Recording in 3D

30 04 2010

Using a 3D laser scanner on the Faro arm

As a result of SDU’s commitment to provide cutting edge training and education to its students, the Maritime Archaeology Programme held a weeklong intensive hands on training session with the FARO Arm in conjunction with the 2010 FARO Arm and Rhino Archaeological Users Group (FRAUG) meeting.  This cutting edge technology was first developed for the automotive industry but is now also being utilized by the archaeological community out of a need for a common methodology for 3D data recording.

For this week, a number of experts from projects throughout Europe came together to show us how to record archaeological artifacts in 3D.  Using 4 different FARO Arms along with a 3D laser scanner, we were able to create digital renderings of timbers from the early modern “Wittenbergen” wreck that sank in the Elbe.  The instructors then showed us how to properly organize the data, using Rhino 3D, a computer aided design (CAD) program.  This data could then be used to produce 2D line drawings or a physical 3D model of the artifacts.  The week ended with a meeting of FARO Arm users updating the group on their respective projects and troubleshooting the various issues related to 3D modeling.

We would like to express their thanks to Toby Jones and  Erica McCarthy (Newport Ship Project), Frank Dallmeijer (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed) for their patience and expertise, helping the SDU students remain at the forefront of archaeological innovation. Many thanks also to the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven for participating in the organization of the course and to Dr Ralf Wiechmann at the Museum for the History of Hamburg for providing the timbers for recording!

Andrew Stanek & Nicholas Ranchin-Dundas

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The St George Rudder and Cannons Day

6 01 2010

Recording the guns of HMS St George

The day we were all going to know as St.George Rudder and the Cannons Day started very early, in fact way too early for most of the Maritime Archaeology students, but as dedicated students we sacrificed our sleep in (which never goes past 9:30 of course). After traveling north through the Danish tundra we arrived at the edge of the Nissum Fjord. To be exact the small settlement of Thorsminde where the Strandingsmuseum was situated. Here we started the day by (under protest) being split up into two groups. We were to take turns in taking points with the Total-Station as well as measuring the remaining canons and carriages of the St.George by hand and in precise measurement drawn archaeological drawing of the famous St.George Rudder.

After the (which has known to be a standard procedure) arguments and discussions of the first group, about whether the 3 cm diameter hole in the 7m rudder was on an original part of the rudder or a reinforcement, the archaeological drawing could start! Unfortunately at this point one and a half hours had passed and it was time for a change of stations.

The recording of the cannons had to be continued. Using the total station we started with 4 orientation points on the ground, and then recording points at every important angle and curve which would later be used to create a 3D model by using a program, loved by the students, called Rhino. With little coffee breaks and a short excursion to the pier the work made steady progress, plus we got to a free tour of the  museum by the very welcoming director (who also provided the coffee).

By the time it was starting to get dark, the last points of the carriage were being taken and recorded, and the last details of the St.George rudder were being drawn (this turned out to be an amazing drawing thanks to our special portuguese friend). Once finished we could make our long way back home to Esbjerg…

Watch this spot for the results!

Isger Vico Sommer