Full Article: https://www.factum-arte.com/pag/5/Laser-Scanning
New developments: Factum Arte’s Lucida scanner
A new 3D laser scanner for the Art world designed built and programmed by Factum Arte has been released: The Lucida 3D scanner, a dual camera with one laser scanner.
From the general conception to the smallest detail, everything in this system has been purpose-built and programmed to provide solutions to the specific problems we have faced in ten years we have been scanning paintings and other surfaces that require the highest accuracy and resolution.
The fundamental principle of the Lucida scanner, fairly well understood by anyone familiar with these systems, is based on a process of triangulation to obtain the data. A laser stripe similar to a bar code reader is projected onto the object and, as it travels over the surface, the deviations to the line of light, produced by the relief, are recorded by two USB video cameras. As our specific requirements directed the design and engineering process some beautiful solutions emerged with a poetry and elegence of their own.
The design process
The type of research and development carried out to bring this project into reality underpins all the work Factum Arte does. Patrick Blackett (1897-1974), the former head of Imperial College
London, socialist and nuclear physicist wrote:
“The experimental physicist must be a jack-of-all-trades, a versatile but amateur craftsman. He must blow glass and turn metal, though he could never earn his living as a glass blower nor even be classed as a skilled mechanic; he must carpenter, photograph, wire electric circuits and be a master of gadgets of all kinds; he may find invaluable a training as an engineer and can profit always by utilizing his gifts as a mathematician. In such activities he will be engaged for three quarters of his working day. During the rest he must be a physicist, that is, he must cultivate an intimacy with the behaviour of the physical world.”
This is a very good description of Manuel Franquelo, the artist and engineer who is behind the conception of the scanner. It could also be applied to the team at work with him in Factum Arte´s workshops, as we attempt to cultivate an intimacy with the parts of the physical world we are in contact with. Among the different people involved, we understand the theory, the mathematics, the engineering limitations, the problems caused by the expansion and contraction of the materials, the speckle noise, the tricks that help and the lateral jumps that are required to come up with new solutions. We are familiar with the approximations, mediation, transformations and limitations of each stage of the process.
The recording of the world’s heritage in two and three dimensions is costly and time consuming – but it doesn’t need to be this way!. It has not been commercially targeted by most of the hardware and software companies as the profit margins are not sufficiently attractive. Also, the business models that are developed often depend on the control and exploitation of the copyright of the recorded data – an approach that presents significant problems and concerns to many institutions who are custodians of our cultural heritage.
Factum Arte is in the position of providing practical solutions to both of these issues:
On the one hand, we work closely with the institutions to ensure that the copyright stays under their control (in addition we help them format the data so it can be used for study and conservation purposes as well as in publications).
On the other, we have built up a team of designers, engineers and software developers working to overcome the technical challenges that result from the high-resolution recording of works of Art.
Scanning in two and a half dimensions:
Museo del Prado, April 2011
Factum Arte’s Lucida 3D laser scanner, though still at a prototype stage, was used in the Museo Del Prado to record paintings by Titian and Rubens. The results demonstrate that the scanner has overcome many of the limitations that have restricted the use of 3D scanners for the documentation and monitoring of cultural artifacts.