How 3D Scanning Transforms Historic Preservation

Preserving historic structures proves vital to ensuring our cultural heritage preservation for future generations to connect with and learn from the past. One of the most significant advances in recent years is the use of 3D scanning technologies. What is 3D scanning and how has it transformed historic preservation? Read on to discover how this technology is transforming architectural preservation and restoration.

How 3D Scanning Transforms Historic Preservation

What Is 3D Scanning?

3D scanning is an advanced technology. It has the ability to capture the physical world in three dimensions, creating extremely detailed digital images of structures and environments. Professionals use specialized tools like laser scanners and structured light cameras to record and document the shape, size, and even texture of the scanned object with extreme precision.

The way in which 3D scanning works is rather straightforward. A scanner emits a laser beam and measures the distance to the object’s surface, collecting millions of data points from different angles to create a 3D model, often referred to as a “point cloud.”

Afterward, software processes the point cloud into a 3D mesh or model, enabling precise visualization, measurement, and analysis of the scanned object.

The Benefits Of 3D Scanning In Historic Preservation

Historic preservation is a time-consuming art form that requires great care and precision. Traditional methods like photographs and measurements cannot capture historic structures’ details precisely. In contrast, 3D laser scanning technology revolutionizes historic preservation, offering various advantages, including:

Precise Documentation and Preservation

3D scanning’s advanced tech creates highly accurate 3D digital representations of historic objects. 3D scans are able to capture even the tiniest details, making it possible to take comprehensive records of historical sites. The level of precision that 3D scanning offers in the art of historic preservation will provide future generations with invaluable information for restoration and preservation purposes.


Techniques in historical preservation can prevent damage to buildings and sites caused by traditional methods. 3D scanning, however, is non-invasive, as it does not require physical contact with delicate structures and environments. As such, this advanced technique reduces the risk of damage during the process of data collection and documentation.

Structural Integrity Assessments

Continuous 3D scanning enables careful assessment of the structural integrity of historic sites and early and accurate detection of any changes. Detecting deterioration early is imperative in preservation, enabling timely and appropriate interventions to prevent further damage.

Accurate Restorations

If historical structures and sites require any restorations, 3D scans can provide highly useful reference information. The information that the scans collect can be used by restorationist teams to ensure that the site is accurately restored to its original state. The end result is highly authentic and reliable restorations.

Virtual Exhibits

Museums, schools, and other academic institutions can use the information gathered by 3D scans to create virtual exhibits of historical buildings and sites. 3D scanning makes learning about and gaining an appreciation for history easily accessible to all.

Educational Tools

Finally, 3D scans play a vital role in historic preservation, as they can be used as educational tools. The accurate scan images aid researchers and students, enhancing immersive learning and a deeper understanding of history as they engage with the past.

3D Scanning: Changing The Shape Of The Past – And The Future

The utilization of 3D scanning technology has revolutionized the field of historic preservation. A 3D scanner captures high-resolution scan data of historical structures and artifacts, creating detailed digital representations.

Moreover, this method is remarkably cost-effective, especially when compared to traditional documentation techniques. The intricate and accurate data captured through 3D scanning allows for comprehensive analysis and aids in the preservation, restoration, and documentation of valuable heritage sites.

Precision Surveying & Consulting

3D Laser Scanning | Land Surveying | Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Established in 1999, we operate nationwide with vast experience in a diverse range of services. Our products and services are suitable for Industrial, Medical, Data Centers, and Commercial Sites. We employ highly skilled and experienced professionals and a licensed surveyor, licensed in the state of Nebraska, allowing us to process and certify all our data in-house.

The security and confidentiality of our client’s data are paramount to our working practices. We bring extensive experience and professionalism to every project and customize our support to your individual needs and concerns.

Contact Precision Surveying & Consulting to learn more!