In CAP this yr, we’ve been brainstorming about public outreach actions. We’ve been specializing in actions for youths – who generally want just a little additional assist partaking with archaeological supplies. This is my first yr as a graduate scholar at MSU, and my first yr being a CAP fellow, so I used to be excited to see how youngsters engaged with the actions that CAP already makes use of at outreach occasions. The exercise that children have been most drawn to, and that they spent essentially the most time on, had been created by former Campus Archaeologist, Jeff Burnett. It’s a artifact refit exercise: a damaged ceramic plate with magnets set alongside the perimeters of the paste in order that members can put the items again collectively. There are weak factors to this exercise, nonetheless. The plate sherds are heavy and the plate is barely concave, so whereas magnets hold the sherds collectively whereas held in place, when the plate is about down some magnets pull aside because the plate succumbs to gravity and loses its concavity. Furthermore, the magnets protrude from the sherd edges sufficient that the gaps between sherds warp the form of the vessel. Jeff Burnett, who created this exercise, did a wonderful job, and youngsters adore it. Would it’s doable to take care of the efficacy of the exercise and troubleshoot its limitations to create a form of sherd refit exercise 2.0?
I began by addressing the gaps between the sherds that have been brought on by the protruding magnets. Could we use magnetic paint as an alternative? Campus archaeologist, Ben Akey, purchased magnetic paint to experiment with. We agreed, nonetheless, that magnetic paint won’t be robust sufficient to carry ceramic sherds collectively. How might we deal with the heaviness of the sherds? Enter: 3D printing.
My graduate assistantship at MSU consists of working within the DHI lab, so I’ve entry to structured gentle scanners, photogrammetry gear, and 3D printers. Could I scan plate sherds and print them? 3D prints are a lot lighter than ceramics. Perhaps the lighter materials would allow us to make use of magnetic paint on the sherd edges.
Now for the enjoyable half: breaking a plate! (Of course, I might have chosen one thing apart from a plate, nevertheless it’s what I had useful!) I selected a plate that had some geometric patterning on it. These patterns would present up on the 3D printed sherds and information the refitting course of. I put the plate in a plastic bag and dropped it on the ground. I selected to drop it on the ground, slightly than, say, hitting it with a hammer, as a result of I wished to create a break sample that may extra precisely mimic actual life. Putting it within the bag (because of a suggestion from my colleague and CAP fellow, Emma Creamer) in order that the items wouldn’t fly everywhere in the DHI Lab!
Broken plate: test! Now I needed to begin scanning (pictured above). I used an Artec Space Spider Scanner and a hand-powered turntable. I secured every sherd with clay, as a result of any jiggling would stop a clear scan. So far, I’ve scanned 5 of the 7 sherds that make up the plate. Soon I’ll begin 3D printing, paint the perimeters with magnetic paint, and take a look at out this exercise! Stay tuned!