Scanning monoliths in Peru

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Between August 5 and August 19, Jason Kleinhenz, the marketing manager of Exact Metrology, visited Peru.

His mission was to assist archeologist and teacher Daniel Fernandez-Davila and a group of 12 others to collect scan data of ancient artifacts.

Daniel Fernandez-Davila has made this trip for 21 years, accompanied by his students and residents from Wayland, Massachusetts. Besides Kleinhenz, the team included Antonia Hieronymous, Rachel Lorenc and Nick Ciorogan. Daniel and Antonia founded a non-profit called Loose Change, based in Wayland, Massachusetts, which organizes an annual week-long event to gather donations from the community. As the name implies, residents donate their spare change to the organization. All of the funds are used to buy books and educational materials for Peruvian schoolchildren. In addition to providing school supplies, the non-profit also builds/renovates schools.

In addition, Fernandez-Davila made it his mission to scan a South American monolith and several artifacts, so that the information could be used in archeological research and also in presentations for museums. Lorenc participated on behalf of her mentor, Dr. Lisa DeLeonardis at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. DeLeonardis said that “The purpose of this trip was first and foremost to document the artifacts [shaman vessels and monolith] with hopes of better presenting and/or publishing iconographic analysis.”

The expedition was captured on film

Ciorogan, a professional photographer and videographer, completed filming for the movie “My Teacher.” With a release date of 2020, the movie focuses on Fernandez-Davila’s work in the Peruvian jungle.

Artec 3D, a world-renowned developer and manufacturer of professional 3D scanners and software, provided a Space Spider and Exact Metrology brought an Eva scanner. The Space Spider is a high-resolution 3D scanner based on blue light technology. It is ideal for capturing small objects or intricate details of large industrial objects in high resolution and with great accuracy. Also supplied by Artec 3D, Eva is used for making a quick, textured and accurate 3D model of medium sized objects. It scans quickly, capturing precise measurements in high resolution. Not only does it capture almost any type of object (including black and shiny surfaces), but it is used in numerous industries including quality control, heritage preservation, forensics, automotive, medical, aerospace and prosthetics.

The data was processed in Artec Studio 14 and 10 by Exact Metrology personnel, namely Chris Lafferty, Greg Hoeting and Jason Kleinhenz. Then the information was given to Chris Catlett at 3D Systems. The company supplies the best range of 3D printers, materials and application expertise. 3D Systems was used to turn 3D data into PDFs, CAD files and short movies. To complete this task, Exact Metrology employed Geomagic, their leading 3D software for digital reconstruction of the ruins.

A US non-profit also ensured that local communities benefited

Through this project, Exact Metrology showed that they can scan anything, anywhere for educational and research purposes, as well as build partnerships with the local community. The right side of the scanned monolith was dated between 400 BC and 200 AD, while the left side was estimated to date between 700 and 1470 AD. The artifacts are estimated to be between 500 BC and 100 AD.

Exact Metrology plans to turn the data into solids by possibly 3D printing a few, turn the solids/meshes into user-friendly interactive tools or turn them into short videos. Furthermore, the company is preparing to present two scientific papers with Johns Hopkins at the 60th Annual Andean Studies Meeting in Berkeley, California in 2020. The videos will be supplied to museums in Peru.

To sum up the experience, Kleinhenz said, “The true value from this project came from the struggle, relationships built and the communities engaged. We’re excited to partner with great people and organizations to further the archeological research and philanthropic work. The community growing from this endeavour is really passionate and driven to deliver results – from my perspective, I’m grateful that I get to be a part of that movement, show Exact Metrology’s capabilities and partner with great people.”

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