction wrought on the area to date, the project team recognizes that it is literally “up against the gun” to save as many antiquities as it can.

For years, museums like the Smithsonian have been creating digital libraries of their collections to catalog, study and share.  But this effort is one of the first geared specifically to safeguard artifacts from defacement or destruction.

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