Insitute of Historical Research Main Navigation

Insitute of Historical Research Mobile Menu

3D Imaging and Printing for Historians

IHR staff are working with others across the School of Advanced Study to explore the applications of 3D imaging and printing for humanities research and teaching.

Our 3D interests and research

IHR staff are exploring the application of 3D imaging and printing in historical research. We're currently exploring softwares, techniques and materials with the aim of providing introductory training and workshops for historians.

As part of the School of Advanced Study's 3D Research Centre, we're working with other digital specialists across the School -- including colleagues at the Institute of Classical Studies (ICS) -- to explore and promote 3D practices in research, teaching and training.

3D research in progress

How can the past be mapped and recreated with 3D imaging?

3D printing as research resource

What are the implications of 3D printing technology for researchers? Can we recreate artefacts from the past? Can we learn more about material culture?

3D imaging

How does 3D visualisation create new opportunities for historical recreation? What creative possibilities does this technology allow?

Exploring the known and unknown

What can 3D imaging technology teach us about the known and unknown past when it comes to material or built environments?

Our equipment

We print using an Ultimaker 3 Extended and create images using an Alienware Area51 PC with advanced graphics processor - allowing us to process 3D images.

Our interests include what 3D technologies can contribute to an understanding of histories of materiality, and of historical object making and use.

In the coming year, 2020-21, we're also looking to image a selection of artefacts from the IHR archive and Library, in a project similar to ICS's modelling of its Ehrenberg archaeological collection.

What have we been printing recently?

An apple - as part of the VCH's 120th anniversary exhibition, celebrating the work of VCH Herefordshire

A pendulum clock mechanism

We were keen to experience how to make a seventeenth-century model clock, and first needed to print its mechanism.

A scale model of London's Tower Bridge

To accompany a Summer 2019 exhibition on Mudlarking in the IHR Library; we can't claim credit for the ships.

A Gutenberg printing press

For an IHR display on the history of printing and book making, in 2019.

Gutenberg Press, 2

The printing press slowly takes shape, surrounded by its supports which are then removed to reveal the final design.

A penguin ...

Another exhibit, this time to accompany an IHR Library display on histories of polar exploration.

A two-tone octopus

As an experiment in two nozzle printing using our Ultimaker 3 printer

The VCH Christmas tree

Or at least the decorations and star, part of the 2019 VCH book tree and e-card.