A medieval symbol of rank has gotten a technological treatment by two Roanoke Catholic students who created a 3-D print of His Excellency Bishop Barry Knestout’s coat of arms.
Seniors Elizabeth Schaible and Niki Patel, working in Donna Nickels’ Engineering/3-D Printing class, were inspired to take on the challenge after Bishop Knestout’s visit in January to Roanoke Catholic.
Principal and Head of School Patrick Patterson “came in and said that the Bishop was very interested in our 3-D printing program and … he asked us if we could make him something,” says Elizabeth. “We decided to make a 3-D print of his crest. We took about two months of trial and error, but we finally did it.”
The students first had to design the symbol on a 3-D computer graphics software program called Blender — no small task given the intricacies of the coat of arms that includes the Diocese of Richmond shield of three stars (symbolizing the Trinity) on a red, white and blue background; a white tower (recalling Bishop Knestout’s undergraduate studies in architecture); a gold lion; red crosses; green tassels; and the motto “Christ Our Hope.”
According to a story in The Catholic Virginian about the coat of arms: “In designing the shield — the central element in what is formally called the heraldic achievement — a bishop has an opportunity to depict symbolically various aspects of his own life and heritage, and to highlight particular aspects of Catholic faith and devotion that are important to him.”
“Elizabeth and Niki worked really hard,” says Ms. Nickels. “I gave them no directions. They took the initiative themselves, they did the entire project and they have some beautiful results.”
Both Elizabeth and Niki plan to further their 3D education in the fall when they enroll at the University of Virginia. “I will be attending UVA next year where I will be pursuing a pre-medical track,” says Niki. “I hope that in my future career in medicine I would be able to pursue 3D printing because in the medical field 3D printing is very useful in prosthetics and organ replacement.”