Case Study:

3D Replication for Feathercast and the Fitzwilliam Museum


The Brief

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge approached Feathercast to produce Jesmonite replicas of ten priceless objects from their collection, to be sold to the public from their museum shop. Given the delicate nature of these objects, handling them was out of the question so Feathercast approached Inition for help.

Our Solution

Inition put together a proposal using white-light 3D scanning and powder-based 3D printing technologies and worked closely with Feathercast to develop an approach that best suited their requirements for casting.

Our 3D scanning team accompanied Feathercast on visits to the Fitzwilliam Museum to advise them on which objects were best suited to the scanning process. Amongst the objects chosen were artifacts from ancient Rome and Egypt, a 2000 year old Han Dynasty dog and a Renaissance sculpture of Bacchus (circa. 1780-1825).

Using our Mephisto EX scanning engine these complex objects were scanned on site at the museum. Back at Inition, the scans were post-processed and printed on our ZPrinter 450. The 3D prints were then sent to a classical sculptor who finished the detail before sending them on to Feathercast.

Feathercast used the 3D prints to cast silicon moulds, each of which could be used to create hundreds of Jesmonite replicas of the original objects. The Jesmonite replicas were then sent to the Fitzwilliam Museum where they are now available for purchase in the museum shop.

The Results

Feathercast were delighted with the outcome of this project and as a result are keen to provide 3D scanning and printing services to other clients in the future.

Emma Pearson from Feathercast said of the final products: “They look stunning and we were really pleased with the initial impact we’ve had on the museum’s sales.”

Camay Chapman-Cameron, Managing Director of the Company Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprises Ltd. said: “We believe our product development work in this area is a game-changer, not just for us, but for our sector, in terms of the ability of museums to manufacture replicas at low risk, cost and volume.”