The original Rider of Unlingen.
The original Rider of Unlingen.

Concept Laser says that has made a 3D printed version of a 2,800 year old Celtic figure of a bronze horse rider found in Germany.

To digitize the ‘Rider of Unlingen’ figure, a process known as x-ray computer tomography (CT) was used. The bronze horse rider was x-rayed three dimensionally and evaluated. For the 3D printing job, Concept Laser provided the Baden-Württemberg State Office for the Preservation of Monuments with its LaserCusing technology to 3D print the model. Concept Laser's material engineers also found a bronze alloy similar to the original: a modern copper-tin alloy with a density and specific weight approximating those of the artifact from the 8th/7th Century BCE. 

The 3D-printed copy of the Rider (images source: State Office for the Preservation of Monuments on the Stuttgart regional board, Ginger Neumann).
The 3D-printed copy of the Rider (images source: State Office for the Preservation of Monuments on the Stuttgart regional board, Ginger Neumann).

‘In the museum world, original specimens are grouped together in exhibitions, allowing them to be contrasted with comparable objects,’ said Nicole Ebinger-Rist, of the Baden-Württemberg State Office. A replica which is faithful to the original can be made accessible at museums in many different places around the world. Theoretically, it should even be possible to reconstruct heavily damaged objects in the future, which would give the object its original shape back.’

This story is reprinted from material from Concept Laser, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.