KENDAL Museum is to offer schoolchildren the chance to handle ancient Egyptian pottery and statues.

However, there are no worries about breaking the fragile 3,000-year-old objects – because these are 21st century copies.

The 3D replicas were printed out at Lancaster University as part of a project aiming to make historical artefacts more accessible.


Morag Clement, archaeology curator at the museum said: “These items are so rare that normally we don’t let anybody touch them, but with copies, people can pick them up and interact with them.”

The use of the technique could also make it easier to digi-tally repair broken antiquities.

The replicas were created by PhD student John Kaufman, and Dr Allan Rennie from the university’s department of engineering.

Mr Kaufman painstakingly took photographs of each object from 360 degrees – snapping each one up to 150 times to cover every angle – and the pictures were then digitally stitched together to create a 3D virtual image of the original.

This was then used to print out the 3D replica layer by layer using ‘Additive Management’ technology.