otzi the iceman to be 3D printed

By On Wed, February 17, 2016 · 3D Printing, Archaeology, NewsAdd Comment

Understanding one’s place in the Universe requires an belief of all things that led up to one’s creation. For this reason, I’m always fascinated by our ancestors of thousands of years ago. How did they live? What cultural practices did they have? How did they die? One group of scientists, historians, and archeologists have pursued answers to these inquiries in relation to one solitary individual murdered over 5,000 years ago, Ötzi the Iceman. To learn additional of Ötzi, Europe’s oldest-known effortless mummy, this interdisciplinary team has made an precise replica of the mummy with 3D printing.

gary staab painting 3d printed otzi the iceman

After what a few believe to be a four-man attack and/or ritual sacrifice, Ötzi was frozen in ice, with his remains remarkably in tact. His discovery in 1991 in the Ötztal Alps on the Austrian–Italian border has allowed researchers great insight into life in close to 3,300 BCE. In a NOVA special airing February 17, the secrets of Ötzi can be uncovered, as well as the secrets that went into replicating the iconic Iceman.

Whilst the remains of Ötzi are on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Italy, paleo-artist Gary Staab was invited to turn it into an precise replica of the mummy, therefore enabling a greater number of individuals to learn of the five-thousand-year-old. To do so, Staab took advantage of Materialise’s Mammoth SLA system, resulting in a huge 5’5″-tall printed copy of the Iceman, over that Staab sculpted skin textures and painted to render a lifelike model of the deceased.

3D printed iceman

The entire system can be illustrated on February 17th, which include what Gary tells me is great footage of the recreation of Ötzi the Iceman. And PBS promises to reveal “surprising secrets hidden in his genetic code”. Combined, this is one NOVA special not to be missed. And, if you take place to be in Kansas City, Missouri in the future night, you catch the show and a Q&A with Staab at Union Station for free.

Update 2/17/16: Tonight, PBS airs the Nova special “Iceman Reborn” in that our beloved Ötzi gets brought back to life with 3D printing. In anticipation of the show, additional information of the actual system has been released.

Otzi 1 (c) Materialise 3D printed Otzi

Photo copyright of Materialise.

First, the Ice Man was scanned with a CT machine and, for the reason a few body parts were missing, Materialise engineers had to return it into those parts, such as Ötzi’s ribs. Employing Materialise’s 3-matic software, existing ribs were mirrored to donate a achieve body. This was and so 3D printed with the Belgian firm’s Mammoth SLA machine, resulting in a 5’5” replica. As described above, the replica was and so painted by Staab, who previously worked with Materialise to copy the famous Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun.

Ötzi is the oldest effortlessly mummified man discovered in such great condition. It may not appear great to the living, but the Ice Man’s remains have announced hardened arteries reflective of heart disease, as well as gut bacteria indiciative of an abdominal inflammation.

Otzi 2 (c) Materialise 3D printed Otzi

Photo copyright of Materialise.

Bryan Crutchfield, Managing Director of Materialise, USA, says of the project, “We are proud that our 3D medical modeling innovation may manufacture a contribution to a greater belief of the Iceman and his times. That our medical printing innovation is so high end yet flexible adequate to be modified
to such significant scientific and historic study is truly reflective of our team’s emphasis on research and value for its healthcare customers.”

Stay tuned for the show tonight, airing at 9 pm EST on PBS. And, after the premier, Materialise can be uploading a short video detailing their 3D printing of the project on their YouTube channel.

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Michael Molitch-Hou

About The Author

Michael is Editor-In Chief of 3D Printing Industry and the discovereder of The Reality™ Institute, a service institute dedicated to determining what’s real and what’s not so that you don’t have to. He is a graduate of the MFA Critical Studies & Writing Program at CalArts, and a firm advocate of world peace. Michael already resides in San Pedro with his magical wife, Danielle.