3D Printing

DWS 3D printing helps preserve history after earthquake

Back in August of this year, the ancient Italian town of Amatrice was left in rubble following an earthquake. While the earthquake struck many towns in central Italy, it was Amatrice that was hit the worst. The final death toll for the earthquake was 297, and a considerable portion – 234 – were from Amatrice. In addition to the huge loss of life, Amatrice also seemed to lose part of its identity through the damage to its architecture. The town is known for its history and this was heavily contained in the architecture which was destroyed by the earthquake. In order to support the rebuilding process Italian 3D printing company Digital Wax Systems (DWS) aims to immortalize the town in 3D printed form. The effort is being made in order to preserve Amatrice in a new form, while hoping to preserve some of its original identity.

Birdseye view of Amatrice before the earthquake. Image via: appenninico.it
Birdseye view of Amatrice before the earthquake. Image via: appenninico.it

The 3D printed Amatrice model

The intricate model was showcased during the October Maker Faire in Rome. It was printed using DWS’ own printers and materials, solely using its XFAB system which was also recently showcased in the UK at iMakr’s digical show. Cultural conservation project Scan the World was also present at the show, who have similarly preserved the recently destroyed Syrian Arch of Triumph from Palmyra. DWS put forward the Amatrice project in collaboration with Slic3r creator Alessandro Ranellucci, and the architect Michele Calvano.

There are more details about the XFAB printer here.

DWS XFAB printers
DWS XFAB printers Image via: Digital Wax Systems
In order to produce the smoothest finish, the model was created using the XFAB machine which uses stereolithography (SLA). This process involves the solidification of liquid photosensitive resins using light. The SLA process allowed the team to produce a smooth surface, with precision details and they believe the model is a highly accurate representation of the town’s buildings. Due to the scale and intricacy of the project a total of 8 separate XFAB machines were used and the printing of each block took about four hours. The machines used were the entry level non-professional XFAB machines and this showcases the strong capabilities of these 3D printing systems.
Amatrice Model 2
The Amatrice Model and its many pieces Image via: Digital Wax Systems

The model takes the form of several blocks of 12.5 cm x 12.5 cm combining to produce the 4 m x 2 m model town. The 3D printed models have a minimal amount of post production, they are simply given a quick wash and a cycle of UV curing.

Individual piece of the Amatrice model
Individual piece of the Amatrice model Image via: Digital Wax Systems

The impressive model has since been donated to the Municipality of Amatrice as a sign of goodwill and support for the victims of the tragedy.

Another close-up of the model’s intricate detail. Image via: Digital Wax Systems

Featured image shows the full model of Amatrice via: Digital Wax Systems