Check Out This Awesome 3D-Printed Sword

A Norwegian hobbyist creates a dead-on copy of an ornate 6th century blade.

LARPers rejoice! Norwegian game developer Nils Anderssen has provided us with a blueprint for crafting remarkable replicas of ancient weapons using a 3D printer and 3D Studio Max software.

Anderssen was recently commissioned by Norway’s National Museum of Art to create a replica of a 6th century sword discovered in Snartemo village, part of the Hægebostad municipality in the southernmost tip of the country. The 3D printing services firm i.materialise has a great breakdown on the steps he took to achieve a “perfect” replica of the ornately handled sword designed to “look and feel exactly like the original.”

Normally, such a task would be given to a metalsmith experienced with traditional wax modeling, i.materialise noted. But Anderssen’s previous work in crafting replicas of historical artifacts using a 3D printer apparently impressed museum curators. The National Museum of Art contacted him several months ago, hoping to collaborate on a 3D-printed replica that museum visitors would be able to touch and hold, feeling for themselves the weight and balance of the original artifact.

3D Printed Sword/Credit: Nils Anderssen

Using polygon modeling techniques with 3D Studio Max, Anderssen said he was able to create a printable model “[b]ased on some photos and measurements” of the original sword.

“In 3D Studio Max, I have good control over the thickness and size of the patterns and therefore avoided problems in printing. Also, there are lot of sharp edges that are easy to do in 3D Studio Max,” he said.

For the print job itself, Anderssen tapped i.materialize’s services in order to employ an unorthodox material in additive manufacturing: bronze.

“I used i.materialise for the 3D printing. I decided on this after a quick test print where all the details came out flawlessly and the prints were delivered on time—an important aspect when working with a tight deadline,” he said. “The maximum printing size is also higher than most other companies, which made this project possible.”

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Damon Poeter

Damon Poeter got his start in journalism working for the English-language daily newspaper The Nation in Bangkok, Thailand. He covered everything from local news to sports and entertainment before settling on technology in the mid-2000s. Prior to joining PCMag, Damon worked at CRN and the Gilroy Dispatch. He has also written for the San Francisco Chronicle and Japan Times, among other newspapers and periodicals. More

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