3DP Applications

Reconstructing 500 Year Old Mary Rose Soldiers

The Mary Rose, an English Tudor-era warship, alongside her crew of 200 sailors, 185 soldiers, 30 gunners and a dog all had their date with destiny in 1545 after a fight with the French galleys. After spending more than 400 years at the bottom of the sea near the Isle of Wight, an island on the South Coast of the UK, the ship was salvaged in 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust. Even though the salvaging process was one of the most complex ever conducted in maritime archaeology, rebuilding – or rather reconstructing – the people as well as the Mary Rose herself hasn’t been possible up until now.

The trust has used a combination of 3D printers and handcraft to showcase what the soldiers and crew (might) have looked like almost 500 years ago. The actual building of the 3D printed skull parts and other means for the tissue are done by Oscar Nilsson, who has experience in working with the Swedish police in the reconstruction of unidentified murder victims. Besides Oscar’s expertise, the trust has also used expert insights from Swansea University in trying to better understand the lives the soldiers and crew had in order to better map out also the effects of their lifestyles on their facial and corporal features.

Watch the short video of the reconstruction process on the 3D printed skull below.