The possibilities that 3D printing has are enormous. Its applications are being implemented in various fields, and more recently it has been applied in the field of restoration of historical infrastructure, with excellent results.
Such is the case of the restoration projects of the historical and artistic heritage of Brussels, capital of Belgium, already implemented in the churches of St. Catherine and Our Lady of Laeken. We were recently able to learn about these interesting 3D printing applications thanks to the information provided by Alexander de Croo, who is the Belgian Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Agenda, during a parliamentary intervention in which he exposed them.
Minister de Croo explained that his country is a pioneer in this field of 3D printing and that although for a few years 3D printing has experienced rapid development around the world, this has not in any way tarnished the leadership of Belgium in the area, being a reference in Europe today.
The Belgian Government is seriously supporting the initiatives in this regard, as was the case with the restoration of the church of St. Catherine, whose large stone capitals of Gobertange were very deteriorated and needed major attention. These capitals were replaced using 3D modeling techniques in which an "in situ" restoration of a part of the elements was done after being scanned in three-dimensional form and completed with the help of software, creating a three-dimensional model of the assembly of their pieces.
Before the church of Santa Catalina, restoration through 3D printing techniques was applied in the temple of Our Lady of Laeken. In this case in order to track some elements and reproduce them identically, the stones were molded in a traditional way, also scanned and directly digitally coded in 3D, especially in the case of temple gargoyles, some of which Had to recreate from scratch, so this alternative turned out to be great.
The minister explained that the advantages of this type of technology consist of two great aspects: saving-gain time and money and results. No doubt the applications of 3D printing continue to develop possibilities.