3D Printing and our collections

3D Printing and our collections

Recently, we have been working closely with the ‘Create 3DGBIRE’ team. The aim of this partnership is for us to make the most out of the modern technology they have to offer. The main aspects of the technology are 3D printing and virtual reality, which can be used in schools and museums to enhance learning.

The team first visited The Atkinson on the 11th July; the event was all about making teachers & schools aware of the product that they offer. It emphasised the fact that schoolchildren can now feel what it is like to be at the top of a pyramid in Egypt through the use of virtual reality. Schools can now also interact with replicas of ancient artefacts through the use of 3D printing. There was a full turn-out for the event, showing that this is a hugely popular way of learning for the future.

Yesterday (Wed 26th July), members of the create team visited The Atkinson to scan some of our most prestigious ancient Egyptian artefacts, including the Akhenaten Nefertiti fragment and various Shabti statues. This is so that the artefacts can be 3D printed; then replicas can be created and become part of our ancient Egypt loan box for schools to engage with.

Sonya from Create give a training session to staff and volunteers about how the 3D printer works. We were shown how to give it an ‘atomic clean’ (cleaning the build-up of filament plastic in the nozzle) as well as how to change the filament and the different types that can be used. The filament is the material which is what the printer uses to create the 3D copies.

However, the 3D printer doesn’t just process scanned external images. We were also shown the free software that can be used, called ‘Cura’. This allows anybody to create an item from scratch which can then be printed off. Again, this is helpful for schools, as the pupils can print off their very own creation to make it feel a bit more personal to them.

Overall, the day was very informative and it is amazing that school children have the opportunity to engage with this type of technology to learn about their curriculum.

As well as this, it is revolutionary for museums, as we get to replicate precious artefacts and be more hands-on with items that may have only been handled by experts in the past. We are already in the process of organising another day with the Create team, so more valuable & rare items can be scanned!

Create 3DGBIRE website

Written by Tom Rogers, Community & Collections Trainee

Posted on 27 July 2017 under Learning

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