History and high tech intersected in a 3D digital scanning and printing project of the famous Laura Secord bust at the Niagara Historical Society Museum

In 1901, Canadian sculptor Mildred Peel crafted the lovely and much-celebrated bust of Laura Secord which adorns the memorial at the Secord gravesite in Drummond Hill Cemetery. Admired by many as the most evocative and beautiful artistic portrayal of the famed Canadian heroine ever produced, the bronze bust was made from a plaster casting master which now resides in the Niagara Historical Society and Museum in Niagara on the Lake.

On June 12, 2013, Laura Secord’s famous bust was bathed in the eerie patterned light of a three-dimensional digital scanner, capturing its every nuance and detail in a 3D shape file. The resulting digital image of the bust can be used for visualization, 3D animation, and – perhaps most excitingly – for the creation of exact 3D replicas of the famous bust at virtually any scale, created using state-of-the-art 3D digital printers at The Generator at One in St. Catharines. The entire scanning process took place onsite at the Museum on Wednesday, 12 June, from 1-3 p.m. The event was open to the public for the price of a regular museum admission, and attracted a showing of history buffs as well as techno-geeks.

Digital image guru Tobias Wiegand of Morro Images was on hand to coordinate the project. Wiegand brings a wealth of experience in digital image creation to the initiative, drawing upon a wide portfolio of work in film, television, video games, and computer animation. Moving into 3D printing is a natural evolution for him and his company.

Left: The full-sized plaster casting master by Canadian sculptor Mildred Peel.
Center: A view of the opposite profile of the actual bronze bust at Drummond Hill Cemetery.
Right: The miniature 3D printed replica created from the digital scanning and printing process.
[Images: Niagara Historical Society; David T. Brown; TV Cogeco]

Click links to watch the video reports…

Limited Edition Laura Secord Bust Replicas are now available for purchase

The Friends of Laura Secord, the group which conceived of and commissioned the project, want to use the technology to create an archival image of the famous Secord bust, and to use the resulting detailed digital shapefile to produce scale replicas of the sculpture that are accurate down to the finest detail.

These impressively faithful bust models, now available for purchase, are being produced on demand in a limited edition of 200 for the Bicentennial, and sold to subscribers as a fundraiser by the Friends of Laura Secord. Proceeds from the sale will be used to fund the creation of a wheelchair-accessible trail to the bridge at Laura’s Crossing, with a portion of profits going to the Niagara Historical Society and Museum to preserve and support the collection that makes a project like this one possible.

Cost of the 9″ tall bust replicas is $350 plus applicable taxes and shipping charges. Orders are being taken on the strictly limited run of 200 commemorative bust replicas. The first prototype bust, which was created to demonstrate the technology, is going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder (details to follow).

To reserve your own copy of the strictly limited edition of the Laura Secord bust, please contact the Friends of Laura Secord by email or by phone at 905-468-0994.

For further information on the 3D digital scanning and printing technology used to create the bust replicas, please contact The Generator at One.

Left: Scanner being used to create a 3D digital rendering of the bust from the original plaster casting master created by famed Canadian artist Mildred Peel. Top right: Bronze Laura Secord bust sculpted by Canadian artist Mildred Peel, which was installed on her gravesite at Drummond Hill Cemetery in Niagara Falls in 1901 [Niagara Historical Society Museum]. Bottom right: 3D printer, which uses durable synthetic powder resins to create a scaled-down version of the bust in three dimensions – one thin layer at a time [The Generator at One].


Niagara Historical Society and Museum
43 Castlereagh St
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
L0S 1J0

Telephone: (905) 468-3912
Website: www.niagarahistorical.museum

Laura Secord Gravesite
Drummond Hill Cemetery
6110 Lundy’s Lane
Niagara Falls, Ontario
L2G 1T1
Parking for Drummond Hill Cemetery:
6204 Buchner Pl
Niagara Falls, Ontario
(Enter through gates on west side of cemetery)
Click for interactive map of parking site
Click for interactive map from cemetery gate to gravesite

Friends of Laura Secord

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