Copying objects allows us to display reproductions of great art and architecture from across the world, in order to offer objects for study and tell a complete story of the history of art and design. 3D scanning is a digital copying technique which uses light to record an object's dimensions and detailing. This data can then be manipulated digitally and 3D printed to produce a physical copy of the object. Unlike traditional copying methods, digital copying allows a museum object to be reproduced without touching the original object.
To mark the refurbishment of the Cast Courts in 2018, the V&A commissioned Rapidform at the Royal College of Art to produce 3D scans of 23 objects in the collections. This film shows you the process of digitally copying an elaborate silver and glass flask, originally purchased by the museum during the 1851 Great Exhibition.