Reverse engineering a bronze cannon from the La Belle shipwreck
The goal of this project was to scan and reverse engineer one of three bronze cannons (41MG86 - 11900-1) recovered from the La Belle excavation, which is currently on exhibit at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. A freeform computer aided design (CAD) model was generated based upon the topology of the three-dimensional (3-D) mesh in Geomagic Design X with a desired maximum deviation of 0.1 mm between the model and the mesh. Deviations were calculated in Geomagic Control X using the surface model as the reference data, and the mesh as the measured data. A custom patch network was subsequently designed using a series of iterative revisions until the whole of the surface model met with the specified tolerance. The 3-D surface model of the cannon will be replicated in a variety of media at variable scales for use in exhibits and for educational and promotional material for the Texas Historical Commission, the Republic of France, and their partner museums.
Selden, Robert Z. , Jr., Ph.D., R.P.A. and Jones, Bradford M., "Reverse engineering a bronze cannon from the La Belle shipwreck" (2021). CRHR: Archaeology. 292.
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