Restoring the Chancel


The Finished Chancel
Image of an element from the Chancel

Today in Russia the latest computer technology is being used to restore a church that was originally built hundreds of years ago. This is a unique use of the technology that was created to help in the design and production of tools and components for the manufacturing industry. 

The Chancel of the Kretovozdvizhensk Church in St Nicolas Monastry in Verhotour was originally built by Kuznetsov craft workshop in 1914 to honor the Romanov tsar dinasty. They were responsible for building over 30 chancels in Russia. However, the chancel was destroyed in 1936 during a movement against the church. Later the St Nicolas Monastery was converted into a prison.

The Russian art restoring company, Terem (Ekaterinburg), discovered some old photographs of the chancel following some archive searching recently. Using these old photographs, preserved elements of the demolished chancel and Delcam's CAD/CAM Power Solution software it has been possible to produce working drawings for all elements of the chancel, and consequently rebuild the chancel to it's original beauty.

The work has been completed by Delcam Ural, a Russian sales partner to Delcam Plc, the Birmingham based CAD/CAM vendor. They were able to produce 160 master models within 4 months using Delcam's computer aided technology. The drawings and pictures produced by the restorers were scanned into the computer and converted to include 3D relief within ArtCAM Pro.

The NC programmes for flat components were generated either directly in ArtCAM or taken into PowerMILL for machining using different cutters. For those components like columns and arches, the relief is wrapped onto the cylindrical surface or the surface of the arches using CopyCAD and then programmes for the machining of the components prepared. Those components that have no decorative relief were modeled rapidly in PowerSHAPE and the data transferred to PowerMILL for machining.