3-D scanning helps researchers renovate the Forbidden City

Researchers from Loughborough University (Loughborough, UK) will be using 3-D scanning systems to help restore ancient artifacts from the Palace Museum in Beijing.

3-D scanning helps researchers renovate the Forbidden City
3-D scanning helps researchers renovate the Forbidden City

Researchers from Loughborough University (Loughborough, UK) will be using 3-D scanning systems to help restore ancient artifacts from the Palace Museum in Beijing.

The museum, also known as the Forbidden City, is currently undertaking major renovation work funded by the Chinese Government. This is a huge project that involves thousands of individual historic relics.

Using conventional methods, the objects are measured, photographed and repaired manually – an extremely time-consuming and expensive task.

But by using 3-D scanning, images of the archaeological artifacts can be captured and the data cleaned up, allowing any damaged areas to be digitally restored, after which a 3-D printer can be used to produce a copy of the objects.

Following recent visits to the museum by PhD student Fangjin Zhang, Loughborough University researchers have now been asked use this technique to “repair” several specific artifacts. These include the ceiling and enclosure of a pavilion in the Emperor Chanlong Garden.

-- by Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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