On behalf of FMV, Svekon was tasked to create digital materials for the production of ceremonial equipment in the form of a series of sabers with accessories. This was a challenging project, partly because the originals were not well-preserved, and partly because it is very complicated to produce drawings and production materials for completely organic shapes.
An expanding assignment – from specification to complete production documentation
The assignment from FMV initially involved developing specifications for a series of ceremonial sabers with accompanying scabbards for the Swedish Armed Forces. However, due to the high quality requirements and the rich detailing and organic shapes of the originals, it became evident fairly soon that the need was for more extensive documentation to ensure the quality of production.
Therefore, in collaboration with the client, we agreed to create complete digital drawings and technical documentation to effectively quality-assure the production of the material both short and long term.
Screening and research
Since there were no existing drawings, the first step in the assignment was to gather as much information as possible about the originals, including their appearance, materials, and manufacturing processes. Svekon was granted access to several original pieces that served as benchmarks, and some information could be obtained that way. However, because many of these originals were worn and incomplete, there were many gaps to fill in, especially regarding the intricate details in the form of ornaments and engravings. Therefore, the team conducted visits to the Army Museum and the Maritime Museum to document and measure sabers, as well as gather information from the museums’ experts.
Material and tolerance
To ensure that the final product closely resembled the originals while guaranteeing the highest quality and durability, extensive work was done regarding the selection of base materials, surface treatments, plating, and tolerance chains. This work also included requirements to replace certain materials from the originals with more sustainable alternatives. For instance, the handles on the originals were clad in sharkskin, which was replaced for sustainability reasons.
To transition the product from the digital realm to the physical one, templates were printed on the handles. This was done not only to gain a clear overview of the incredibly detailed shapes and ornaments that adorn many of the handles but also to get a sense of what it’s actually like to hold the product in hand. While this is an important step in the process for most products, it was especially crucial in this case because it involved digitizing the forms for a product whose originals had been handcrafted by a blacksmith.
Advanced surface modeling of organic shapes
A significant challenge in the project was digitizing the organic, handcrafted shapes from the originals because the software used to create the drawings is not optimized for this task. It became a lengthy and challenging process, but we are very proud and satisfied with the final result. Together with our customer, we have been able to ensure the preservation of a cultural heritage.