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3D Technology Enhances Museum Experience for Visitors – Interview with Luna Meli from Hi.Stories

The Italian technology services company Hi.Stories was founded in 2017, drawing on the partners’ background in technology, communication and the museum sector. The opportunity to build on their experience came from their participation in the „Cultura Crea“ call for proposals, managed by Invitalia through the national operational programme for culture and development, which aims to create cultural and creative businesses, particularly those dedicated to working in the creative sector by combining digital and cultural expertise. In an interview with 3Druck.com, Hi.Stories founder Luna Meli shares her insights on how 3D technology can be incorporated into museums and cultural heritage sites.

Hi.Stories main focus lies in providing services for digitally enhancing artistic and cultural heritage. This includes creating virtual tours, 3D models and prints, mobile applications, and web apps. All of these solutions use the tools that visitors are most familiar with, making it easier to create a more dynamic and engaging tour. Additionally, the company offers consultancy services for museum valorisation. Archaeological parks, civic museums, art galleries, and historic buildings, all part of our historical and artistic heritage, can be reimagined in a fun and innovative manner, enhancing their role in transmitting and preserving the unique knowledge of a historical site.

All research and development is carried out in-house, including 3D modelling and 3D printing. Hi.Stories uses both desktop and mobile 3D scanners, with a particular focus on the environmental sustainability of its printed items.

Interview with Luna Meli

In an interview with 3Druck.com, Luna Meli, founder of Hi.Stories, shares her knowledge on how 3D printing can add value to museums and what other 3D technologies can be integrated to enhance the visitor experience.

In your opinion, what significance does 3D printing have for the field of cultural heritage?

Luna Meli, founder of Hi.Stories

I think that 3D printing can be an added value for the valorisation of cultural heritage because it allows different approaches to objects, especially in the archaeological field. Think, for example, of how it can be used to create accessible itineraries: The 3D reproduction allows the visually impaired to touch the work of art and, through a good 3D print accompanied by a Braille caption, to get to know the artefact by touching its shape. It also becomes a tool for educational services, as educational or excavation workshops can be organised. 3D printing can also be a useful tool for exhibiting artefacts or works of art that are temporarily not on display because they are on loan or in rotation with other pieces in the collections.

How do you see the integration of 3D technology in museums and other cultural institutions progressing?

The integration of 3D technologies in cultural institutions is very heterogeneous and varies from region to region, especially in Italy, and goes hand in hand with the incorporation of digital tools for museum enhancement. Undoubtedly, the increased focus on tactile accessibility is driving this type of integration, but also the increasing use of visitor support tools including 3D models, such as augmented reality applications or reconstructions of the environment via the viewer, is stimulating the curiosity of the managers of the main museum sites.

left: 3D print of an artefact, placed on the exhibition panel with the original inside and the Braille inscription next to it. right: 3D model of artefact. Images: Hi.Stories

Additive manufacturing and 3D technologies have continuously developed in recent years. Which innovations or technological breakthroughs do you consider to be particularly important for your work?

Of course, the most interesting aspect of working with cultural heritage is the possibility of using natural materials, such as ceramics, although the cost of these printers, as well as the cost of the final product, still makes them a tool that is not easily accessible economically, either for the companies producing the product or for the end user.

What impact do you think additive manufacturing will have on various industries and possibly society as a whole in the coming years?

We are already hearing about the use of additive manufacturing in areas such as food and medicine, which can certainly have a significant impact on society. I am thinking, for example, of the possibility of so-called 3D printed synthetic meat, which could be an interesting and innovative way of also addressing the environmental impact of intensive livestock farming. But we can also think of bioprinting, i.e. the use of organic materials to reproduce organs, situations that seemed unreal a few years ago, but in which research is making remarkable progress.

Here you can find further information on Hi.Stories.

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