3D printed skeleton of Richard III on display at new visitor centre

Posted by pt91 at Jul 28, 2014 12:35 PM |
Replica based on materials provided by the University of Leicester and Leicester Royal Infirmary

Issued by Loughborough University on 26 July 2014

Visitors are now able to see a 3D printed replica of King Richard III’s skeleton, created by Loughborough University, as part of the exciting new King Richard III visitor centre now open in Leicester.

The University of Leicester announced in February last year that the skeleton found in 2012 in the city by its team of archaeologists was that of Richard III, whose final resting place remained hidden for hundreds of years.

Experts from Loughborough’s School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering were invited by Leicester  to make a replica of the king’s skeleton, using the latest 3D printing techniques.

Scans of the actual remains taken by the Leicester Royal Infirmary were sent to Loughborough, where they were transformed into a 3D computer model. Laser sintering was then used to create a physical replica of the skeleton. Laser sintering is a technique that uses a high power laser to fuse small particles of materials, in this case plastic, into a mass that has a three-dimensional shape.

Professor Russell Harris – head of the University’s Additive Manufacturing Research Group – who led Loughborough’s involvement in the project, said: “Generating the first 3D computer models was a very exciting moment. And later seeing the skull of Richard III emerge from the powder of the laser sintering machine in physical form was incredible.

“It was quite clear to see a number of the significant injuries that he had sustained in battle, and at last the greater story of how the King met his death can be told. Recording various aspects of the remains, in both electronic and physical form, will be invaluable for future studies.

“Our 3D printing and additive manufacturing activities span a great number of disciplines but this was an exceptionally rewarding case to be involved in. Working with Leicester on this incredible discovery has been a privilege, and it is great that two neighbouring universities have been able to share expertise to create a lasting legacy to Richard III.”

  • The Dig for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society. The originator of the Search project was Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society.

This press release originally appeared on the Loughborough University website.

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