Faculty Advisor

Lados, Diana A.

Faculty Advisor

Thomsen, Tom Hartvig


At the end of the Middle Ages, weapons began to be used not only on the battlefield, but for civilian use as well. The rapier became the essential self-defense weapon of the “Renaissance man.” This project explores the history, evolution, and manufacture of the rapier through history. This cut-and-thrust sword was manufactured by artisans who had to develop new methods of crafting metal in order to make the thin, light blade both durable and ductile. To study this process, a rapier was constructed using classical methods. Upon the completion of the replica, its material properties were studied using a surface microscope. The project also included contributing to the WPI Arms and Armor website.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

October 2013

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering