It has been difficult to capture the complex interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa due to technological limitations. Until now, that is. Thanks to 3D scanning, detailed measurements of the interior architecture have now been recorded, allowing for the preservation of this data for the first time in history.
The tech was developed by CSIRO, which is Australia’s national science agency. The device itself is called the Zebedee and it’s a handheld mapping system that uses a 3D laser scanner that has flexibility thanks to a spring. This device can capture millions of measurements just as the operator walks through a space. This revolutionizes the ability to capture information about three-dimensional spaces. And it works by running this data through software that can turn the laser data points into a three dimensional map.
Previously, the very narrow staircases and intricate architectural passageways made it impossible for mapping technology to function inside. The equipment just wouldn’t fit. A handheld device is the way to go, however, allowing researchers to use 3D scanning to capture a 3D map of the whole building for the first time.
Normally, this kind of detail would take weeks, if not months to capture. The level of accuracy that this device has been able to produce in just a couple of hours, however, is astounding and definitely worth noting. During this project, the scientists of CSIRO were able to use the Zebedee device to scan the whole interior of the Tower within 20 minutes! Yes, you read that correctly. And the scan included precise and minute details of things like the stairs and notches in stone. Continue reading