The Rise of 3d Scanning Technology in Restoration

3D scanning technology is rapidly becoming an indispensable tool for researchers that specialize in restorations. It allows scientists to collect detailed features of a physical object, so that they can document, conserve and restore any piece of the past – including fossils, artifacts, historic buildings and artwork. By harnessing the power of 3D scanners, nothing is ever really lost, and much of history – from the Queen Mary to ancient Persian monuments – can be rebuilt, restored and preserved forever.

Among complex historic preservation projects, the importance of 3D scanning technology cannot be overstated. With most old buildings and all artifacts, original drawings and plans simply don’t exist. To obtain the measurements they need, preservationists typically rely on conventional tools, such as tape measures, laser levels and finders. However, this approach is both limited and time-consuming, and its inherent manual nature leaves considerable room for error.

Fortunately, 3D scanning technology offers the ideal alternative to more traditional measurement methods. It can quickly, easily and safely cover anysurface area in extreme detail, creating highly accurate 2D and 3D CAD models, which can be used to guide researchers through complicated restorations.

Although this technology has become essential to preservationists, it is important to note that not all 3D scanners are created equal. For complex projects with considerable time, accuracy and safety constraints, researchers are advised to use the highest-end scanning technology available, as it possesses very specific features that can ensure a successful and accurate historic restoration, including:

  • Comprehensive data collection. Scientists can rely on high-end scanners to feature the most comprehensive data collection available, which eliminates the need for additional measurements throughout the project.
  • Highly accurate CAD models. With high-end scanners, researchers can compare their current 3D building status against ultra-precise CAD models, ensuring quality and eliminating expensive and time-consuming rework.
  • Extreme portability. High-end 3D scanners are light and extremely portable. Thus, they can be used anywhere and are easily managed by a single person.
  • The ability to support future research. Because the 3D models produced by high-end scanners are so precise, the restorations they yield can be used for years to come to support additional research projects.


  • 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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