The British Museum is currently offering the 3D models and printable files of its collection on Sketchfab, an online community of designers and 3D creators. This will enable anyone using the Sketchfab platform to print the objects put on display at the British Museum using desktop 3D printers. Currently, the British Museum holds a permanent collection of more than eight million objects that spawn the entire history of humanity as well as its achievements in art and culture. The museum remains one of the largest in terms of size and collections in the world.
This new 3D printable replica is a new effort to provide a distinctive experience for the visitors that tour British Museum. It would offer the visitors and scholars with more value in their visits. The 3D printable method is introduced by the museum after several months of research on the topic. This platform is based on an open approach to art that will enable anyone to replicate and use its collections for any useful purposes.
According to a statement released by the British Museum, “We used a technique called photogrammetry (multiple photographs taken in a strategic pattern around the object) and the resulting output was rendered in 3D software. Ideally, anyone, an individual or institution, should be able to replicate our methods to create 3D representations of archaeology or artworks.”
The British Museum is currently testing this 3D printing platform and is intending to cooperate with the commercial wing of the institution, the British Museum Company. Moreover, the commercial arm of the British Museum has entered into a partnership with several organizations focused on gaming and creative design. This will help the museum to propagate its collections in an innovative way using the latest technologies of Virtual Reality (VR) and 3D printing. Among these, the museum has begun collaborating with the 3D modeling company ThinkSee3D that has been used for creating high-quality items for its Grenville shop.
The museum further intends to use the partnership with ThinkSee3D for creating 3D printed replicas of its collections for anyone interested. According to the British Museum officials, “ThinkSee3D have now developed a range of products for sale, starting with the Statue of Roy, Priest of Amun. It has been cast from reusable moulds in Jesmonite with the potential to produce in the material of your choice – bronze, clear resins, or even chocolate.”