The Stone Age Meets The 3D Printing Age

In a remarkable collaboration between Stratasys, Artists and Archaeologists, stone hand axe replicas were equipped with ergonomic handles. 

Several ancient man-made hand axes were 3D scanned at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology. These hand axes, made of stone, were produced by unknown persons thousands of years ago using manual stone knapping techniques. For millennia, these were the tools use by humans to do their daily business, a very far cry from today’s replication technology. 

But linking the two was the goal of the designers in this case, Dov Ganchrow and Ami Drach wanted a “contemporary upgrade” to the hand axes.It seems that due to the variances of the knapping process, some of the stone hand tools were difficult to hold due to size or sharp protuberances. The designers felt it might be a good idea to overcome those issues by strapping on holders and handles to the ancient flint pieces.  

The results are shown above. Evidently several pieces were done in this way, each making use of Stratasys’ PolyJet technology, which produces very fine 16 micron layer accuracy, ideal for replication of such detailed objects. And it does a very good job on the 21st century handles, too. 

A variety of handles were invented, each trying to produce the optimum method of holding the stone pieces. Here we see a knob-style mount cradling the hand axe. Presumably the different handles could enable more efficient use of the hand axe for specific usage scenarios. 

Via Stratasys

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