3D Greek Vases

3D Greek Vases

The 3D Greek Vase Scanning and Printing Project (3DGV) brings together faculty, staff, and students at the University of Virginia to create scale replicas of the Greek vases in the collection of the Fralin Museum of Art using rapid prototyping technologies. Beginning in January 2015 as the brainchild of Professor Tyler Jo Smith and undergraduate engineering student Gregory Lewis, the project has since grown into a collaborative effort between the archaeology program, the UVa Library System, the UVa Engineering School, and the Fralin Museum, and has been featured in numerous articles, talks, and conferences, both at UVa and across the country.

3DGV aims to scan and print these vases so that the digital and physical models can be used for both research and educational purposes, and can be shared with the larger community of museum specialists, archaeologists, and digital humanists. In addition, we seek to introduce the physical models into the classroom to facilitate experiential learning and exposure to ancient artifacts as well as to teach students of all levels and disciplines about how to apply these rapidly proliferating technologies to their fields.

For more information please contact Tyler Jo Smith at [email protected]

3DGV Poster
For more detailed information click on the above poster presented at the 2017 Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archeology conference.
Euboean Hybrid
A digital model of a Euboean hydria at the Fralin Museum .

News Articles and Exhibits
Connect with news stories regarding 3DGV

Exploring New Dimensions with Art History and Engineering
John Kelly
UVa Arts, Vol 04 Spring 2016

History Made New
Caroline Newman
UVa Today, 12 October 2016
Reprinted as:
How 3-D printing brings ancient Greek art to life
Phys.org, 13 October 2016
University of Virginia faculty and staff use 3-D printing to take a fresh look at ancient art
ArtDaily.org, 18 October 2016

3D Printing Brings Replicas of Ancient Greek Art to the Classroom
Kerry Kolasa-Sikiaridi
GreekReporter.com, 19 October 2016

Digital Archaeology Digest: Medieval Manuscripts, The Antikythera Mechanism And The Sounds Of Paris
Sarah Bond
Forbes, 14 October 2016

Collect, Care, Conserve, Curate: The Life of the Art Object
Exhibit at Fralin Museum of Art, 10 March 2017 to 23 July 2017
Curated by Jean Lancaster, Collections Manager
Click here for 3D scans from the exhibition

Presentations and Conferences
See where we have been

3D-GV: Scanning and Printing Greek Vases
T.J. Smith, G. Lewis and W. Rourk
DH@UVa, Scholar’s Lab
UVa, 14 October 2016

The Plastic Pyxis: 3D Scanning and Printing Greek Vases
T.J. Smith
CAMWS Southern Section
Atlanta, Georgia, 28 October 2016

3D Printing Greek Vases: Applications and Implications
T.J. Smith
Archaeological Institute of America [AIA] annual meeting
Toronto, Canada, 6 January 2017. 

3D Scanning and Printing Greek Vases: From Deep Storage to Rapid Prototyping
T.J. Smith, G. Lewis
Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology [CAA] International Conference
Atlanta, Georgia, 14 March 2017

The Plastic Pyxis: Greek Vases in 3D
T.J. Smith
Davidson College, Digital Studies, 
Davidson, North Carolina, 26 September 2017

3D-GV: From Scanning to Printing to Using
T.J. Smith with G. Bodard, Ph. Carter, W. Rourk, and D. Mitchell
Digital Cultural Heritage, University of London and SunoikisisDC, 7 December 2017.

Round Table: Ancient Art and Archaeology Pedagogy and 3D Printing
Institute of Classical Studies
T.J. Smith
University of London, 11 July 2018 

Pots and Pedagogy: 3D Vases in the Classics Classroom
SCS annual meeting
T.J. Smith
Washington DC, 4 January 2020

3D-GV: Scanning and Printing Artifacts
T.J. Smith with V. Valdez
Digital Archaeology, University of Virginia, guest lecture 19 October 2020

Even Better than the Real Thing? Making and Using 3D Greek Vases
T.J. Smith
Dept. of Classics, College of William and Mary, 1 April 2021

​Teaching and Learning with 3D Vases
Tyler Jo Smith 
Dept. of Classics, Tulane University, 10 Nov. 2022


Related Articles
Learn more about 3D scanning, printing, and their use in data preservation

Active learning in the lecture theatre using 3D printed objects
David P. Smith
F1000Research, 2016

Digital 3D models of heritage artefacts: Towards a digital dream space
Sarah Younan, Cathy Treadaway
Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 2, 2015

Connect with our partners

Cultural Heritage Informatics
Click here to learn more about further efforts at UVa to preserve cultural heritage data using 3D scanning and printing techniques

Click here for more about Democratizating Cultural Heritge Data and our 3D vases.

Fralin Museum of Art
Click here to view the collection of the Fralin Museum of Art including more digital models of the vases used in this project