Advancements in Historic Preservation Technology

Historic preservation technology has advanced substantially in recent years. Researchers now have a number of high-tech solutions at their disposal – solutions that allow them to preserve, restore, and rebuildmuch of history with unparalleled ease and accuracy.

Among the latest technologies and approaches transforming historic preservation projects, the most promising ones include:

3D scanning technology

3D scanning technology enables scientists and preservation specialists to quickly cover virtually any surface area in extreme detail to create 2D and 3D CAD models. These ultra-accurate representations guide researchers through preserving and restoring historic structures – such as buildings, artwork, artifacts, and fossils – even when there are no original drawings present. The technology replaces traditional, manual tools that invite human error,such as tape measurers, laser levels, and finders. It’s also the main technology that’s used for the rest of the concepts and processes discussed in today’s article.

CAD models

Computer-aided design (CAD) models are used to support heritage documentation and historic preservation projects, ensuring that the past can continue to enlighten future generations. They create high-resolution documentation of historic buildings and objects, which can help with a wide range of tasks – including determining the integrity of a structure, guiding a restoration, completing reverse engineering tasks, and supporting conservation efforts.

Building information modeling

Building information modeling helps researchers restore historic buildings when there is a general lack of information about the structures. It involves generating, interpreting, and managing digital representations of a place’s physical and functional characteristics, helping researchers to create a highly precise model of virtually any heritage site they are attempting to restore. This leads to a number of benefits, including the ability to prototype with ease, a smoother design process, and a heightened level of accuracy.

Non-contact metrology

This process involves 3D scanning physical objects without touching the actual workpiece. It’s an invaluable tool for preservationists because it allows them to measure buildings, complete reverse engineering objectives, and document artifacts with ease. To give you an idea of how quickly it works, researchers can create a full 3D scan of a historic building’s exterior and interior within hours – allowing them to visualize the insides of walls and ceilings and obtain insight into the building’s structural integrity more easily than ever before.

As a whole, all of these processes and technologies are vastly improving preservation projects across the board. They allow researchers to restore historic objects and buildings with ease and precision, ensuring that the past is preserved for future generations.


  • James Rawstron

    James Rawstron is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America, located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Rawstron has 20 years of marketing communications experience in the software, high tech, industrial, advanced manufacturing machinery and medical device markets. He has written numerous articles for B2B publications, including blogs for a variety of industries. Prior to joining Hexagon, Rawstron served as a web marketing professional at IBM and a Marketing Manager at Vector Software. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and European History from Union College of Schenectady, New York.

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