3D-Printing Fine Art Fakes Is Here to Stay

Not willing to let Fujifilm own the 3D-printed fine art reproduction market, Canon's Océ Group—responsible for the company's professional large format printers—is working with Dutch researcher Tim Zaman on a similar approach to accurately duplicating famous paintings.


Working with the Kröller-Müller and Rijksmuseum museums in the Netherlands, Zaman developed a photographic scanning system that's able to capture more than just a high-res image of a painting. It's also able to record 3D details, like brush strokes and the texture of the paint. And once that's turned into a 3D model, a high-resolution 600 ppi 3D printer is able to recreate famous pieces from Rembrandt and Van Gogh in convincing detail.

There's no doubt that 3D-printed fine art recreations are going to be a big business, not to mention a fantastic headache for galleries and museums as forgeries become harder and harder to spot. And as 3D printers get more capable, this research will inevitably move towards reproducing famous sculptures too. Who wouldn't want a Venus De Milo in their living room—with her arms re-attached? [YouTube via Tim Zaman via Engadget]

Illustration for article titled 3D-Printing Fine Art Fakes Is Here to Stay



Couldn't this possibly be good for museums and galleries that hold older and degrading pieces of art? They could replace the originals with replicas (probably preferably without the general public knowing) and keep the originals under more preferable air and light conditions. But then again, would the painting be worth having if it was just under preservation for no one to see? I don't know...