The Tianlongshan Grottoes are Buddhist cave temples in the province Shanxi in China. They were built from the 5. to the 8. century. In 1920 over 100 of the sculptures were plundered and sold to collectors all over the world. Recently experts have teamed up to make 3D scans of the remaining sculptures to 3D print the missing parts of the remaining sculptures and restore them.
The largest difficulty was to find all the sculptures and communicate with the private collectors to get the needed 3D scans. The sculptures were scanned and photos in high quality were taken. Than the models got repaired on the PC with a 3D modelling tool. After these steps they got 3D printed.
The project was supported by the Tianlongshan Heritage Preservation Organization, the Taiyuan Bureau of Historical Objects and the Institute of Art at Taiyuan University of Science and Technology. An exhibition will be held in the near future. The audience will be able to visit the 3D printed sculptures and also experience the Grottoes in virtual reality through 3D projection.