The purpose of this paper is to describe the method of virtually and physically reconstructing the missing part of a badly damaged medieval skull by means of reverse engineering, computer‐aided design (CAD) and rapid prototyping (RP) techniques.
Laser scanning data were used to create the 3D model of the damaged skull. Starting from this digital model, a virtual reconstruction of the missing part of the skull, based on the ideal symmetry with respect to the mid‐sagittal plane, was achieved in a CAD environment. Finally, the custom‐designed model was directly fabricated by means of the RP process.
The result shows that the designed missing part of the skull fits very well with the existing skeletal remains. The final physical assembly of the prototyped element on the damaged skull was tested, restoring it to its whole original shape.
The entire process was time‐consuming and may be applied just to the most representative skeletal remains.
The method allows accurate fabrication of the missing part of the skull to be joined with the original skeletal remains. The advantage of using this technique is that the joining operation can be carried out without any need of supplementary connecting material, such as glue or plaster, to fix together the two parts.
The reversible and non‐invasive method improves the restoration process, reduces the risk of damage to the skeletal structure and allows reversion to the original repair as it was before.
Fantini, M., de Crescenzio, F., Persiani, F., Benazzi, S. and Gruppioni, G. (2008), "3D restitution, restoration and prototyping of a medieval damaged skull", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 14 No. 5, pp. 318-324. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552540810907992Download as .RIS
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