In this project, Simpleware software was used as part of an artistic study focusing on the completion of geological processes through new technology. The aim was to create a pseudomorph, an object that maintains its original shape whilst over time changing its inner materiality. The pseudomorph in this project represented a snail that had become fossilised as an air void within the Jurassic Coast’s rockbed over millions of years. High-powered CT technology and Simpleware software was used to visualise the microstructure of Portland roach stone and to extract a mesh of the air void suitable for 3D printing as a new object.
Initial scans of the rock containing the preserved airspace were made using the large-scale, high-power CT scanning facilities at the u-VIS X-ray Imaging Centre. The inside of the rock was reconstructed and analysed to extract a single pseudomorph, before being trivially labelled using Simpleware ScanIP. The resulting isolated pseudomorph void could then be exported as a mesh suitable for 3D printing.
A detailed mesh was generated from the segmented image data using Simpleware module +FE. The millions of triangles required for this process posed no difficulties for the software, resulting in a high-quality surface mesh with conforming interfaces that did not require further processing. An STL file was obtained that matched the boundary between the airspace and the rock.