The Konica Minolta Vivid 9i 3-D LASER scanner has been used to create better computer graphics in movies such as Bolt and The Golden Compass. It was also used to make online museums, such as the Virtual Hampson Museum, with 3-D images of every artifact. Now NCPTT will expand its use into the preservation field.

Animating 3-D images like in the movies is not on our agenda. Instead, we are planning to use the 3-D images to show changes in the structure and color of the object. This instrument will give us an accurate representation of surfaces, which would allow us to see stone decay such as in our SO2 studies. It could also serve a role similar to GIS in mapping of analyses. One potential downfall with this machine is that color accuracy is lighting dependent. To counteract that, we would need to create the exact same lighting on every scan to get accurate data. The scanner has problems with bright sunlight and shiny or black objects due to its use of a laser. It will not recognize black or shiny objects, viewing them as empty space. However, we can counter act this by dusting the objects with a powder so that the laser will recognize them.

Eager to learn our new piece of equipment, we received our first dose of training from Bryan Bond, Technical Sales Manager for Konica Minolta. After an hour of showing us how to setup the equipment for scanning, Bryan gave a brief rundown of how to use the program Polygon Editing Tool. We were then able to begin scanning various objects around the office.

Bryan Bond demonstrates the scanner on a frog figurine.

Bryan Bond demonstrates the scanner on a frog figurine.

First, we created a 3-D image from a frog figurine in about 10 minutes. We only captured the shape of the frog, not attempting to capture its color. The first attempt to capture color created a 3-D image of a Bob’s Big Boy figurine. The black hair of the figurine was missing due to absorption of the laser. The scanner recognized it as empty space, but we should be able to dust it with powder and do some editing to fill in the missing data once we’ve had training in the Geomagic software. NCPTT’s Mary Striegel and Jason Church will be attending a training seminar on the Geomagic software next week. This software will allow us to edit our scans so that we can create complete 3-D images.

Overall, this was an insightful experience, and one that left us wondering ‘what else can we do with this scanner?’

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9 Responses to 3-D laser scanning opens new doors for preservation technology research

  1. Scott Falvey says:

    What are the size and range limitations of what it can scan? Is this machine appropriate for scanning architectural detailing,etc. and is the software set up to stitch multiple scans together based on common reference points?

    • Jason Church says:

      The particular scanner that we are using has a accuracy of .05mm and is really designed for smaller objects. So anything from the a small vase to roughly a car in size. It could scan larger but the time involved in stitching the scan back together would not be worth it. We are currently using GeoMagic Studio to stitch the scans together.

  2. Jack Erhart says:

    Would this mean that there is a genuine interest in using 3D as part of the historic record? I have been trying to find out who to pitch the idea to for using 3D modeling as part of the historic record.

    Here is a start of what I am considering.

    http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/cldetails?mid=31954958c83e45265455dab34d864ef9

    Could someone here direct me?

    Thank You.

  3. Jack Erhart says:

    I must say, it’s nice to see historic preservationist looking into 3D modeling.

    I looking to introduce the same thing with this program.

    http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/cldetails?mid=31954958c83e45265455dab34d864ef9

    I sure would love to see this become a part of the historic record for structures as well.

  4. Diamond says:

    This is an interesting application for the 3D technology. I see more value coming from the 3D laser storage of records that is being pioneered currently, but these would truly be remarkable to behold I imagine. Bravo!

  5. Plundr says:

    What are the size and range limitations of what it can scan?

    • Jason Church says:

      The particular scanner that we are using has a accuracy of .05mm and is really designed for smaller objects. So anything from the a small vase to roughly a car in size. It could scan larger but the time involved in stitching the scan back together would not be worth it.

  6. Jason Church says:

    The scanner can easily map the body, actually it is being used in the gaming world to scan actors for digitization into games.

  7. Nick Avery says:

    I attended the ALSA annual meeting last fall in Washington DC and they used 3-D scanners to create full size images of sides of buildings and the surrounding area (waterfalls and steps, etc) very accurately (much larger than a vase or car).

    It is impressive.

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