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Canadian Government Unveils 3D Model of HMS Erebus

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 1, 2015

 A 3D printed model of the HMS Erebus as it now sits on the ocean floor.

A 3D printed model of the HMS Erebus as it now sits on the ocean floor.


A partnership between Canadian government and private industry today unveiled high precision 3D printed models of HMS Erebus, Sir John Franklin’s lead ship found last year in Canada’s Arctic waters as part of Parks Canada’s search for the vessels of the lost 1845 expedition. The model was unveiled in Fredericton, New Brunswick.


Officials from Fisheries and Oceans Canada joined with Canadian geospatial software company CARIS and geomatics technology innovation support centre TECTERRA to unveil the models.


“Canadian innovation continues to play a major role in the ongoing successful efforts to explore, research and understand our maritime history," said MP Keith Ashfield. "It is a privilege to watch traditional means and modern technologies come together to create a deeper understanding of the Arctic and our Canadian identity.”


The models were printed from the multibeam sonar data collected by Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Canadian Hydrographic Service. The bathymetric measurements were processed in seafloor mapping software created by the New Brunswick-based company CARIS and subsequently exported for use in a 3D printer provided by the Calgary-based non-profit TECTERRA.


The high precision models are scaled representations of HMS Erebus as it currently sits on the seafloor in the eastern waters of Queen Maud Gulf. The level of detail in the models provides a clear view of the vessel’s current structure, and even shows details of the wooden beams and materials surrounding the wreck, as well as one of its anchors that rests off the port side. Being able to generate the models adds extra value for Parks Canada archeologists and divers from the Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic as they prepare for their April dive operations into the wreck as part of Operation Nunalivut 2015.


 “It’s an honor to see Canadian software used to map this significant and historical shipwreck, and the added element of 3D printing provides an innovative means of transforming a scientific dataset into a product that a much broader audience can directly appreciate,” said Dr. Salem Masry CEO and President of CARIS.


The model of HMS Erebus will also be on display at the Ocean Business conference in Southampton, UK, April 14th to 16th.

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