News | November 11, 2013

Rapid Prototyping From CT Scan Recreates the Face of a 2,000 Year-Old Mummy

ct systems advanced visualization
November 11, 2013 — The Technology House (TTH), a single-source provider of custom plastic and metal prototypes and production parts, has used a rapid prototyping process to help recreate the face of a 2,000-year-old mummy, allowing the Ohio Historical Society to learn as much as possible about the mummy’s past.
The mummy and its coffin were donated to the Ohio Historical Society in 1926. As a way for people to identify with the mummy as a person, curators recently named her “Amunet,” which means “the hidden one.” The society wanted to find out more about her life and in this endeavor partnered with the Department of Radiology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, which scanned the mummy with its computed tomography (CT) scanner. The CT scan revealed that the mummy had lived a full and comfortable life, which was unusual for the time period of 830 B.C. She had a symmetrical face and very straight teeth with only one being chipped. She was 5 feet 2 inches tall and was between 35 and 45 years old when she died, apparently of natural causes.
Although the scan provided a lot of information, the curators still wanted to see Amunet’s face as it looked when she was still alive. TTH, along with Case Western Reserve University, used the CT scan images to create a 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) model of the mummy’s skull. TTH then used the CAD model in a rapid prototyping process called stereolithography (SLA) to build an accurate replica of the mummy’s skull and mandible. SLA builds 3-D replicas, or prototypes, of an object using a vat of liquid ultraviolet-curable photopolymer resin and an ultraviolet laser to form one thin layer at a time. TTH has also used SLA to build 3-D prototypes of body parts for the medical industry. Doctors and surgeons use such models for practicing on new equipment, practicing for difficult surgeries or to reduce surgical times.
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