3D printing has been paramount in the restoration and replication of historical pieces from Ancient Greece all the way back to the prehistoric era.
One of the latest examples arrives from Cardiff University’s School of Engineering were experts in 3D printing have created a full size printed replica of one of Wale’s most famous poets Hedd Wyn’s, Gadair Ddu – or the Black Chair.
The chair was originally awarded back in 1917 to the poet whose life was cut short by the First World War. The name “Black Chair” is reminiscent of the ceremony in which Hedd Wyn was awarded the chair posthumously six weeks after his death where it was draped in black at the National Eisteddfod in Birkenhead. Now with the help of 3D printing in conjunction with The Welsh Government, National Museum Wales and the Snowdonia National Park Authority via CyMAL, the piece has been secured for future generations.
“We are delighted that the combination of collaborative working and high value manufacturing technologies in Wales has been able to shine a new light upon one of the most poignant stories of the First World War,” said Professor Phil Bowen, Director of the School of Engineering. “Through the vision of the partners and the expert execution of our additive layer manufacturing team, co-working with Drumlord Ltd, I believe that we have been able to do justice to the outstanding visual and technical achievement of the maker of the original Y Gadair Ddu Eugeen Vanfleteren,”
Unveiling the Black Chair at the Senedd, First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “As we commemorate one hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War, the Gadair Ddu has become a symbol of the devastating impact the Great War had on communities and families across Wales, many of who lost fathers, brothers, uncles and sons to the conflict."
Rob Aldridge, Managing Director of Drumlord Ltd commented: “This was a wonderful project to work on and allowed us to show how the very latest technologies can be combined with already well established, traditional techniques to deliver top quality models.”
Jones added: “I also congratulate Cardiff University for demonstrating how Wales is leading the world in using cutting-edge technology to bring history to life.”
The Chair will be displayed at the Senedd until the end of March 2015.