Update! 3-D Modeling Monitor


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You guys! We are so excited to share this news with you:

Many of you know that we have recently been working to create 3-D models of USS Monitor artifacts. We shared the plan for modeling the turret previously. We are happy to announce that we now have a platform to showcase all these models! But, first, please ogle over these stills of a few of our projects:

Untreated sconce recovered in 2002
Boot recovered in 2002
Gun sponge recovered in 2002


Ohhhh, ahhhh! Okay, now that we have you all drooling; let’s move on.

Why the recent radio silence on this subject? Well, we had to work out a few details.

Since our last 3-D modeling post, we presented this project to, and have been given a very gracious grant from, the Bronze Door Society. We sincerely thank them for all they have done for the Monitor Center. This project, and many others previous, have been possible because of their generosity. This grant has allowed us to procure a photogrammetry software package, and is also enabling us to purchase a new, speedy computer to better run the program. HOORAY!

We then had to take the photos, edit the photos, import the photos, run the program, and make the models. Let me tell you, it is definitely a labor of love.

And, to add a cherry on top of all of this awesome-ness, we are now collaborating with NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (our dear friends and partners) to provide the public with access. Not only are we going to use these pretty models to better study the collection, but we want to share them with our visitors, and Monitor National Marine Sanctuary has provided us with an outlet.

Therefore, we encourage you to visit Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, and us, on Sketchfab (click here to visit the site). There, you will be able to view and manipulate artifacts from the Monitor Center collection, so that you can experience them in-the-round. You will also be able to virtually “visit” a few of the sites Monitor National Marine Sanctuary manages.

How cool is that?!

We have already uploaded our first artifact. It is an untreated lantern sconce that would have been used to light the officer’s quarters…

But, wait, why am I telling you about it? Go visit Sketchfab to explore the object!

P.S. We hope to see you all at Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend this Saturday and Sunday! If you want to know what all is going on, click here. I will tell you one fun weekend activity, though: behind-the-scenes Monitor lab tours. Visit us and don’t forget to say hi!

3 thoughts on “Update! 3-D Modeling Monitor”

  1. So awesome to get to study these 3D models of Monitor artifacts! Sketchfab is wonderful for archeology. Very impressive. Thank you for doing this!

  2. Since I am now making a model of the turret, this sponge brings up a few questions…
    How many were found?
    [I found a TMM/NOAA drawing/map online of debris lying on the ceiling.] The shapes are mostly a mystery to me, but it looks like two sponges are perfectly parallel/aligned, as if they were still hanging up. Maybe also a ladle and ram. Were their hooks found? I don’t see any signs of any hooks on the ceiling beams. Are there any holes? Do you know anything about the hooks?
    There are apparently three eye-bolts near the roof hatches, likely for hoisting shot up from below.
    In the drawing, there is a third sponge-shaped outline. Maybe it isn’t one, though.
    So, I’m wondering if there were just two of the following four gun tools found:
    Robinson Worm
    Are there any other gun implements, than those I’ve seen in the blogs?
    I see about five long, thin objects. Did any of the gun tool handles survive?
    Is there a labeled map of the debris locations? I can’t tell what most of the shapes are.
    I hope there will be more 3D models of turret equipment!
    Thanks again!