When I was doing research into 3D printed objects, and the spectacularly cool things people are doing with the technology I ran into an article that discussed capturing cultural monuments with 3D images. The article was titled “How 3D Printing is Helping to Preserve Lost Cultural Icons.”
As I read further into the subject it was clear that the writer was really more focused on 3D scanning, and the article actually had little direct mention 3D printing in their arguments for increased documentation of cultural monuments.
Despite their lack of 3D printing in practice in the article it set up future possibilities for 3D printing. I think that there is an application for these 3D scanned images that are already in existence. For example these 3D scans could potentially be used as interactive elements in classrooms as a way for students to have a interactive experience with the monuments. Another potential would be to have the scans scaled up to larger sizes so that galleries or museums could give the objects new life for the public to see.
In a way some of these uses are already in effect. The Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. for instance has a recreation of a famous statue, recreated through 3D printing. I find the increase in recreation through 3D printing to be really fascinating as it brings inaccessible objects into a more accessible realm and allows for larger public experiences with events and history.