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VCU Archaeology

Eventful and Informative: Reflections on an Internship

by Ruth Martin, VCU student intern

The lab has been quite busy since the beginning of the semester. I have spent a lot of time editing  many different  artifacts. Editing consumes a lot of time and tends to be tedious. However I have taken a scan of a point and fused it. After making the fused file, I created an STL file of the point. Using the STL file, I modified it in a different program, then created a G-code for the 3D printer.

The entire lab worked together to put up a display for the library on VCU’s main campus. A poster was made and some of the other interns and I painted artifacts for the display. Not all of the artifacts painted  made it to the display. Once I saw the display posters I was surprised; I did not think the plastic artifacts would be taped to the posters on display. Rather, I thought the artifacts would be put in a display case.

Member of the public looking at the display done by the Virtual Curation Laboratory at VCU.

Member of the public looking at the display done by the Virtual Curation Laboratory at VCU.

Lately the lab has been working on a huge turkey bone project. Apparently all the bones were saved from one of the professor’s  Thanksgiving dinners and were cleaned. When the lab gets a chance the cleaned bones will be numbered. These bones will be numbered for use in a methods class next semester.

Turkey bones that members of the lab cleaned

Turkey bones that members of the lab cleaned

Some exciting news about the lab is that we now have a new 3D printer. The Lab has desperately needed a new printer for quite awhile. The old printer had a few problems. One of the ejectors of plastics did not work, and the surface plate stopped heating up. The new printer seems to work fine,  although artifacts that have just been printed, cool fast and are difficult to remove from the build plate.

The new 3D printer, printing a piggy bank top from Alexandria Archaeology.

The new 3D printer, printing a piggy bank top from Alexandria Archaeology.

This Internship at the Virtual Curation Lab has been very eventful and informative. I feel much more comfortable with the printer thanks to one of my peer’s instruction. The other software is comfortable to use, although I wish the semester had not finished so quickly. I feel that I can still learn more from the Virtual Curation Lab.

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