Engineering Design Group Scans Musical Instruments

In early April, a group from an undergraduate Engineering Design course contacted the IPCH Digitization Lab concerning the prospect of 3D scanning objects held in the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments. The group of five wanted to focus their efforts on developing a final project that would bring some of the collection’s rare instruments to the forefront for interpretation and interaction with the public. They decided to scan select instruments in order to create 3D models and 3D print outs for incorporation into an interactive museum kiosk. A few objects from instrument groups that are less represented in the museum’s halls were selected for scanning from collections storage.

The students coordinated with the Susan Thompson, a Curator at the collection, as well as collections interns, Kelly Hill and Katrin Endrikat for transportation and handling of the instruments. Once on the West Campus, instruments, crecelle and sansa, were carefully placed in front of NextEngine triangulation laser scanners for collection of data points corresponding to their exterior geometry. A student learned about the scanning process from the Digital Imaging Specialist, who guided him through acquiring data for their project. Another student later continued scanning. Post-processing and work on the kiosk and user interface was shared by the group.

Creating 3D models, was just one facet of the group’s final project. Their ultimate goal was to design a digital interface in which they could feature the 3D models and information about the unusual instruments. In order to achieve their goal of increasing visitor engagement, the group designed a game that both educates the public and encourages user interaction. They presented their work on 29 April at the Yale CEID.

The group stands behind their work with representatives from the collection and their teaching fellow, Matthew Reagor.

The group stands behind their work with representatives from the collection, Susan Thompson and Kelly Hill as well as their teaching fellow, Matthew Reagor. From left to right: Summer Wu, Zobia Chunara, Matthew Reagor, Daniel Fischer, Kelly Hill, Susan Thompson, Trey LaChance, and Cameron Yick. Image courtesy of Zobia Chunara.


A close up of the kiosk

A close up of the kiosk. Image courtesy of Zobia Chunara.