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Replicate (Or Hack) The Metropolitan Museum's Classical Sculptures With A 3D Printer

You no longer have to steal a precious artwork to have it sitting in your living room.

by Kevin Holmes
Jun 12 2012, 5:44pm

Earlier in the year, the Smithsonian museum revealed that they were going to share some of their 137 million archived works with the world via 3D printing. Instead of the works just looking nice on their storage shelves, they planned to replicate some of them to be shown at galleries and exhibitions across the world. An admirable endeavour.

But while they’re doing that, it looks like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has beaten them to the punch. And rather than just allowing one company to print the works, the Met recently opened its doors to the MakerBot community, armed with 3D scanners and 3D capture software, to host a two day 3D printing hackathon.

Once in, the hackathon participants were allowed to scan 34 sculptures, guided by the Met’s experts, which were converted into blueprints. Now the files are available to anyone on Thingiverse to download and replicate. Or transform. Or hack together to create some kind of classical sculpture mashup.

Memory, Daniel Chester French

Replicated by Raygduncan.

Leda and the Swan hacked together with Marsyas, by JonMonaghan

Leda and the Swan by Jacques Sarazin

Marsyas by Balthasar Permoser

To show you how creative you can get remixing these files, CAN posted about Matthew Plummer-Fernandez’s Met3D remix – We Met Heads On, which is a meta-derivative remix of the 3D scans.

Plummer-Fernandez took scotta3d’s creation Decimation Study – Met Heads—which sees the heads of the sculptures stacked side by side and then decimated repeatedly so they morph into low polygon meshes—and used the low polygon heads as the starting point for his work. Decimation Study – Met Heads is itself derived from MET Heads by tbuser.

OK, you still following? Good. Plummer-Fernandez took the low polygon heads and put them into a Processing sketch so that they responded to sound in real-time, distorting them in the process. The cause of their deformities is James Blake’s “Air And Lack Thereof,” which turns these classical sculptures into glitching digital artifacts. You can see the remixes in the video below and print the objects created from it on Thingiverse.