Losing Marbles

Photo courtesy Cosmo Wenman

How 3D printing could revolutionize the art world

When artists get a new toy, there’s no telling what they’ll do. Consumer photography had only been around 30 years before Man Ray started creating his surreal masterpieces.

The way California artist Cosmo Wenman uses the 3D printer has the same potential to change the world of art.

For several years Wenman has been 3D scanning ancient Greek and Roman sculptures and using those scans to print life-size reproductions. Check out that photo of MakerBot founder Bre Pettis posing with one of Wenman’s Replicator creations above, and you’ll get a sense of just how incredible these creations are.

Now, Wenman has launched Through a Scanner, Skulpturhalle. The Kickstarter campaign will allow Wenman to scan more than 2000 plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures in Basel’s Skulpturhalle and create 3D printable files of each.

Those files will then be uploaded to Thingiverse, where anyone with a 3D printer can replicate the statuary. It’s no exaggeration to say the idea could revolutionize everything from arts education to interior design.

Unfortunately Wenman’s campaign still has a lot more money to raise if it’s going to be funded, and not a lot of time to do it in. If you’d like to support the Skulpturhalle, check out the Kickstarter page here.

If you’d like to check out more of Wenman’s remarkable work, visit his site here.

Now go forth (and strike a pose).

Nitty Gritty:

1801-1812: Years in which Britain’s Lord Elgin removed half of the Parthenon’s sculptures

3 months: Time the British government offered to lend the Elgin Marbles to Greece, in 2008

2012: Year Stephen Fry urged the British government to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece