In the field of architecture, design and art, 3D printing has proven time and time again that it can be very useful. From Jakub Pastuszak, who prints 3D artwork for the Gdansk Amber Museum, to Scan the World, which uses 3D technologies to reproduce artwork, the applications are varied. And now, the technology can be found at one of the world’s leading art exhibitions. If you are an art lover, you already know that the World Expo 2020 in Dubai started this year on October 1st. Postponed due to the health crisis, the Expo will continue until March 31. The opportunity for each participating country to have a pavilion throughout the 6 months, with the aim of addressing issues related to “connecting minds” and “building the future” through sustainability and mobility.
And to say the least, the Italian pavilion has been perfectly adapted to the themes of the exhibition. Thanks to 3D technologies, they managed to reproduce the famous statue by Michelangelo that represents the biblical hero David, in his fight against the giant Goliath. To carry out this task, a project that took place over 4 months according to Grazia Tucci, professor of geometry at the University of Florence and coordinator of the project, the engineering department of the University of Florence collaborated with the industrial group Swedish Hexagon, specialized in new technologies. A beneficial association on many levels, so much so that Ms. Tucci believes “We now have essentially the most reliable replica of David.”
A “digital twin” of the statue of David
At 5 meters high, a special tripod had to be designed and thousands of scans were made before the statue of David could be fully digitized. As you can imagine, it was very difficult to find a 3D printer capable of printing the replica in one go. That is why the project organizers decided to divide the work into 14 printable pieces. Designed from acrylic resin, the art restorers, once the different parts were printed, assembled the different parts of the statue with glue and marble dust. A success for Grazia Tucci, who described the 3D printed replica as a “digital twin” and who hopes, in the long run, to be able to preserve cultural heritage thanks to 3D technologies.
Through this initiative, the organizers of the project, like the Florentine mayor Dario Nardella, hope to offer Florence the opportunity to reconnect with tourists. Since the start of the health crisis, the capital of the Renaissance has lost no less than 81% of its annual visitors, according to the latest studies on this subject. Mr. Nardella concluded: “The David is a logo of prosperity, a logo of power, freedom and particularly a logo of peace,” he said. “So this event is a great alternative for our spirit and to improve our city and the ancient arts in Italy.” You can find more information about the Italian pavilion at the Dubai Expo HERE.
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*Cover photo credits: Antonio Quattrone