The garden of Spain’s National Archaeological Museum (MAN) in Madrid is now home to a 2.2 m tall archway. A replica of the San Pedro de las Dueñas Arch, already a part of the museum’s collection, this monument was made to help to demonstrate the potential of emerging technologies and their role in historic preservation.
The arch was made in collaboration with ACCIONA, the Spanish conglomerate group responsible for infrastructural management and renewable energy. According to Andrés Carretero, MAN Director, this development “puts the museum to the forefront worldwide in the application of new technologies to the disseminating and preservation of cultural heritage.”
3D printing for sustainability in Spain
Interested specifically in the ecofriendly advantages of 3D printing, ACCIONA has been investigating the potential of the technology for several years. In 2016, working with the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), the group previously helped produce the nation’s first 3D printed bridge which now stands close to ACCIONA’s headquarters in Alcobendas. Later, in 2018, the company collaborated on the Technical University of Valencia‘s (UPV) 3D printed bungalow.
MAN’s Dueñas Arch was produced using the same technology as ACCIONA’s 3D printed bridge. Invented by Italian mechanical engineer Enrico Dini, the system used was a D-Shape 3D printer that binds sand together with an “inorganic seawater and magnesium-based binder.”
Engaging the public in emblematic parts of Spanish history
Dating back to medieval Europe, the Dueñas Arch, literally the “Duke’s arch”, is a lasting example of Romanesque architecture. Formerly part of a monastery bearing the same name in the Castile and León region of Northwestern Spain, this arch is now retained for cultural preservation within the MAN in Madrid.
By replicating the arch, MAN and ACCIONA seek to highlight the importance of protecting the nation’s heritage, and enabling more public interaction with the museum’s collection. It stands in the garden at 2.2 m tall by 3.3 m wide, and it is made to last. According to the official ACCIONA press release for the project, “The durability of the material makes it possible, for the first time, to achieve an architectural reproduction that is suitable for outdoor locations, because of its ability to withstand weather conditions.”
Further enhancing the interactive nature of the museum, several artifacts from the MAN’s collection have also been digitally recreated, and 3D printed, allowing visitors to handle them. These objects include the Crucifix of Ferdinand and Sancha (León), dating from the Mid-11th century and originally made from ivory; the Aquiliform fibula Alovera (Guadalajara), an eagle brooch from the 6th century made from bronze and glass; and the brass Astrolabe of Ibrāhim ibn Sa’īd al-Shalī (León), once used by astronomers to measure the altitude of planets.
Elsewhere in the arts, Munich’s Deutsches Museum is using to 3D printing to produce a façade for its temporary entrance, and London’s Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum inducted a 3D printed sculpture by Scan the World into its permanent collection.
Vote now for your Creative Application of the Year in the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards. For more of the latest in 3D printing, the arts and construction subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Looking for a new job? Search 3D Printing Jobs now for all the latest opportunities.
Featured image shows Andrés Carretero, director of the National Archaeological Museum, and Juan Ignacio Entrecanales, Executive Vice Chairman of ACCIONA, unveil the 3D printed replica of the San Pedro de las Dueñas Arch. Photo via ACCIONA