3D Imagery Preserves Art Treasures

3D scanning is expected to preserve art for the ages. For instance, the Bust of Nefertiti can take a ride on a conveyer belt so it can be thoroughly scanned and a copy saved that will stand the test of time. The idea behind the 3D scanning of art is to preserve the outer shape of art digitally. That way if disaster or war destroyed the original, the last resort of making a replica of the original could be achieved.

Nefertiti already went through this process. The scanner that is used to perform this feat, if regularly produced, could become a valuable tool in making copies of original art quickly. This can eliminate the need to use plaster casts to replicate sculptures.

Preserving The Past

There are some countries that have had issues with preserving their pasts. Germany is one of those, although they have preserved a lot. Unfortunately, they’ve had setbacks. For instance, the City of Weimar’s library was damaged by fire a decade ago and 50,000 books from the 17th and 18th centuries were ruined. This has resulted in the value of digital copies being recognized.

3D scanning has also been cited as a way to make replicas that can be loaned easily. Some museums even have artifacts that they do not make seen by the public. By replicating them, they can make the treasures seen. On average a valuable museum artifact is only displayed every 10 to 15 years. Three-dimensional replication may result in more frequent displays of rare artifacts.

The Darmstadt Scanner

The Darmstadt scanner, used to scan Nefertiti, is in Germany. The Bust of Nefertiti took a while, but any similar object would also take quite some time. While there are other ways to perform 3D scanning, the Darmstadt researchers say that their scanner is faster because a regular machine can take up to 24 hours to scan a part of the whole.

There are a lot of moving parts to this machine. The object is placed on a conveyer belt that pushes it between two semi-circular gantries. There are nine light sources inside the inner arch and nine outside. The arches move over the bust and the cameras take pictures so the geometric reconstruction can be calculated. From here, an image is produced. A robotic arm with a second scanner then fills in the gaps of the 3D model to complete the digital picture. Although a lengthy process, this may revolutionize art preservation.