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Harold Wilson gets immortalised in 3D – Statue of Huddersfield-born prime minister preserved using 3D technology at 3M BIC

Harold Wilson Immortalised in 3D| 3M Buckley Innovation Centre

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3D technology is being used to preserve one of Huddersfield’s iconic landmarks, the statue of Harold Wilson in St. George’s Square.

The prominent 8ft (2.4m) statue of the town’s very own prime minister, created by sculptor Ian Walters and situated outside the train station, has been scanned by the technology team at the 3M BIC. Using data captured by the scan the team created a near-perfect visualisation of the sculpture and 3D printed an Oscar-style replica, which includes the carved wording in the stone plinth.

The non-invasive scan of the statue took Luke Phillips, the 3M BIC’s 3D design technician and technical assistant, Stephen Knowles, just one hour. The hand-held scanner captured hundreds of photographs which enabled the team to build a mesh of the statue and create a 3D animation.

The data from the scans will help preserve the statue and has been given to Kirklees Council, so should the statue ever get damaged the original data can be used to repair it.

Luke Phillips from the 3M BIC said: “The statue in St George’s Square takes pride of place in the town centre, it’s the first thing that visitors to the town see when they arrive by train. Using the data we captured, we were able to develop a 3D printable file. The Council can now archive that data so that if the statue was ever damaged or needed repair in the future, they have a digital reference of the original.”

Preserving iconic symbols in the town centre is high up on the Council’s agenda following the announcement of its £250million blueprint plans to regenerate Huddersfield’s Town Centre, which includes transforming the area behind the train station.

Cllr Peter Mcbride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “The historical Harold Wilson statue and the area around Huddersfield train station and St George’s Square are very important to the town. They represent the town’s history and play a vital part in our Huddersfield Blueprint plans. It’s important that we preserve iconic symbols such as these. It’s fantastic that 3D technology enables us to do this.”

Holding the title for the longest serving Labour prime minister of the 20th century, Huddersfield-born Harold Wilson still holds the record for winning four elections, serving as prime minister between 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976. Some of the achievements under his government include the creation of the Open University, modernising GP surgeries through the 1966 Doctors Charter, ending capital punishment, legalising homosexuality and abortion and building millions of new homes between 1965 and 1970.


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