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VCU Archaeology

Sense and Sense-ibility

by Bernard K. Means, Project Director

Yesterday, the Virtual Curation Laboratory welcomed a new member to the laboratory–a Sense 3D scanner, made by Cubify 3DSystems.  The scanner does not have the resolution of the NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner, so it is not suitable for small items.  But, it is quite useful for larger items, and is much more portable than the NextEngine scanner.  The Sense 3D scanner is fairly quick in its ability to pick up information, so you can scan not only archaeological objects, but the archaeologists themselves as well.

Leslie and Lauren scan Danielle in the Virtual Curation Laboratory

Leslie and Lauren scan Danielle in the Virtual Curation Laboratory

Digital model of the project director.

Digital model of the project director.

Lauren and Bernard stand with their printed busts.

Lauren and Bernard stand with their printed busts.

We are of course excited about the archaeological possibilities.  The first archaeological object that we scanned was a large and heavy groundstone mortar.  This object would be challenging to scan with a NextEngine scanner because of its size and weight.  We set the Sense 3D scanner on a tripod and placed the groundstone mortar onto a Lazy-Susan so that we could turn it in front of the scanner.

Lauren scans the groundstone mortar.

Lauren scans the groundstone mortar.

We also scanned a tombstone that we have in the laboratory.  This was more challenging because of our difficulty in supporting the tombstone.  An actual tombstone in a cemetery would be less challenging than this particular grave marker.  And, because the Sense 3D scanner is powered only by a USB port, it truly is portable. We will try the scanner in the field soon at nearby and iconic Hollywood Cemetery.

Lauren and Bernard scan a tombstone.

Lauren and Bernard scan a tombstone.

Next week, I will travel to The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and scan there also some large objects, including rock art that they have on display.

>>>>>UPDATE with photograph of World War II German soldier’s helmet as it is being scanned.  The helmet is too fragile to handle and scan easily with the NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner.

Scanning the World War II German helmet

Scanning the World War II German helmet

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Sense and Sense-ibility

  1. cool- can’t wait to see what it does with our petroglyphs.

    Posted by janet johnson | December 11, 2013, 1:52 pm

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