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Successful restoration thanks to digital twin

The certified restorer Matthias Sandmann has been restoring historical works of art and buildings for almost 25 years. In one of his current projects, the possibilities offered by our HA Center of Competence helped him to discover the unknown original geometry. 

Matthias Sandmann has been commissioned by the Kempen cemetery to restore a figure of Jesus in the cemetery grounds. The figure, made of almost 90-year-old oak wood, was so badly affected by the weather and fungal infestation that the dimensions of the feet in particular posed a challenge for the restorer.


Through their friendship with our colleague Holger Barth, the two came up with the idea of using the 3D printer from the HA Center of Competence to print a digital twin as a dimensional template.

In preparation, the flaws in the wood of the original foot were provisionally filled with a special filler. A 3D laser scanner was then used to create a digital twin, which was subsequently printed in sand using ExOne's S-Max printer. 

In the next step, Matthias Sandmann was able to remove the filler from the wood of the original feet and remove the rotten wood. The 3D-printed feet made of sand were now his template for the restoration with original wood and the correct, original geometry.


This unusual collaboration is a great example of the potential that lies in the technical conditions at our Center of Competence and how different designs and prototypes can be realized.