The research project CultLab3D, supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, aims at implementing an encompassing approach to 3D mass digitization, annotation and storage of cultural heritage artifacts.
What is planned is the development of a scanning technology, which digitizes large amounts of three-dimensional objects both time and cost efficiently in 3D due to an automated process. At the same time, an object representation true to the original in the best possible quality is aspired to by acquiring not only the geometry and texture but also the optical material properties, like the reflection and the absorption of light. In this context, CultLab3D uses the latest generation of autonomous, compliant robots and automation systems as a platform for optical scanning technologies and target-oriented conveyor solutions, keeping full control of environmental lighting.
CultLab3D faces the increasing demand for 3D mass digitization in the cultural heritage domain, by developing comprehensive, simple-to-use and economic solutions to approach the challenges of fast 3D digitization through process automation and industrialization.
Furthermore, the project also aims at answering issues centering on the topic 3D like:
- the long-time data archiving of virtual 3D models on a large scale,
- the development of future-proof 3D formats,
- the generally accepted juridical definition of rights to 3D models,
- and strategies to certify the origin of virtual artifacts.
Currently, CultLab3D is in its development phase and modules are meant to be ready for the market by the end of 2015. User tests took place in various museums in 2014, in which objects of different sizes and materials were successfully digitized in 3D in real museum settings. The effort has shown that a fast, high quality and fully-automated acquisition can be translated into action under such realistic conditions in museums.