3D-printed paintings allow people with vision disabilities to experience classic art

Europe, December 2 2015

A new 3D print project is seeking worldwide support to help people who are blind or have low vision experience art for the first time.

Unseen Art's 3D Mona Lisa

The Unseen Art Project is the brainchild of Helsinki-based designer Marc Dillon, giving people who are blind a life-changing experience – to touch and visualise iconic classical art such as the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s sunflowers.

Using the platform, artists would be able to scan photos of famous artworks and recreate them for 3-D printing purposes. The blueprints would be open source — in other words, free and unrestricted — and anyone with access to a 3-D printer could then use the blueprints to get their hands on their very own masterpiece.

“There are many people in the world who have heard of classical artworks their whole lives but are unable to see them,” explains Dillon via his crowd-funding campaign on Indegogo. He hopes to raise enough funds to create an online gallery where artists can contribute 3D data of their artworks, in order to be printed globally.

There aren’t any firm plans for which artworks will be added next. Though the campaign has a goal of $30,000, it’s flexible funding meaning all donators will receive their pledge reward even if the total falls short of the goal.

The details of donations suggest that if at least $10,000 is raised, it will be sufficient to produce an exhibition of 3D versions of at least five different artworks.


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