Rome Church Restoration Using FARO 3D Scanning

Surely restoring a historical Church can’t be an easy task? Well, a recent project has used FARO 3D Laser Scanning Technology to simplify and speed up this process.

The 3D imaging system has been used to create point cloud models of the church in the Italian capital, revolutionising the restoration process. This has meant that the team of architects has been saved from carrying out a task which would have needed a great deal of both time and patience.

church restore

Architect Danilo Prosperi, a scientific researcher based in Rome who works extensively with new technologies, argues that 3D scans are very useful as a tool in modern restoration.

Advantages for the Engineer.

“The technology of the laser scanner offers great advantages for the technician and the engineer that uses it, especially in terms of the time invested,” claims Mr Prosperi. “The time it takes to create a model with the 3D laser scanner is drastically reduced in comparison to the technologies that are conventionally used.
Mr Prosperi also adds; “Photography is obviously a 2D image, therefore it does not provide information about the dimensionality of the photographed object. The laser scanner instead can obtain, through its photography of reality, a faithful, three dimensional model on the computer.”
It appears that Rome is becoming a pioneer in using 3D scanning in the restoration and recording of clerical decoration, with the European University of Rome offering a Masters degree entitled ‘Architecture, Sacred Art and Liturgy’ specialising in utilising this equipment for churches.
Models such as excavations of ancient towns and city squares, castles, ancient walls etc. have already been carried out successfully using Laser Scanning systems.

Invisible Damage.

The 3D model of the church actually highlighted some cracks in the stonework that would have been invisible to traditional techniques.

Prosperi explained: “In this church of the Maddalena, we have worked in the main naves, as well as in the Rococo-style sacristy for restoration purposes in the past year. It was necessary to make a new set of 3D models in order to analyse the fracturing of a wall that was restored already a couple of years back.”
“From the analysis of the deformation of the frescoed wall, it was possible to see that there was a 4 cm change and deformation. A new restoration was therefore initiated to fix the problem.”

Other Projects.

In the UK, Scottish Ten has been using laser scanning for documenting the precise dimensions of historic structures such as New Lanark’s 18th century mills, the St Kilda ruins and the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, Also, more modern and iconic structures including the Sydney Opera House in Australia have been documented.

For the original article by Rose Brooke (16th June 2014) click here


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