Automatic Production of Tailored Packaging for Fragile Archaeological Artifacts

Autores UPV
Revista Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage


This article deals with storage and transportation of fragile heritage objets. The main goal is to create an ad hoc packaging software solution by combining the use of 3D scanning and 3D milling technologies. Traditionally, packaging for this kind of object is made manually, creating custom supports and boxes adapted to the specific needs and particularities of each case. This process is time consuming and fully depends on the conservator's skills. On the other hand, the proposed solution provides a faster execution and a standard solution adapted to every object. The process starts with the acquisition of 3D digital models of the original artifacts and uses an interactive GPU-accelerated algorithm to assist the conservator in the construction of the package. The final result is a CNC program that is sent to a low-cost milling machine to produce the housing for the selected artifact. Unlike 3D printers, milling machines allow working with lots of different materials, which is a key aspect for this kind of package: chemical stability and shock absorption are mandatory. Given that during the design process original artifacts are only manipulated in the acquisition stage, risks of damaging them are also reduced. Since the whole process is considered in the same application, intermediate calculations are performed considering manufacturing and user-defined restrictions. This way, together with a GPU implementation, achieved results are very fast, providing a real-time application with visual feedback.