Did you ever wonder if Jesus made copies of the keys to heaven before giving them to Saint Peter? After all, what would happen if Peter, Jesus’ successor and the first Pope, accidentally got locked out?
Certainty, this must have crossed National Seton Shrine Director Rob Judge’s mind the day before he was to hand over to President Obama the original key of the home of Elizabeth Anne Seton –America’s first native born Saint. President Obama presented this treasured artifact to Pope Francis upon his arrival at the White House on September 23, 2015, as an official United States gift to the Vatican.
Mr. Judge’s dilemma was how to make a copy of two hundred year old custom skeleton key in less than twenty four hours.
Quite unexpectedly and out-the-blue, Mr. Judge’s office contacted Danko Arlington – a local Baltimore foundry with laser scanning, reverse engineering, and 3-D printing capabilities. Unbeknown to the Shrine, generations of the Danko family have a long standing fondness of Mother Seton, The National Shrine Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes, and have studied at Mount Saint Mary’s University & Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD.
Using reverse engineering laser scanning software and 3-D printing, Danko Arlington was able to make a digital “virtual” key and exact 3-D copy in a matter of minutes with the project completed, including 100 miles round trip transportation, twenty hours ahead of the deadline!
Not only is this story a testament of Providence, but of the accurate and reliable tools of digital fabrication available to manufactures today. Thanks to rapid technology, the Seton Shrine not only has an exact replica of an historic artifact, but does not have to call Pope Francis if they ever get accidentally locked out. Thank God!