Read our blog for all the latest in the world of 3D printing


posted 01 June 2016 at 10:48:00

3D printing technology has been used by British archaeologists to reconstruct the sites of two shipwrecks – a 17th or 18th century trader lying off the coast of Sutherland and a First World War steamship sunk off the coast at Folkestone.

Both shipwrecks have fascinated archaeologists for years. The 17th century Drumbeg shipwreck (3D printed model shown above), located in Eddrachillis Bay, features three cannon, cargo and an anchor; while the WWI vessel, the HMHS Anglia (3D model shown below), was a hospital ship, which was sunk by a mine en route from Calais to Dover with 164 people on board.

Both sites are believed to hold fascinating archaeological information and photogrammetry was used to capture the shape, colours and texture of the wreckage in 3D. John McCarthy, of Wessex Archaeology, said, ‘It's been a fascinating process to transform the light captured in the photographs and the sound captured by the sonar sensors back into solid objects through the 3D printing process.
‘We are very excited about the potential for this technology to help us to show the wider community what it's like to visit the site without having to learn to dive or even get your feet wet.
‘We hope that future surveys by our team can result in more models which can be used in local and national museum displays and at talks and open days.’

Image: John McCarthy © Wessex Archaeology 2016