3D digitization and storage of historic artifacts offer a great chance for preservation and accessibility. Simultaneously, they contribute to the formation of value in the cultural sector through new services and business models.

For years, comprehensive measures have been taken to advance the digital documentation and preservation of cultural heritage artifacts. Nevertheless, these activities frequently remain restrained to two-dimensional objects such as books, paintings or “digitally-born collections” like films, photographs and audio recordings (Google Books Library Project, Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, Europeana).

The demand for economic solutions of 3D mass digitization with high output is increasing due to a growing need for visualizing and preserving three-dimensional artifacts like statues, sculptures and busts. However, so far no commercially available technologies meeting the demands for efficient and precise 3D mass digitization of millions of objects stored in our archives and museums exist. Instead, measures concerning 3D digitization focus on quite prestigious individual cases rather than on entire series. The reasons for this are the high costs and the large amount of time still needed to scan an object’s surface including undercuts in 3D.

3-D-Scan_Teststrecke_2, © Carola Radke/MfN Ancient Hall in Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia (CC Ilya Dobrych)
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