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Published on November 11th, 2013 | by Jonnie Turpie


3D Printing Brings Life to Da Vinci Drawings

The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) has been wowed this month by the Leonardo da Vinci: Mechanics of Man exhibition, and 3D printing from the University of Warwick has created one of the big talking points.

Collaborative work between WMG’s Greg Gibbons and Warwick Medical School created translucent 3D plastinations that use Leonardo Da Vinci’s original drawings of the human anatomy. The exhibition, which ran from Aug 2 to Nov 10, saw the over 500-year-old drawings side by side with plastinations, 3D scans and a translucent 3D heart.

The heart was generated by transferring an MRI image into a STereoLithography (STL) file. The software then slices this STL file into layers that can be 3D-printed by jetting a liquid polymer layer-by-layer, which is instantaneously solidified through the use of ultraviolet light. In the process of printing, a number of print heads provided the polymer for the heart, and some print heads created a gel-like support material, required to be able to print the complex heart structure, that would later be removed by water jets.

For more info and the video story go to the WMG website here.


Jonnie Turpie is a Principal Fellow at WMG with a focus on digital innovation and the Creative Industries. Over the past 20 years. Jonnie has been a Director of Maverick Television, which he founded and has grown into one of the UK's leading regional and national independent production companies.

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