The Kazafani model boat, a unique grave artefact, was found in a tomb in Cyprus in 1963. Crafted from pottery in the 12th century BC, it is now on display at the Cyprus Archaeological Museum in Nicosia but is too fragile to be moved.
3D-COFORM partners at the Cyprus Institute have been experimenting with 3D technology to see if an accurate replica of the boat could be made, which would then reach a wider audience.
The delicate boat was carefully scanned using the NextEngine scanner, and a model created with Meshlab software. This created a digital 3D copy that was as accurate as possible in every detail. Rapid prototyping technology –printing in 3D – then produced an exact replica of the artefact. Size, shape, colours, surface markings, even evidence of past damage and previous episodes of restoration – it was all recorded and recreated through 3D scanning.
The 3D scanning process has enabled conservators to analyse the boat in greater detail without risking any damage to the original. The experiment has also shown how simple and cost effective this method of creating replicas can be – with obvious benefits for curators, education and merchandise.