Reproducing great works of art is one of the main reasons we became interested in 3D printing. The "Scan the World" initiative featured on MyMiniFactory.com has hundreds of museum artifacts available for download.
Printing these scans is another story however. The first thing you'll need to do is surrender yourself to cutting these models into several, or many, pieces. Cutting up these models allows you to orient them ideally on the buildplate, without wasting too much material on support structures. The more pieces means the larger you can print the object overall. You will absolutely need well tuned support settings to print most of these models, we utilize Simplify3D. S3D allows us to place custom supports exactly where they are needed, and remove them where they are not needed.
The first model we would like to highlight is the Winged Victory of Samothrace. There is an interesting history behind this piece that you can read about here . We originally downloaded this model from MyMiniFactory and began slicing it into pieces using Blender. However during this process we found that CosmoWenman at Thingiverse had already performed this task skillfully. With these files in hand it was time for slicing.
We are working on our small 10" printer with the 0.3mm wide nozzle to get the highest resolution out of this print. So we set our layerheight to 0.15mm, our layer width to 0.33mm, give ourselves 3 perimeters for strength, use 15% infill (rectalinear), 35% support infill at a 55degree overhang, 0.95mm retraction distance, starting with the bed at 60C for the first 4 layers then off, and starting the print temperature at 215C tapering down 5C per layer for the first 5 layers.
With the printing complete we have just finished the first part of our Statue project. This particular piece required nearly 100hours of printing and 1.5kg of white PLA. In the future we would like to be able to offer both resin and plaster casts of this artwork. In order to do that we will need to create molds for the different parts of this statue.