robert z selden jr, caddo, archaeology, biface, george c davis, caddo mounds state historic site, nagpra, museum studies, lithic, stone tool, archaeology, culture heritage, cultural heritage, history


My work is regularly focused upon the production of accurate computer aided design (CAD) models generated from 3D data. Whether a projectile point, ceramic vessel, or a cannon, these models need to accurately represent the physical specimen. While there are cases where the goal is to replicate a specific feature or object devoid of blemishes and flaws, these attributes are prized in other circumstances.

A solid model constructed atop the 3D mesh for a headstone at Oak Grove Cemetery.

While solid and surface modeling can both be used to augment or re-create similar versions of a specimen, in some cases they can deviate greatly from the original. If an accurate representation is needed, a custom patch network (non-uniform rational b-spline (NURBS) freeform surface) is constructed that can capture details which would be excluded from a solid model. Once generated, each surface model is subjected to a series of iterative refinements until the model meets with the pre-specified tolerance.

computer aided inspection, human mandible, sudan, ct scan, 3d scan, 3d model, 3d surface model, nurbs, deviation, geomagic design x, geomagic control x, sudan, university of colorado boulder
Freeform NURBS model (left) contrast with point cloud (center) and results of the computer aided inspection (right).

NURBS models are ideal for generating unique CAD models that include the flaws, scars, and blemishes that regularly articulate with archaeological specimens. By subjecting our NURBS models to computer aided inspection, the results can be iteratively refined to arrive at a CAD model that is fit to the 3D mesh at a specific tolerance.