Replication of Atlas
Conservation Technologies was commissioned by the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam to produce three replica statues of a 17th-century statue of Atlas in terracotta. The replica statues were to be part of a conceptual artwork by Turner Prize winning artist Simon Starling. In April 2008 the replica statues were deliberately dropped and smashed. The statues will be restored and put on display in a new building at the Rijksmuseum.
The first stage of the replication process involved laser scanning the original statue of Atlas at the museum's stores. A master pattern was then produced from the scan data by a 3D printing process called Selective Laser Sintering, which involves fusing nylon powder into a solid form. The master model was made 10% larger than the original statue to allow for shrinkage during the firing of the terracotta. The master model was then used to create moulds from which the three terracotta replicas could be produced.
Have a look at images taken during the replication process in the image gallery.