Digitally fabricated replicas as means to support cultural heritage interpretation

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Digitally fabricated replicas have entered the cultural heritage (CH) scenery over the last years as digital technologies for the acquisition and production of replicas have become popular, cheaper, more accurate and easier to use (Mota 2011). Many examples showcasing the use of technologies, such as 3D printers for producing artefacts as interpretative means in cultural heritage experiences, exist (Scopigno et al. 2014). However, these examples are mostly scattered and have not yet been examined or grouped with regard to their nature and function in CH scenarios.
This presentation will provide an overview of the variety of applications of digitally fabricated replicas to serve different purposes and audiences’ needs in museums, CH events and organisations. Such applications -amongst others- include: educational activities for families and children, artistic and creative uses for artists and designers, programmes for disabled audiences and the elderly (Mullaney 2012; AMNH 2013; D’Agnano et al. 2015; Please Touch 2016). The breadth of these applications demonstrates the potential that replicas have in supporting interpretation and enhancing visitor experiences with respect to CH assets.
To further investigate the prospective of digitally fabricated replicas for heritage audiences we present the development of three different case studies. All case studies concern artefacts whose shape and appearance information has been digitally captured, processed and 3d printed to produce replicas of the original artefacts. The replicas that have been produced are representing original artefacts that can be found in museums of the consortium of the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove.
An evaluation framework exploring the holistic contribution of digitally fabricated replicas in CH experiences is also introduced. This framework examines both the properties of the physical object (the replica) and its role in the visitor’s expression of a unique experience. This concept can serve as a reference guide when designing a replica, but it can also be used to decode the role of the replica itself as novel interpretative means in the context of a CH experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventSchool of Computing Engineering and Mathematics PhD Student Conference 2019 - University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jun 201911 Jun 2019


ConferenceSchool of Computing Engineering and Mathematics PhD Student Conference 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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