Re-Printing Architectural Heritage

Exploring Current 3D Printing and Scanning Technologies


  • Juliette Bekkering Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Barbara Kuit Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Carola Hein Delft University of Technology
  • Michela Turrin Delft University of Technology
  • Joris Dik Delft University of Technology
  • John Hanna Delft University of Technology
  • Miktha Alkadri Delft University of Technology
  • Serdar Asut Delft University of Technology
  • Ulrich Knaack Delft University of Technology
  • Peter Koorstra Delft University of Technology
  • Albert Reinstra Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE)
  • Angela Dellebeke National Archives
  • Dave Vanhove 3D idea printing
  • Dick Vlasblom QUBICX
  • Jur Bekooy Foundation for Old Groningen Churches
  • Valentin Vanhecke 4Visualization
  • Wim Oostveen 3M Netherlands




3D printing, 3D scanning, heritage, architecture


Additive Manufacturing (commonly known as 3D printing) technology has become a global phenomenon. In the domain of heritage, 3D printing is seen as a time and cost efficient method for restoring vulnerable architectural structures. The technology can also provide an opportunity to reproduce missing or destroyed cultural heritage, in the cases of conflicts or environmental threats. This project takes the Hippolytuskerk in the Dutch village of Middelstum, as a case study to explore the limits of the existing technology, and the challenges of 3D printing of cultural heritage. Architectural historians, modelling experts, and industrial scientists from the universities of Delft and Eindhoven have engaged with diverse aspects of 3D printing, to reproduce a selected part of the 15th century church. This experimental project has tested available technologies to reproduce a mural on a section of one of the church’s vault with maximum possible fidelity to material, colors and local microstructures. The project shows challenges and opportunities of today’s technology for 3D printing in heritage, varying from the incapability of the scanning technology to capture the existing cracks in the required resolution, to the high costs of speciality printing, and the limited possibilities for combining both printing techniques for such a complex structure.


How to Cite

Bekkering, J., Kuit, B., Hein, C., Turrin, M., Dik, J., Hanna, J., Alkadri, M., Asut, S., Knaack, U., Koorstra, P., Reinstra, A., Dellebeke, A., Vanhove, D., Vlasblom, D., Bekooy, J., Teeuw, R., Vanhecke, V., & Oostveen, W. (2019). Re-Printing Architectural Heritage: Exploring Current 3D Printing and Scanning Technologies. SPOOL, 6(2), 33–36.