Images of the 3D print of Hadlow Tower

Hadlow Tower, Kent

Kim Foster and Stephanie Ingham, 15.08.2013
More than 10 years ago a Kent community started a campaign to save their village’s 52metre-high, Grade 1-listed romantic folly, Hadlow Tower.

The Save Hadlow Tower Action Group (SHTAG) was successful and the £4m restoration was completed this year, with a visitor centre within the tower opening in June.

The project has used 3D technology in two ways:

1. A digital interactive model

SHTAG commissioned FusionGFX to visualise Hadlow village, the gothic tower and the adjoining (but now demolished) Hadlow Castle. Working from architect’s drawings, photographs and onsite surveys an interactive digital model was created.

Visitors can use the interactive model to travel back in time, selecting significant time periods and locations around the village, castle and tower to sample the sights and sounds of Hadlow’s history.

2. 3D printing

A one-metre tall 3D print was commissioned to enable partially-sighted visitors to appreciate the ornate gothic detail and orientate themselves around the restored tower.

FusionGFX took guidance from SHTAGs consultants, SomervilleScan, which specialises in the design of tactile modelling, and the printer 3T RPD, to ensure that the optimum level of detail was maintained.

The physical print was made from nylon, which was chosen for its long-term stability, strength and durability. Building up the model layer by layer at a thickness of 0.12mm each time, the tower took five days to complete.

It is now the centrepiece of the Hadlow Tower visitor centre.

Kim Foster is a director at FusionGFX. Stephanie Ingham is a member of the Save Hadlow Tower Action Group