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Contact-free scanning preserves fragile Maya findings

13 March 2017 - The manifold culture of the Maya and the Rosalila Temple in Copan (Honduras) is subject of the recently published book “Protecting Sacred Space”. The publication focuses on extraordinarily formed cherts and bifaces (6 AD) that have been analyzed by Maya scholars for nearly a century.

Now they used the contact-free scanning technology of the SmartScan to three-dimensionally capture twelve of these sensitive, very fragile findings. According to the article, the “SmartScan remains one of the top optical 3D scanners in terms of its XY resolution, precision, flexibility, and accuracy.” The researchers employ the PLY data format to include the vertex colors of the objects in the 3D data. The created 3D models can be used for versatile research studies.

The digitizing with the SmartScan does not only preserve the originals themselves, but also protects the textile fragments adhering to their surface. The 3D models of the findings support the measurement and analysis of this elaborate artefacts. In addition, the models can be used for producing physical replicas with 3D printing as well as for embedding the data in 3D PDF documents.

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