3D Technology Reveals the Face of Ancient Peruvian Female Ruler

FARO’s 3D Laser Scanning Technology used in reconstructing the face of a mysterious mummy, known as the Lady of Cao. She is believed to be a female leader of the Moche Civilization in Peru, which ruled more than 1,700 years ago.

Moche culture flourished approximately a thousand years before the Inca civilization in northern Peru. In 2005, a tomb was discovered in a mud-brick ruined pyramid near Trujillo, a city on the northwest coast of Peru known for being a site of the prehistoric Moche culture. Inside of this tomb was an intriguing bundle of cloth. This bundle preserved a mummified female body covered in elaborate tattoos – of snakes, spiders and supernatural motifs — along with jewelry, ornaments, crowns, and two scepters. This woman is now known as “The Lady of Cao”, the only known female ruler of the Moche Civilization.

The Lady of Cao mummy is currently in display in the Museum of “El Brujo” Archaeological Complex, near to Magdalena de Cao town, in northern Peru.  To preserve the mummy, she’s kept in a climate-controlled chamber and can only be viewed indirectly with the aid of a viewing window and mirror.

Wiese Foundation, the entity that sponsors the Museum, wanted the visitors to be able to admire the Lady of Cao more freely and have a permanent digital record of her remains for further preservation. To achieve this, the museum contacted the world’s most trusted source for 3D technology, FARO®. Through FARO’s state-of-the-art 3Dsolutions, it was possible to build a digital model of the mummy, 3D print a replica, and, using specialized software and forensic anthropology techniques, perform the facial reconstruction that would reveal to the world, for the first time, The Lady of Cao’s face.

To achieve this goal, FARO and Wiese Foundation, along with 3D Systems®, Grupo Abstract and ARQ 3D+, assembled an international team of experts formed of archaeologists, anthropologists, forensic scientists and 3D technology experts.

The process began by 3D scanning the mummy’s face using a turnkey 3D scanning solution tailored for forensic anthropology, crime lab, and medical examination applications. This solution consisted of  high-resolution, fast-speed 3D scanners, the  FARO Design ScanArm®  paired with 3D Systems’ Geomagic®Wrap and Geomagic®Freeform® software.

Here’s a breakdown of the digital reconstruction process:

  • The FARO Design ScanArm was used to digitize the mummy by 3D scanning the surface area and collecting thousands of accurate, high-resolution digital points.
  • These digital points, known as point clouds, were then processed in the Geomagic software to create an accurate and realistic 3D model.
  • Forensic artists and anthropologists used photographs and anthropological investigations of the Moche Civilization descendants to generate hand-drawn sketches of the features of the face of the Lady of Cao.
  • The 3D model and anthropological drawings were then combined in the software and a full facial reconstruction occurred
  • Once the Lady of Cao’s virtual face was constructed, the team used numerous ethnographic research documents to add the final finishing details such as pores, wrinkles, expression, details in lips, eyes, forehead, eyebrows, and hair.


Thanks to this effort of this multidisciplinary talent and state-of-the-art 3D technology, the face of this remarkable and historic character of pre-Hispanic culture has been brought to life and revealed to the world.

If you want to learn more about the use of FARO’s 3D solutions in forensic reconstruction and cultural heritage preservation, click here.


FARO Laser Tracker Aids JCB Jig & Fixture Calibration

JCB are the world leaders for backhoe loaders and telescopic handlers, with 22 plants in four continents. This naturally brings with it the need for total quality assurance in operations.


Heavy Investment

Part of the company’s increasing investment has been in extremely accurate jigs and fixtures and new machining centres, which put JCB in direct control of component quality. These new machining centres are able to self-position and ‘find’ components to maximise machining precision, ensuring consistent quality to fabrications.

Manchester Metrology

In order to ensure quality, JCB awarded the responsibility for their jig and fixture calibration procedures to Manchester Metrology. Based in North West England, Manchester Metrology is a full service provider, specialising in the measurement of engineered components that are manufactured to fine tolerances. Using the FARO Vantage Laser Tracker, Manchester Metrology has been able to guarantee JCB; accuracy, total quality and even detailed traceable certificates.

Click here to download the full article!


How 3D scandata form the basis in BIM processes

Coordination between the different disciplinary models

An example of a BIM model (© M.A. Mortenson Company)

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is still quite a young tool for optimising processes in construction and in operating buildings. The planning and management of buildings are combined into a joint process within a digital model. The aim is to link information about the building’s construction and building components with usage-related and functional data. The starting point for this is a three-dimensional building model that reproduces the structural components of the building and the spatial situation.

Automatic positioning
Depending on the desired level of detail and the correspondingly adjusted resolution of the scan recording, a 360-degree scan takes between two and 15 minutes – colour scans take a little longer. If several scans are required for the measurement, sensors integrated into the scanner simplify the positioning of the individual scans within the overall model. The sensors automatically allocate an elevation reading and orientation to the scan data. In this way the individual scans can then be merged easily with software support to form an overall spatial model.

Established architecture and BIM software solutions such as AutoCAD Architecture, 3D-Studio Max Design, Autodesk Revit Architecture, Archicad, Vectorworks or Bentley’s Microstation allow direct import of the 3D scan data. This means that the 3D data is available to planners in their familiar CAD environment.

Data available anytime anywhere
The 3D model generated in this way can be continually expanded and updated with usage and operating data: for example the costs and qualities of conversion work, maintenance and repairs. The digital, 3D building model can be retrieved anywhere and even visited on a virtual tour providing the ideal basis for decision making processes. At the same time, all of the data for area and quantity surveying, as well as all other building properties and costs, is available in the complete datasets at anytime and anywhere – and is always up to date. In this way, BIM means that the overall context can always be kept in mind when planning – for example how conversion plans relate to the building’s surroundings. Possible consequences for items like maintenance and repair are immediately visible.

Smart solutions
Using BIM software solutions, all those involved in the project have constant access to current, cumulative building data from all disciplines. This means that cross-discipline planning and project management is possible. At the same time, the BIM model eliminates documentation deficiencies and information loss at the interfaces between disciplines. Web-based software solutions like SCENE WebShare Cloud by FARO also enable processing to be carried out irrespective of time and place.

SCENE Webshare Cloud
With SCENE WebShare Cloud, all 3D documentation data can be stored in the “cloud”, and scanned projects can be displayed quickly and shared with various project partners. In addition, the data and measurements are available in the long term and anywhere at all – including via smartphone or tablet. When using SCENE WebShare Cloud there is always sufficient server capacity available, no matter how many users are accessing it or how much data is being stored. The solution adapts perfectly to requirements at any time, in terms of processing power and storage space.


FARO Focus3D has been honored with the Construction Computing Award 2012

FARO Focus 3D honored with Construction Computing Award 2012We are delighted to announce that the FARO Focus3D has won the Construction Computing Award 2012 in the category Hardware Product of the Year.

Affectionately known as “The Hammers”, the Construction Computing Awards showcase and reward the technology, tool and solution for the most effective design, construction, maintenance and modification of commercial buildings, residential and social housing and civil engineering projects of all sizes.

The seventh Construction Computing Award Ceremony took place on November 22nd in London.


Tunnel Construction with FARO at Amberg Technologies AG

Tunnel construction with AmbergOliver Schneider, Product Manager Tunnel at Amberg Technologies AG, in an interview with the Laser Scanner Blog:

Which characteristics play a definitive role in ensuring optimal hardware/software combinations in the field of tunnel construction?

OSch: Tunnel construction demands high standards when it comes to the robustness of the hardware used and requires ease of operation in relation to the software/hardware. Systems are often operated by miners, meaning the software must automatically carry out a number of process steps and prevent incorrect operation to the greatest extent possible. [Read more …]


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