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Commercially-available system?


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  • 4 weeks later...

I would say "pre-commercially" available. The dome shown at relightable.com is one developed by myself and collaborators. I'm a professor at UCSC and longtime collaborator with CHI. My lab has been involved in various standardization and software building with CHI over the years. The intention of building the dome was to "make a standardized version available to organizations that can't afford a custom build". This is in response to my own experience that it was costing me $10-30K to build custom versions in my university lab and I was seeing lots of other labs repeat this. We have a manufacturing house that can build them for us, but we aren't really set up as a company. Its more like I'm a university professor, I saw a need based on my work with CHI, and just took a step forward. I'd say the current stage is "Check to see if the thing we are building matches a real need". We have versions of this dome at a couple of museums now trying to understand if its useful. We'd be thrilled to work with more people so that we make something people actually need.


I had previously sent a note to other professors in computer science that I happen to know saying "I can build these things for about $5K each, and happy to ask for more built if anyone wants one." I'm happy to extend that to anyone in the cultural heritage world. At this stage thats barely covering costs (well at this stage its definitely not covering costs, my wife isn't thrilled, and I hope to rectify that soon). Its unclear at this point if there is enough interest to be on track to ever be "commercially available", but certainly if we can work out something financially sustainable I have students that would be interested to take it on. 


Please feel free to get in touch. For the moment, I think I can get one to anyone for $5K. However if you're interested and this is out of your budget, then I'd still be interested in a note with your usage and budget. I can obviously go back to the manufacturer and strip away features for a lower cost if there is a demand.



Prof. James Davis

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I work for a university's archaeology department doing highlight captures of small artifacts. At $5K I may well be able to scrape up the funds for a dome. Typically we'll use it to image whole artifacts. I see the dome's diameter is 22". What maximum size artifact would that restrict me to?


In our discussions here I'd want to be able to say something like, "For artifacts x size and smaller we'll use the Relightable Dome and for larger artifacts we'll use highlight capture."




Dennis Piechota

Archaeological Conservator
Fiske Center for Archaeological Research
UMass Boston
Office: 617-287-6829
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I put together a fully-automated dome system (18" diameter) for about $500 in parts/tools, including the stand and sample stage (but not including the camera); requires some sweat equity. Current power supply limits you to 1W LEDs maximum power, which in turn limits the dome size to about 24" without the exposure times becoming unreasonably long. I'm working on higher-power drive electronics that could increase that to 3W, which would allow domes up to a meter in size (or shorter exposure times for smaller domes). While I can get usable results for samples 6-9" in size in my 18" dome, best results are for 4.5" and smaller, which fortunately covers the vast majority of artifacts I need to image.

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  • 7 months later...


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