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From Digging to Digital: Preserving and Displaying the Past

Ivo van der Graaff and Otto Luna

University of New Hampshire

This presentation discusses the use of 3D printing and 3D imaging technologies in an art history course taught at the Department of Art and Art History at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). The class takes advantage of the resources available at the Visual Resources Center, an emerging makerspace located within the Department of Art and Art History. The undergraduate honors-level course introduces students to the ways in which 3D technologies can be employed to help preserve, replicate, document, and disseminate knowledge of cultural artifacts and archaeological sites. Working individually or as teams of two, students chose an artifact of inquiry from the UNH Museum of Art for research and documentation. As a final project, students in the class presented their research in the form of a website that included required content areas: an analysis of the formal qualities of the artifact, a discussion of the object’s origin and historical context, an interactive 3D model of the artifact, and photographs of the 3D printed reproduction of the object. Students also described and critically evaluated the technologies and processes employed throughout the semester, namely, photogrammetry and 3D printing.

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