Here’s an airing of the work the DMU Digital Building Heritage Group is doing as part of the AHRC Connected Communities partnership project with the Leicester Transport Heritage Trust.
In this sequence the vehicles and their operation are as important as the buildings and the team have tried to give equal weight to both and offer a sense of what it may have been like to ride on the upper deck of one of these Edwardian open topped trams.
Animating the vehicles in and around the London Road Tram Depot in Leicester is one of two outcomes of the co-production initiative that the University is working on with the Trust through their AHRC award. The other outcome is being developed by Dr. Eujin Pei who is currently preparing the digital files needed to create a highly accurate 3D printed model of a Leicester Tram Car which will be based on LTHT archival material, detailed support material from the Leicester Tram 31 Group and data gathered from Car No.76 at the Crich Tramway Village in Derbyshire.
The 3D printed model will be made in several parts using different 3D printing processes and materials to demonstrate the broad range of 3D printing capabilities which are used at De Montfort University. The finished model will be used for a number of purposes by the Trust including allowing visually impaired people to quickly gain an appreciation through touch of the form, shape and engineering detail of the Tram. This aspect of visitor engagement with museum exhibits and heritage outreach complements the more visually oriented work that the Digital Building Heritage Group produces and is an area where we feel 3D printing has much to offer as well as the 3D printed models for “cased” static displays. It does however mean that models for handling have to be more robust, particularly for young children, but the great thing about 3D printing is that if one gets broken you can just print another one!
We’ll keep you posted on how this aspect of this project progresses over the next three months. In the meantime Steffan Davies is putting the final polish on this animation sequence before it goes out in a High Definition HD form to the LTHT for them to use in their public outreach events.