Since the 22nd of January 2019, Pontifical Swiss Guards are using new helmets. 3D printed using a machine from HP is replacing the traditional, metal helmet — called a
If we discuss defense and innovation, which country do you think? Maybe the United States and the famous DARPA agency? Or perhaps, if you have an interest in defense technologies and capabilities, you might say France, China or Russia? This would be forgetting the Pontifical Swiss Guard of the Vatican.
The smallest army in the world
Founded on 22 January 1506, the mission of Pontificia Guardia Svizzera is to protect the pope. It is also the smallest with 110 active people. The conditions for applying are quite strict: you must be Swiss, be between 19 and 30 years old, be single and have an “irreproachable reputation”.
The traditional attires of the guards include their colourful uniforms, ceremonial weapons and forged steel helmets. Despite the taste of tradition, the old helmets are now abandoned. Heavy, expensive and time-consuming to manufacture, the morion has another disadvantage. Under the sun of the Italian peninsula, it has an unfortunate tendency to heat or even burn on the heads of the Swiss guards.
3D printing has made a lot of progress in recent years, and the example of the Swiss Guard morion is an interesting example of where it can be useful in everyday life. 3D has certainly multi-usage and that in many fields from constructing houses to parts for rocket engines to prototype submarines to building Star Wars costumes amongst others. This example demonstrates how technology can improve on an existing item, while also retaining its traditional design and style.