Scientists from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics WPUT made replicas of 13th and 16th century sculptures using a CNC Milling Machine 17.02.2020 13:01

Replica of the 13th-century statue "Mary with the Child" from Gardno and the 16th-century bas-relief depicting the Apostles were made at the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin using a CNC Milling Machine. The tool, usually used in industry, allowed to reproduce the smallest details of works of art.

The original sculptures are in the National Museum in Szczecin - copies were created in cooperation with the institution.

After we created scans of a wooden model of a steam engine used on ships, which the museum has in its collection - the idea arose to handle the works of art in a similar way – said Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics of the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin professor Mirosław Pajor.

Researchers from WPUT in cooperation with the museum plan to create more replicas of sculptures in order to recreate their original appearance. For lower production costs, silicone molds for plastic copies would be created.

First, with the help of very accurate structured light scanners, used in measurement laboratories, scans of sculptures had to be made. Very precise digital model was created with all scratches, cracks, chips - this was the assumption - pointed out Mirosław Pajor. He added that the precision with which the sculptures were to be mapped excluded the use of a 3D print that would not convey the nuances of their texture.

It was decided that students will attempt to make replicas by creating a machining software on a multi-axis CNC machine (Computerized Numerical Control).

It is a special machine that processes machine parts very accurately using the milling technique and is used to create injection molds. Reverse engineering technology was used to program the machine, 'explained Mirosław Pajor. He added, that it was necessary to accurately design the entire technological process.