Artec Leo - 3D Scanning at The Fitzwilliam Museum

January 20, 2020

Role(s): Project LeadThe Fitzwilliam Museum

🍵 1 min to read (suggested)

Within a couple of weeks of joining the Fitzwilliam Museum, an opportunity arose to purchase a structured light scanner, and to develop the potential capabilities of the Museum to more effectively capture and process 3D data. Dr Paola Ricciardi, the Museum’s Senior Scientist had obtained the funds to purchase a scanner from Artec and a processing PC via the Marlay Group's funding scheme.

These devices are not cheap!

Device Educational price 2018
Artec Leo £16,000
Artec Eva £11,050

We chose to purchase a Leo from one of Artec's approved dealers, mainly due to its wire free operation and on device data storage. However, the major obstacle to acquisition of the device, was the immense lead time for delivery - 18 months after the order was placed it was finally delivered.

What did we use it for?

The delivery time meant that it missed the original research cycle for the project it was designated for - a polychromatic study of Fitzwilliam Museum sculptural works. So instead we used it to capture objects for other areas of the museum collection. The video below, shows one of the conservation team using the scanner to capture a 3D model of the Pashley Sarcophagus. This video shows the stripes of light being projected over the object and the LCD screen displaying the data captured.

Examples of objects scanned

To illustrate the quality of the 3D models captured and processed using the Leo scanner, a selection is shown below.

Cons of the Artec

  • Prone to overheating when used for long periods of time
  • Data set captured is stored for Artec processing only
  • Data generated can generate a massive digital footprint for storage
    • Think about whether you need to store these data for the long term? Maybe deep storage like AWS Glacier...
    • Do you need paradata about collection and processing?
    • Do you have enough on board storage?
  • The device is incredibly heavy when used over time
  • Battery life is not amazing
    • if you get one, look after the calibration every few months (remember to charge if not using)
    • get a spare battery
  • You cannot use it in restricted spaces or close to floor level
  • Not super with small objects

People I worked with

  • Melanie Pitkin
  • Vicky Avery
  • Paola Ricciardi
  • Georg Doji
  • Elenora Gandolfi