Only a few days after Richard III’s remains were unearthed beneath a parking lot at the Greyfriars in Leicester, University of Dundee experts have reconstructed his face using 3D printing technology.

The reconstruction project, led by Caroline Wilkinson, Professor of Craniofacial Identification at the University of Dundee, was commissioned and funded by the Richard III Society.

The calm and apparently thoughtful face is in stark contrast to the many portrayals of Richard III, showing contorted facial and bodily features, that were created for political reasons following his death, according to a press release issued by the University.

"His facial structure was produced using a scientific approach, based on anatomical assessment and interpretation, and a 3D replication process known as stereolithography,” said Professor Wilkinson. “The final head was painted and textured with glass eyes and a wig, using the portraits as reference, to create a realistic and regal appearance."


Courtesy of the University of Dundee

Stereolithography is a high-end 3D printing technique that uses a combination of ultraviolet-reactive liquid resin and ultraviolet light to create solid objects.

"Seeing a true likeness of England's last Plantagenet and warrior king meant, for me, finally coming face-to-face with the man I'd invested four years searching for,” remarked Phillipa Langley, the originator of the Looking for Richard project. "The experience was breathtaking -- one of the most overwhelming moments of my life.”

Methinks 3D printing technology has a new fan.