3D Center brings “one of the seven wonders of the ancient world” to life

3D Zeus

Engineering faculty help recreate historical artifacts with 3D printing technology

KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug 17, 2016) — Engineering faculty and students in Kennesaw State’s 3D Center have embarked on a new use for 3D printing technology, helping artists and historians recreate a long-forgotten artifact.

The 3D Center, in collaboration with 3D printing solutions company Stratasys, accurately created a replica of Zeus, an ancient statue that was destroyed in a fire in the fifth century. The piece, “Statue of Zeus at Olympia,” will be featured as part of a new exhibition, “The Games: Ancient Olympia to Atlanta to Rio,” which opens Aug. 20 at Atlanta’s Millennium Gate Museum.

“This is the Center’s first time using 3D printing for historic preservation, and it was, by far, the largest build we have created in our facility,” said Randy Emert, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology and director of the Center.  

As one of the rarest pieces of art in Ancient Greece, the 3D-printed replica is made of production-grade thermoplastics to create strong, dimensionally stable and accurate parts.

Based on the initial image of the piece, designers translated the rendering into a CAD file using 3D modeling software. Actual production involved an additive approach – laying successive material layers until the 3D print was completed.  The Kennesaw State team produced several key pieces, including the head of Zeus, the eagle and Nike, while the Stratasys team produced the rest.

“Having the capacity to design and 3D print using highly durable materials with complex geometries and the highest level of accuracy, museums can re-introduce some of history’s most treasured works,” said Sig Behrens, general manager of global education at Stratasys.

The finished replica stands at 6 feet and is one of the largest historic preservation pieces crafted with 3D printing technology, according to Jeremy Kobus, director of The Gate Museum. Museum curators plan to recognize 3D printing as a viable art form during the exhibition.

“We are committed to working at the intersection of technology and art, and we see the tremendous potential of 3D printing for educational applications,” said Kobus. “Alongside Stratasys and the educators at Kennesaw State University, our hope is to deliver creations far too few have tried to attempt.”

The 3D Center in the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at Kennesaw State provides additive manufacturing capabilities and advanced engineering technologies to business and industry, as well as to academic programs throughout the institution. Faculty and students within the 3D Center develop creative design solutions to solve real-world problems.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu