The ability of 3D printers to make near exact replicas of objects have led to a variety of amazing applications, especially for the use within museum exhibits. Over the last several months, we have covered numerous stories detailing how museums worldwide are utilizing 3D printing technology to make copies of their most valuable pieces. By doing so they are able to oftentimes provide museum attendees the option to interact with the replicas in a whole new way, allowing them to actually touch the objects in some cases. Just like 2D scanners and printers have enabled us to forever preserve written manuscripts, old biblical scripts, and historically written artifacts, 3D scanners and 3D printers are doing the same for practically everything else.
Approximately two years ago, a major find related to the history of England took place. In August of 2012, an archaeological excavation was conducted in Leicester, England using sophisticated radar. The site of excavation was a city council car park which once was where the Grey Friars church had stood. What archaeologists found would tie together several key pieces of 15th century England.
After over 500 years buried, the remains of King Richard III, the last English King to die in battle, were discovered. King Richard III had a storied past, one which ultimately led to his death. Depicted by William Shakespeare as a murderous tyrant of a King, who walked with a hunchback, and was a rather frail young man, the findings confirmed his physical stature, but made new findings about his disabilities. In fact one of the most exciting pieces of his skeleton was that of his spine, showing that rumors of a hunchback were not actually correct. Instead he had suffered from a severe case of scoliosis (curvature of the spine). We reported on the discovery and subsequent 3D printing of Richard III’s spine in a story back in June.
Today a 3D-printed replica of King Richard III’s remains have been unveiled, a day prior to a new museum called ‘King Richard III: Dynasty, Death and Discovery’ is set to open in Leicester, the same area in which his bones were discovered in. The bones which have been 3D printed out of a white plastic material, will be on display for as many as 100,000 visitors in its first year alone.
The museum, which has over £4 million worth of work put into it, will also feature a facial reconstruction of the King, as well as a history of his rule, and ultimately his death, which left his skeleton riddled with various wounds, some quite grotesque. Visitors to the museum will be able to see, first hand, the damage on certain areas of King Richard III’s skeleton, which includes a slice out of the skulls, an abdominal wound, as well as a pelvic wound similar to one which would have been obtained by a sword shoved through the buttocks.
As for the King’s actual remains, they will not be on display, and instead are scheduled to be sealed in a tomb at Leicester Cathedral sometime over the next year. Do you plan on visiting this new museum? Let us know what you thought, in the 3D printed King Richard III forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below, previewing the new ‘King Richard III: Dynasty, Death and Discovery’ museum.