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The Shepherd Wheel
The Shepherd Wheel is a 1780's waterwheel complex located in Sheffield. Its primary purpose was to power grinding stones for the polishing and sharpening of blades for swords and knifes, throughout the 18th & 19th centuries.
This three dimensional mapping and digital reconstruction project was undertaken prior to the renovation and restoration of the waterwheel structure. My task was to organise and conduct a full metric survey of the Shepherd Wheel and the engineering that occupied the interior, to compliment the historic building analysis.

The Shepherd Wheel is remarkable in the preservation of it's interior fixtures and fittings, and is quite  literally a time capsule, containing thousands of artefacts and most of its original mechanical components.  The survey was designed to capture the location of all in-situ artefacts and engineering components of the original workings. These needed  to be accurately located in three dimensions within the structure of the two buildings which make up the waterwheel complex.
The survey was conducted with a Leica 1200 total station, which provided metric data used to locate a series of photogrammetric images. Over 32000 measurements were taken to build a 3-D wireframe model of the complex and its machinery, hundreds of images were referenced and scaled to this model, enabling the extraction of 3-D data from the images to produce the metric dataset needed to generate plans, sections and elevations of the buildings.
An understanding of how the engineering functioned was crucial to the overall understanding of the spacial arrangement of the buildings and their fixtures.
The survey data was used to create an accurate digital 3-D replica of part of the main engineering components, this digital visualisation then formed the basis of our understanding of how the power from the wheel was transferred throughout the buildings to the various machines.
The cluttered nature of the interior was to prove to be quite a challenge to the survey, budgetary constraints ruled out the use of a laser scanner, so I created an alternative strategy which combined measured drawings, total station survey and photogrammetry. All of this data would still form the basis of a digital production, and is an excellent example of how different methods of data collection can be employed and combined to produce a digital output.
The final visualisation will help visitors to the waterwheel understand how the building functioned in the 18th century, conveying this information in two ways, firstly through the creation of an explanatory graphic incorporated into an information booklet on the site, and secondly the production of an online animated diagram, illustrating the function of the 18th century engineering.
This project is a fine example of how bespoke survey strategies can be applied to unique heritage sites, whilst remaining within the financial considerations of the project and exceeding the overall  deliverable expectations.
Cross-section through the main building, drawn from the survey data.
3-D Cross-section through the main building, drawn from the survey data.