3D Systems’ Geomagic Studio and ColorJet 3D Printers Help Rebuild Afghanistan’s Past

In the sandstone cliffs circling the Valley of Bamiyan in central Afghanistan, two enormous, conspicuous niches stare out from the rock. They were once the homes of the Buddhas of Bamiyan: two colossal buddhas that monks carved out of the stone and coated with stucco. The larger of the two measured 53 meters tall, and the smaller one came in at 35 meters tall. Examples of Gandhara art, the statues, built in 554 AD and 507 AD, respectively, were reminders of one of the world’s great civilizations and were once the largest standing buddha carvings on the planet. But on March 12, 2001, explosive devices destroyed the 1500-year-old statues, robbing an already war-stricken country of vital symbols and cultural identifiers that underscore the area’s unique blend of Greek and Buddhist cultures. 

Currently, an international team of restorers, architects and engineers are rebuilding the Buddhas of Bamiyan and hoping to restore some symbolic value for the Afghan citizens, and 3D Systems is helping. The restoration team is using a combination of Geomagic Studio® scanning software and a ProJet® 3D printer with ColorJet technology to prepare for the monumental task ahead. In 2009 they began planning for the reconstruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, the chambers of which were declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. The project is funded by a group of countries and organizations, led by UNESCO (United Nations Educations, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites). 

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Original article posted here.