We have three 3D scanners that we use to document cultural heritage objects and create three dimensional renderings and videos. Outputs of these scans can include interactive PDFs where users can spin the image of an object and video walk-throughs of buildings. Each of the three scanners is used for a different size of object; the combined suite of scanners makes it possible for us to document objects that range from projectile points to buildings.


FARO Focus S

Ina Sthapit and Sukrit Sen scanning a tenant cabin using the FARO Focus S

The FARO Focus S can scan in 360° and has an internal GPS to assist with the stitching of multiple scans. At each location, the instrument takes both laser scans and photographs, which can be combined for full color rendering using FARO’s SCENE software. We frequently use this scanner for documenting both the interiors and exteriors of historic buildings.

The data from the Faro Focus S can be used as a point cloud, photos, or with both combined. The rendered data can also be used for creating walk-throughs.

This scanner is being used for the Tenant Cabin Project. More information on the project can be found on our website, podcast, and blog.

3D rendering of one of the tenant cabins


Minolta Vivid 9i

Rayne Haskews using the Minolta Vivid 9i

The Minolta Vivid 9i scanner is used for mid-sized objects (basketry) to large objects (cars). Similar to the FARO Focus S, this scanner of highly portable and can collect both shape and color data. Depending on the size of the object being scanned, either the object is rotated to collect other views, or the scanner is moved around the object.

The data is handled with the Geomagic Studio software package, and can be exported into other formats.

This scanner has been used by Rayne Haskews to document local Creole art.

3D data collected using the Minolta Vivid 9i



The NextEngine is a highly portable desktop 3D scanner and can be used to document small objects. It is paired with an object stage that allows the software to control the rotation of the object being scanned. The NextEngine captures both shape and image data; each object is usually scanned on three axes and the 360° scans of each axis are then stitched together to create whole objects.

Currently, we are scanning Poverty Point Objects (PPOs) and creating a digital type collection of the different shapes.


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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119