Interspectral to 3D digitise 18th century innovations at National Museum of Science and Technology


Interspectral have been selected by the Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology to 3D digitise an important part of their collection. As a part of the research project “Digital Models. Techno-historical collections, digital humanities & narratives of industrialisation” Interspectral will perform 3D CT scans on a selection of Swedish pre-industrial inventor Christopher Polhem’s “mechanical alphabet” models, from the early 1700s. The mechanical alphabet was the name he gave to a collection of wooden models that demonstrated simple principles for motion conversion and which was used in teaching.

The models are complex mechanical wooden structures, too fragile to take apart without destroying them and the museum demands extremely high levels of accuracy and authenticity. This makes conventional line of sight 3D scanning methods such as laser scanning and photogrammetry, unsuitable. That is why the museum has turned to Interspectral to CT scan the models and process the data so it will be possible to once again move the parts of the almost 300 year old models.

The 3D models will be used by scientists and to create digital and hands on experiences at the museum. The project will start autumn 2016.