Missing part reconstruction - antique blue & white DELFT vase scanned with POP 2

Hi everyone,
today post an example of the use of 3D scanning for the realization of a typical task of pottery restoration.
In my previous post, I presented the 3D scan of an antique blue & white Delft vase (POP 2 - scanning an antique blue & white DELFT vase with turntable and texture optimization).

This object has a lack at the top of the vase.

With traditional methods, various ways can be taken to reconstruct the missing part.
A technique often used, consists in making a silicone rubber mould of the part that is still complete, from which to obtain a positive in plaster to be adapted, with mechanical processing, to fill the missing part. It is a procedure that requires good skills and that must be conducted directly on the original and for this reason potentially dangerous for the integrity of the object.
To create the missing part of the vase, the use of 3D technologies allows you to work on the digital replica of the object, rather than directly on the original object.

The 3D model of the vase can be used to reconstruct the missing part using a procedure similar to the traditional one.

For this work I used Meshmixer. After loading the 3D model made with POP 2, I started replicating it 2 times.

I positioned and rotated the copy of the 3D model copy aligning it with the first 3D model, in order to fill the missing part with the still-intact part of the vase.

Then performed a Boolean difference operation of the two 3D models, to get the missing part.

With this procedure, a “fragment” was obtained which corresponds perfectly to the missing part (even with the fracture lines).

After obtaining the 3D model of the fragment, the stl file was printed. I printed the piece in white PLA (120 micron layer).

Finally, I was able to check if the reconstructed fragment filled the gap.

The fragment in the photo is placed without gluing it and fits perfectly.


Great work! Thank you for showing and explaining!
So you could make a mould - either from the 3D-printed part or directly as a mould from the modelled part - and cast a plaster, clay or porcelain part and paint it to get an even better reconstruction?

Thanks for your appreciation,
Actually, the printed piece in PLA can be used directly by glueing it to the original and painting with acrylic colours (which change very little over time).
As in the example that I am attaching here:

It is a museum approach for which the reconstruction must in any case be visible.


It is a museum approach for which the reconstruction must in any case be visible.
I understand that. Having museum items I’m allways of two minds about being able to determine what the original and what the reconstruction is, and having a picture of how the item would have looked when it was still whole. But I guess once the 3D-model is avaible, it would also be possible to have a complete copy of the item as well as repair parts.

Of course! In my professional activity I was asked to replicate, on a 1:1 scale, works of art.