3D Scanning and Digitization

26 September 2022

After Mathew and the dermestid beetle colony finished cleaning off the bones acquired by the CARCAS Lab, Avery Blumenthal (he/him) oversaw their digitization. In partnership with the Makerspace and the Digital Humanities Associates, Avery scanned, edited, and exported the digital files to the CARCAS Lab website.

Avery, a junior Environmental Studies major, helped to create, catalog, and manage CARCAS’s digital repository of 3D scans of animal specimens. Each day, he would take specimen bones to the Makerspace where he used a Peel 3D Scanner to begin the digitization process. Once the bones were thoroughly scanned, it was time to edit: each 3D scan had to be double checked for mistakes, quality, and cohesion. After cleaning up the scans, Avery prepared them to be exported to the CARCAS website, where they will be accessible for researchers, archaeologists, students, and the public. 

Included in this digital repository are those animals common to Minnesota: domesticates, like goat and dog, as well as wild species, including deer, beaver, coyote and bobcat. Access to 3D scans of these bones will allow researchers in Minnesota to identify locally collected bone specimens, an important task in many local archaeological projects.

This collection is also designed to provide context to projects well outside the local region, including international archaeological projects. In addition to the local species, Avery reports working with more exotic specimens, such as harbor seal, caribou, and sea lion. By creating a broad and complete database of 3D animal skeleton scans, CARCAS hopes that students and professors working internationally and outside of the Carleton community can still use this collection in their research.

CARCAS’s repository of 3D scans will continue to grow as new specimens are collected, cleaned, and scanned. Our hope is that, by collecting these 3D scans in a digital and publicly accessible way, we can provide resources to all sorts of different people within and outside of the Carleton Community to more deeply understand human and animal relationships.