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Materialise Builds a Replica of King Tut!

posted 6 Sep 2010, 05:50 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 6 Sep 2010, 05:54 ]
Materialise is renowned around the world as the industry leader for prototyping and additive manufacturing solutions, working with major suppliers in the aerospace, automotive and medical technology industries. 

So when they were asked to create a replica of King Tut’s mummy, although the request was out of the ordinary, they were the natural choice for the job.

New York City is the last stop on the exhibit’s U.S. tour and organisers wanted to add a new and exciting component. They decided to create a replica of King Tut and commissioned Gary Staab, natural history and prehistoric model maker to recreate the mummy. 

Materialise UK Ltd is based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, and the process began by importing CT scans of the Tutankhamen mummy into the Materialise software to create an exact 3D model of the actual mummy. 

Having been virtually transformed, King Tut came to life on Materialise’s mammoth stereolithography machine in Belgium. Stereolithography is a process that cures photosensitive resins by a laser that builds up the parts geometry layer by layer. 

Once completed King Tut’s model journeyed to the US where Gary Staab added detail, colour, and texture to complete the replica and make it look identical to King Tut’s actual remains.

Philip Hudson, managing director of Materialise UK explains how these techniques benefit their industrial clients

 “The fact that additive manufacturing technologies like stereolithography are being used more frequently in these types of applications is proof that the techniques and materials have improved in such a way that they can be used in production environments. 

“There are also numerous industrial applications where the quantities required are too small to justify a conventional production mould investment. The use of additive manufacturing processes does not only offer obvious cost and lead-time advantages, but also provides increased design freedom and the possibility to customise products.”

 King Tut’s prototyped body, as well as the other famous artifacts of his tomb, is being showcased in New York until January 2011.

Additional photos are available on Flickr.