3D Scanning – Its Benefits to Art and Archaeology

The primary benefit of laser scanning-also referred to as laser surveying-is its ability to gather precise data from objects and environments, which can be used to carry out a variety of procedures and applications, from examining manufactured parts for warping to creating animations of how the components of a machine would work. Ultimately, most 3D laser scanning applications center around design in one way or another, which explains why 3D scanning is commonly associated with engineering and manufacturing. But 3D laser scanning also has a place in areas that have little if any connection with the engineering and manufacturing industries, one of which is art and archaeology. Below, we list and describe some of the ways that scanning is currently being used in art and archaeology.


Archiving sculptures, monuments and structures can be done in a variety of ways, the most common of which is through photography and/or 2D drawings that chronicle data according to older surveying methods. But laser surveying allows historical objects and structures to be archived in the form of detailed digital images that also contain precise information about the physical data of a subject. Most scanning images are viewed in black and white or with color-coding for design purposes. But they can also contain true color.

Digital Conservation

Digital conservation is akin to art conservation, which focuses on preserving/conserving important works for future generations. By recording the physical data of artistic objects and structures digitally, art and archeological conservationists can use it as a template for restoring damaged objects and structures, as well as for determining how a conservation project should take place in relation to a large object or structure’s surrounding objects and/or terrain.

Restoration and Reconstruction

When a comprehensive scan is taken of historical objects or structures, its primary function is usually to serve as a map for restoration if the object or structure deteriorates or is suddenly damaged. An example of laser surveying used in this capacity can be seen in the recent scanning of the Mount Rushmore sculpture and the terrain of the park below the sculpture. As erosion gradually compromises the sculpture, conservationists can continually restore it to its original form without guesswork.

Duplication and Reproduction

In addition to restoring and reconstructing historical objects and structures, a comprehensive scan of their data may also be used to reproduce them, particularly for offering the experience of viewing great sculptures to people worldwide. For example, large copies of Michelangelo’s David have been reproduced to offer more people the chance to view firsthand one of the world’s greatest statues.

source : www.ezinearticles.com


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