Underwater wreck sites recreated by 3D printing
Wessex Archaeology's Scottish Office has been involved in recreating two British wrecks using 3D printing. The two shipwrecks are of an 17th/18th century cannon wreck in Scotland and a large requisitioned WWI steamship in use as a floating hospital off the south coast of England. The use of 3D printing adds to the suite of existing 3D techniques such as virtual reality and digital reconstruction that archaeologists are increasingly using to share wreck sites with the public, and for carrying out analysis of the remains.
|A diver surveys two cannon at the Drumbeg wreck site [Credit: Wessex Archaeology]|
The wreck was discovered and reported by local residents Ewen Mackay and Michael Errington while scallop diving (BBC link March 2013). Archaeologists are still working to confirm the identity of the wreck but one intriguing possibility is that it is the Crowned Raven, a Dutch trading vessel known to have been lost in the bay the winter of 1690/1691 during passage from the Baltic Sea to Portugal with a cargo of timbers and hemp. The wreck has had undergone several surveys since 2012 including sonar, magnetometer and photogrammetry, data from these combined data sets was used to prepare model ready for 3D printing. The wreck site has been designated by Historic Environment Scotland as a Historic Marine Protected Area (HMPA).
|The 3D model of two cannon at the site of shipwreck in Sutherland [Credit: Wessex Archaeology]|
Over 164 people lost their lives after the ship struck a mine on its return journey from Calais to Dover. A high resolution 3D sonar survey of the site was carried out by Wessex Archaeology on behalf of Historic England in 2014 (BBC link October 2014). Using 3D printing the archaeologists have been able to add colours based on depth to the 3D print and also overlay historical information on the print such as an illustration of the ship sinking, to assist in the interpretation of the model.
|The 3D print of the hospital ship HMHS Anglia [Credit: Wessex Archaeology]|
Author: Karen Nichols | Source: Wessex Archaeology [May 24, 2016]