3D Modelling at the Museum

Article | Updated 5 months ago

The Western Australian Museum has recently uploaded its first virtual 3D model to the gallery platform Sketchfab. Sketchfab is used by a huge variety of organiations, institutions and individuals to"publish, share and embed interactive 3D files".

As part of the 400th anniversary commemorations of Dirk Hartog's landing at Shark Bay, the Museum has published a virtual 3D model of Hartog's ship the Eendracht, which can be viewed on this page (scroll down to "Shark Bay 1616, voyage of the Eendracht" or view below). 

The 3D model was created by Museum Associate Kevin Edwards, who worked with plans and a scale model of the Eendracht built by model boat maker Adriaan de Jong. Mr Edwards explained that the virtual model "...was created using the Rhinoceros 3D modelling software package, and took approximately 250 hours to complete.

Owing to the lack of any contemporary plans, the model was developed from a variety of sources, ranging from the archaeological remains of similar vessels through to contemporary paintings and historically accurate scale models. 

In this respect, the 1:69 scale model of Eendracht currently on display in the Shipwreck Gallery of the Western Australian Maritime Museum was particularly valuable.  This model, built by Adriaan de Jong, was initially laser scanned in order to accurately capture the broad lines of the vessel. The digital scans were supplemented by a series of line drawings and plans that were kindly provided by Adriaan, which greatly assisted with the reconstruction. 

The construction of the digital model was carried out in a manner broadly analogous to that of a real vessel, and involved establishing a series of frames onto which the hull, beams, knees and decking were attached. Once this had been completed, the masts and main standing rigging elements were installed; this being by far the most labour-intensive part of the process. 

While not currently visible online owing to technical constraints, the Eendracht model has been internally fitted out with a full gun deck, furnishings and cargo. It is hoped that a revised version of the model will be uploaded in the near future."

Eendracht interior

Eendracht interior
Image courtesy Kevin Edwards