Lucida 3D Scanner

Terms like high-resolution documentation and giga-byte resolution are now often used without a clear understanding of what this means in practice. In 3D scanning high resolution can mean area scanning at a resolution of 100 measured points per square meter or to describe accurate surface scanning with 100 million measured points per square meter. In colour recording confusion still exists between images that appear high resolution on screen and images that are in fact high resolution when printed at full size.

The association of digital with virtual is still at the root of these misunderstandings. When physical and digital are used in the same sentence the confusion is increased.

Factum Arte and the Foundation have been working with museums and artists for many years focusing on the way mediation and transformation condition the appearance of the physical object. The idea behind the Foundation has grown out of many years of working in high-resolution documentation and the realisation that a lack of communication and understanding is hampering the application of technology in conservation.

The Lucida scanner head in progress.

Lucida 3D Scanner, created and developed by the artist Manuel Franquelo, is now in its final phase of development and the finished scanner will be announced shortly. This scanner has been developed whilst at the same time used in many locations to create contact free high resolution images of cultural heritage objects for storage for future generations and in many cases re-creation in perfect facsimile for public viewing - allowing the original to be protected. It is clear that imaging and recording technology are still far from fully developed and so the Foundation will store the digital data in open format securely in the belief that future generations will have added substantially to our knowledge and will be able to use and discover infinitely more from the data than we are able at the moment. The data will be a pure record of the heritage that our generation have received from the last, we will pass it on to the future intact so that should the future find smarter ways of viewing or conserving then the data will be available from our time - as a record of the past and present for the future.

The new scanner will be faster (bi-directional scanning), easier to operate (new graphic user interface), more stable (new light-weight rigid aluminium structure) and will be able to record deeper relief (new Z-axis movement). All the scanning process will now be controlled from a portable computer and the software application will allow the user to select a specific section of the target for re-scanning. As with the previous version, the system will be light-weight and battery-operated and will store the 3D information as raw video data. The new Lucida Scanner is already being used to record the surface of works of art and a number of different projects are in development - all of which have significant implications for the protection and management of cultural heritage.

It is the Foundation's intention that up to 50 Lucida Scanners will be deployed by the end of 2013 in various places around the world. These scanners will generally be provided to the institutions or site free and training will be given to local operators so that scanning can become a normal and continuous procedure and digital records can be created of more and more of our heritage.

Lucida Scanner. Created and developed by the artist Manuel Franquelo, cofounder of Factum Arte
Built and tested in Factum Arte under the supervision of Manuel Franquelo.

The data that is collected will be stored in the Foundation's secure archive after it has been carefully codified for the future. The data will be the property of the custodian /institution - not of Factum Foundation - the Foundation will be its curator and conserver - maintaining the data in a safe and secure archive for this and future generations and where the data will be made available to the public openly through the Creative Commons licence on behalf of the owner. This is important - the data and rights will remain the property of the owner at all times - Factum Foundation will record it (or work with the on site operators who are using the Lucida Scanners) and store it through remote feeds securely in a central archive. The data will be open to access through the owner or through the Foundation on a view only basis. The owner retains all rights to use and to any revenues created by the data. In this way our heritage is conserved, recorded and made available generally to the public who has a right to see it.

3d Scanning Test, Lucida Scanner, March 2013.

Lucida scanner
Created and developed by the artist  Manuel Franquelo, cofounder of Factum Arte
Manuel Franquelo: general concept and development in the areas of electronics, mechanics, optics, and software.
Built and tested in Factum Arte by Carlos Bayod, Jorge Cano, Dwight Perry, Nicolás Díez and Manuel Franquelo Jr. under the supervision of Manuel Franquelo.

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