November 11th 2018 marked 100 years since the end of the war that became known as the Great War. World War 1. A four year period that saw 744,000 UK servicemen killed and a further 1,675,000 injured and the first time chemical weapons were deployed as a tool of warfare.

Of those 21 million injured, many were subject to complete blindness or partial loss of sight. Following the war, Sir Arthur Pearson set up the Blinded Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Care Committee, which later became known as the St Dunstans and then in 2012 became Blind Veterans UK.

Peter Jacksons recent TV masterpiece “they shall not grow old” features colourised and remastered footage from that war. One iconic image from this shows men returning from the front having been subject to mustard gas attacks. Many of these injured soldiers came back to the Manchester area for convalescence and rehabilitation. To honour them, a statue showing the men returning has been created and erected in front on Piccadilly station in central Manchester.

This work has been conceived and designed by artist and sculptress Johanna Domke-Guyot.

Through the work of Blind Veterans UK, CREATE Education and Alan Holderness of Verfynne Plastics in Blackburn, 3D Printing has been used to create scale models for use in schools and public events to promote the work of the charity through the years including the care they give to modern service members today who return home damaged by war.

Trialling a number of different machines and process two sets of the seven figures statue were produced for the charity. The first set of figures were produced on the Ultimaker 3 using PLA with soluble supports. Each of the figures was sliced in Cura and printed individually.

These seven figures were then later assembled as parts to form the final model. The second process was to print the seven figures as a complete single print.

A further set of prints was then produced using the high precision Photocentric resin 3D printers.

The use of 3D printing has allowed brought to reality the plight of those returning home 100 years ago and allows the presentation of these stories to education using 3D models as a visual aid.

Lest we Forget!

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