Piranesi’s Visions Brought To Life

An exhibition at London’s Sir John Soane Museum demonstrates a new capability enabled by 3D printing. 

It’s a collection of imaginary artifacts originally conceived by 18th century artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who etched fantastic visions of buildings and things in them. But here’s the catch: the objects never existed until now. 

The digital magicians at Madrid-based Factum Arte made this happen. They specialize in digitizing ancient artifacts, but in this case there were no artifacts; there was simply Piranesi’s etchings. 

Using the etchings, Factum Arte staff managed to create detailed 3D models of many of Piranesi’s visions. And as readers will know, once you have a 3D model you can produce 3D prints. The large 3D prints were then finished with various means to produce the collection now on display at the Sir John Soane Museum in London. 

We believe this is a new approach: restoring objects that never existed; bringing to life those things imagined by the ancients. One can only wonder what other possibilities there might be using this technique.

If you’re in London anytime before May 31st, we recommend you check out the work of Factum Arte - and Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
 
Via Factum Arte and Sir John Soane Museum

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