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Queen’s wedding cake restored by Warwick researchers

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Professor Mark Williams, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and the British Sugarcraft Guild (BSG) have used 3D scanning technology to restore one of Queen Elizabeth II’s 1947 wedding cakes.

The life size replica, which was presented to the royal couple as a wedding gift, had been tarnished and almost destroyed by squatters in 2015 after they broke into the vacated building where it had been kept post-exhibition during a change of location.

The vandals gained access to the display, fractured the case’s contents and threw red paint over the entirety of the remains; both the cake and the casing.

By analysing the cake’s remains, WMG utilised 3D scanning technology to accurately scan the cake within a proximity of 0.1 mm so they could discover exactly how it had been made.

A high resolution model of the artefact was then used to digitally recreate it to form a copy of its original resplendence.

The 3D model was originally built and designed by Peek Frean and had been displayed in his company’s factory until the 1989 closure.

Historically, the cake was six feet tall and weighed 600 pounds. An intricate souvenir of King George and the dragon perched on the very top tier.

Mr. Williams, who is leader of the Product Evaluation Technologies (PET) and Metrology Research group in WGM, commented: “Usually we are working on engineering-related challenges, so to be able to take our expertise and transfer that to something totally different and so historically significant was a really interesting opportunity.”

In Autumn 2016, the tiers of the cake were designated individually to each of the 7 BSG regions (including the Midlands) along with materials, templates and plans. The initial coating has been completed.

During workshops, members will contribute to the more detailed decorations by creating piped trellis, moulded side panels and flowers to create what Judith Lynn, the BSG’s National Vice Chairman, called “a historic piece of sugar art”.

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