Square Cuneiform Tablet - STL File


Original and 3D-printed cuneiform tablets: Left: original; Middle: 3D-printed reproduction; Right: Enlarged (x2) reproduction. Produced on ZCorp ZPrinter 650.


This project started as a collaboration between Professors Hod Lipson and David I. Owen. Owen, the Bernard and Jane Schapiro Professor of Ancient Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, is the curator of Cornell's collection of nearly 10,000 cuneiform tablets from ancient Mesopotamia. Read more about Cornell's tablet collection at http://cuneiform.library.cornell.edu/. Owen and Lipson had the idea of implementing 3D scanning and 3D printing technology to create physical replicas of the tablets that look and feel almost exactly like the originals.

A Next Engine desktop 3D scanner was used to take 3D laser scans of the tablets. After scanning, the accompanying software, ScanStudio HD was used for post-processing and outputting 3D printable files of the tablets. With the VRML file format, prototypes were made (using ZCorp powder-based ink-jet printers) that match the look of the original tablets in color and texture. The software also has the ability to output the files in STL format for creating prints using other printing technologies (FDM, SLA, etc.) that do not retain color and texture matching.


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  • Listed on Sep 27, 2011
  • Listing # 9
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