3D printing was used to make an accurate replica of an incredibly valuable 16th century rifle, after the National Museum in Poznan, Poland reached out to 3D printing experts. The original antique rifle is kept in a glass case by curators of the National Museum, as it is a fragile object that wouldn’t be able to cope with thousands of hands picking it up and playing around with it on a daily basis. However, not being able to hold the war gun means that visitors are being a little short-changed on their historical education, as they can’t get a feel for what it would be like to carry or use the rifle.
The tactility of the materials and especially the rifle’s weight are things that would greatly add to the experience of the exhibit, so the museum decided to install an interactive model of the original object. The final result is impressive, and it is very difficult to point out the real antique from the replica at first glance. Engravings around the trigger and the carving of the barrel are reproduced meticulously, as is the dragon-shaped flintlock. When the interactive model goes on display alongside the original, which it is due to do sometime in the near future, visitors to the museum will be blown away (but not literally as the weapon is only ornamental).
David. “Impressive 3D Printed Replica of Antique Rifle to Go on Display at Polish National Museum.” 3ders.org. N.p., 17 May 2017. Web. 19 May 2017.