In ancient Japan there was a group of people known as The Jōmon, a group of hunter-gatherers who lived around 12700 BCE. The Jōmon are known mainly for their pottery, which is thought to be the oldest in Japan, amazingly some of it is still complete today. The completed piece is owned by James Koyanagi, a retired architect in Burlington Ontario. However, due to the vases extreme age and its fragile nature, handling and studying it closely isn’t possible without a high risk of damaging it. But now, Koyanagi is using 3D scanning and 3D printing to create a perfect duplicate of the piece, which could be copied as many times as needed and distributed easily for study, without risk of destroying or damaging the original piece.
Hamilton, Ontario is the home of Mohawk College and its new Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre (AMRC), where the vase was originally taken for 3D printing. But before the printing could begin, they would need a digital file of the vase, which could only be created by taking a high resolution scan of the entire vase. Enter Trillium Health Partners – Mississauga Hospital and Siemens Healthcare, who allowed the group to use a massive CT scanner to match the vase exactly. Once the scan was completed, they were able to reproduce the vase in nylon material. The Dean of Engineering at Mohawk College stated that “This is an opportunity to bring Health Care, the Arts and Technology together through the use of Additive Manufacturing, the entire process, from scanning to the printing, has produced an impressive final product that we can use for further conservation efforts.” You can see the related video below.