3D-Printing Fine Art Fakes 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]


    pretty sure it wont take too much effort for a person or organization that can afford to drop millions on an artwork to get a possible purchase examined properly (as I doubt that the effect will hold up under even a decent top-lit light microscope.

    I'm no expert on painting forgeries, but I would have thought that even with the 3D surface accounted for, there would be other things that would give a forged painting away such as signs of age (or lack thereof), composition of the paint (presumably the 3D printer would use different pigments than what was available in the period of the original painting), X-Rays.

    the museums themselves would use this, they could store the original in a climate controlled vault so that it never ages, and just display the copy.
    For display purposes it would be fine.
    For standing up against methods use to detect if its the original, it wouldn't hold up.

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