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Good Practice 2019
Category: Spaces, products and services already in use

Augmented Accessibility in virtualization and 3D printing of heritage

Néstor F. Marqués - Patrimonio Virtual y Divulgación cultural & Vilamuseu (City Council of Vila Joiosa)


Logo project, Néstor F. Marqués - Patrimonio Virtual y Divulgación cultural & Vilamuseu (Vilamuseu (City Council of Vila Joiosa)) Pictures of the project

Augmented Accessibility (AA) in virtualization and 3D printing of heritage is a project and a non-formal strategic alliance between a leading public museum in accessibility and design for all (Vilamuseu) and a leading company in 3D technologies applied to heritage, Néstor F. Marqués - Patrimonio Virtual y Divulgación Cultural.

Augmented Accessibility is a concept we developed to refer to different ways to improve the accessibility of a 3D model or replica, compared to its original. Photogrammetric virtualization and 3D printing offer us a lot of possibilities to explore together, and it's crucial to determine the better ways and principles to follow.

This project is ongoing since March 2017, with main funding from the Vila Joiosa City Council (Spain), Vilamuseu’s conceptualization and material and technological contribution of Néstor F. Marqués. In 2018 and 2019, two grants from the Agencia Vaenciana del Turisme (Tourism Valencian Office) were received for the project. As a team, we started the project with the objective of creating new accessible ways to experience heritage that fully comply with the most demanding criteria of comprehensive accessibility in the final product.

For that matter and ensuring we also get quality documental and archival data, the most advanced and highest quality techniques have been applied to 3D virtualization and printing of the museum’s heritage objects. But at the same time, we strongly enforce democratizing policies and techniques to ensure all can be done with contained costs, to which both 3D virtualization via photogrammetry and FDM 3D printing’s great value for money are a huge contribution. Moreover, we care about the environment so we make sure to always use ecological materials for the replicas such as PLA.

In the end, the results are polyvalent 3D files that let us document, analyze and disseminate heritage with accessibility as main goal.

14 criteria have been taken into account:

  1. Final scale accessible to touch.
  2. Selection of key museum pieces, not the easiest to virtualize.
  3. Polyvalent file use.
  4. Work in collaboration with other museums.
  5. Test and evaluation with blind and partially blind people from the ONCE (National Blind Organization) of Alicante.
  6. Accessible tables, contrasted with the museum’s halls.
  7. Accessible interpretive information about the pieces.
  8. Personal information (guides) prepared with audio-descriptive techniques.
  9. Safe finish and aesthetic finish.
  10. Accessible finish.
  11. Explore the best tactile options.
  12. Online availability of the pieces (see
  13. Sustainability: pieces a printed in ecologic PLA.
  14. Search of safe options for the exhibition and handle of tactile devices in the context of the COVID19

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