LESSONS LEARNT ON 3D PRINTING MICHELANGELO’S DAVID REPLICA
Keywords: 3D scanning & 3D printing, Dynamic Mechanical Analysis, Laboratory tests, Numerical modelling
Abstract. This paper reports and discusses the results of some experimental investigations carried out with the aim to identify the best conditions for a safe exposure of the 3D printed large-scale replica of Michelangelo’s David during its exhibition in the Italian Pavilion of the Expo 2020 Dubai.
The whole project posed numerous challenges due to the dimension of the Michelangelo’s David (which is over seven metres high and weighs more than five ton). As a matter of fact, on the one hand, no standardized procedures have been still established to define accuracy and quality of 3D printing. On the other hand, the large-scale printing opens up new issues concerning the mechanical properties requested of the printing material and the printing set-up that is necessary to ensure the stability and durability of the printed replica.
After a general picture of the whole project, thermal characterization of the material used to print the replica and mechanical tests of samples obtained form the replica are reported and discussed. Thermal characterisation showed that the stiffness of the material was strongly influenced by temperature and that it decreased continuously as this parameter increased. Mechanical tests showed a brittle behaviour, with a collapse load approximately 10 times higher than the internal loads resulting from the self-weight alone.
The analyses here presented constitute some of the groundwork carried out for the realisation and installation of the 3D printed replica of Michelangelo’s David. This conceptualisation, considering both the extreme environmental conditions and the large-size of the replica, has been particularly challenging and the adopted procedure was useful to verify the different phases of the realisation of the replica.