In 2017, the School of Advanced Study opened a new experimental 3D printing lab. The centre is open for use by all staff and students within SAS, and currently run out of the Institute of Historical Research and the Institute of Classical Studies. There are two 3D printers of different makes and capabilities, and the staff have begun are experimenting with imaging, creating and manipulating digital models, and 3D printing them. The centre aims to provide hand-on experience via training courses and workshops, with a view to help students and humanities researchers understand how and why they might consider applying 3D technologies to their research.



The first ever commission for the printer housed in IHR Digital (an Ultimaker-3) was an emperor penguin. The IHR library was planning an exhibition around its material relating to the Antarctic and asked for a penguin to go in one of the display cases. The 3D model was downloaded from Thingiverse (a collection of models that are free to use). The IHR Digital printer has two nozzles but can only print discrete sections of a model in different colours, which didn't work for the natural colour gradations of a penguin - so it was printed white and then painted. It was christened Organic Lifeform #001, but renamed Pollard by the Library.