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Rapid Prototyping Helps Re-create the Face of a 2,000 Year-Old Mummy

Posted on: October 8th, 2013 by The Technology House

Issue:
The Ohio Historical Society wanted to learn a little more about the history of one of its most famous mummy residents. The mummy and its coffin were donated to the Ohio Historical Society in 1926 by Dr. J. Morton Howell, the first U.S. Ambassador to Egypt. The Ohio Historical Society partnered with the Department of Radiology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to apply the latest medical technology to learn as much as possible about the mummy’s past.

Rapid Prototyping in Action

Mummy History:

The team at the Wexner Center scanned the mummy with their state-of-the-art CT scanner, which revealed some interesting details about this mummy’s life. The CT scan revealed the mummy lived a full and comfortable life, which was unusual for the time period of 830 B.C. She was between 35-45 years at death and was 5 feet 2 inches tall. She had a symmetrical face and very straight teeth with only one being chipped. Her bones did not show wear typical of manual labor. She also appears to have died of natural causes.

The OHS curators gave her the name Amunet as a way for people to identify her as a person. Amunet means “the hidden one” which was thought appropriate since we do not know her actual name. It is pronounced “Ah-moon-net”.

Rapid Prototyping of Mummy Skull

How it was Made:
After the reveal of the CT scan, the Ohio Historical Society wanted to re-create the face of Amunet which is where Case Western Reserve University and the Technology House came into play. Case Western took the CT scan images of Amunet and re-built the skull to be able to run as a CAD file for rapid prototyping. The Technology House assisted Case with developing the quality of the 3D image to give an accurate prototype of Amunet’s skull.

Rapid Prototyping builds a 3D model

Once the 3D image was finalized we built prototypes through one of our rapid prototyping processes called Stereolithography (a.k.a. SLA). SLA prototyping builds a 3D model of a component using a vat of liquid ultraviolent-curable photopolymer resin and an ultraviolet laser to form one thin layer at a time.

TTH has had similar experience with fabricating SLA cases for the medical industry. In most of these instances, we recreate 3D models of body parts to help them to practice new equipment or surgeries.

For more information on Amunet visit www.ohiohistory.org/mummy.