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Amazing fine art 3D printer replicates Van Gogh and Rembrandt paintings

3D printers are replicating all kinds of things these days. From rockets on their way to space and human organs to edible food and firearms. This DIY scanning and 3D printing techniques allows you to copy near-perfect fine art paintings.

Tim Zaman is a Dutch researcher who has managed to build a photographic scanning device that uses two cameras and fringe protection to scan the surface of a painting. This means that not only is the picture exactly captured as it is but all the subtle details as well.

The little lines created by individual brushstrokes and little ripples you’ll only notice when you’re looking at it from up close. As Web Urbanist notes, the replica maintains all of the surface texture of the original so that paint build-up and every little brushstroke is revealed.

“Paintings are not unlike sculptures, paint as a material has a huge impact on the way a painting looks. By illuminating a painting with light, it automatically gives highlights and shadows that form the way we see it,” says Zaman.

Just t show you the amount of details the scanner captures, this video shows a 3D render of a Van Gogh sunflower painting:

The high-definition scanner also manages to create a print with the resolution of 50 microns which translates to depth textures of up to 0.05mm. This is the making of the perfect plot for a heist — just imagine getting your hands on a Rembrandt painting and replacing it with an near-perfect replica.

Though the paintings might look authentic to a layman, there are still some areas that needs some work. Zaman says, “We noticed that things like glossiness and transparency that are in each painting are very distinguishing in the original, and we are not yet able to reproduce.” So not the perfect heist per se but still.

Below are some of Zaman’s reproductions. He could really become a millionaire or an excellent con-man:

Image via Gizmodo

Author Bio

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Keen to take over the world, one word at a time, he has always been interested in both politics and development and studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University. With an interest in innovation and social change, he seeks to tell the... More