Hog Scrapers: Making Pork Rinds since the 19th Century
This hog scraper has a story to tell. It was used to scrape the bristles off the outside of a butchered hog hide. Though it is difficult to see in the scan, the broad side of the hog scraper has four dull metal blades that function much in the way a modern shaving razor blade does. This particular hog scraper was manufactured in North Carolina and was likely partially handmade and partially machine crafted. It was probably used by a craftsman in the state sometime in the 1800s. This particular object is unique because of the sturdiness and detailed craftsmanship involved in its creation. The handle was likely made in a machine, most likely a machine that made table or chair legs. However, the joints on the object look hand-placed. The original hog scraper is in the collections of the North Carolina Museum of History (Accession # 1966.66.426).
In order to 3D scan this artifact, we used two different technologies to create two different kinds of scans (both included in our object files). For our first set of scans, we used a repurposed Kinect sensor which was then linked to a laptop. Using Skanect software, we edited the scans. In order to use this method, we first attempted to stand the artifact on a Lazy Susan, but because of the fragility of the artifact, we instead had to improvise. Instead, two users held the laptop and the sensor and moved around the object, allowing the sensor to pick up the data. For our second set of the scans, we used an iPad software application, Structure Sensor, to scan the artifact. Using this method, the user connects a Structure Sensor device to the iPad and slowly walks about the object, allowing the sensor to gather information about the object and send it to the application on the iPad. The iPad application then projects a real-time point cloud. As the scanner picks up more points, the object fills in.
When we set about scanning this artifact, we were hoping to create a 3D model that we could make widely available on the internet as a learning tool. Additionally, we wanted to furnish the museum with a scan that they could utilize on their website or theoretically 3D print in order to create an educational tool. We envisioned a 3D printed hog scraper allowing visitors to handle and explore the tool without creating a danger to the object or to the visitor. Additionally, a 3D scan would allow the museum to keep a more thorough and long-lasting record of the object. Lastly, we wanted to contribute to making North Carolina history more interesting, interactive, and innovative.
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