Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

3d scanning

James Tawadros from UTS scanning the Samurai Armour.

Arul Baskaran, 3D scanning Icons from the MAAS Collection, MAAS, 21 October 2016

Visitors to the recently opened Icons exhibition at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences will notice two large screens installed in one of the title walls, featuring rotating 3D models of objects from the exhibition.

The screens invite visitors to “touch and explore” the 3D models. The models feature highlight spots, and when touched each spot triggers a particular view of the object accompanied by a curator’s expert insights into its materiality and significance.

Visitors can touch a screen to zoom in, rotate and examine the objects at their own pace – using gestures similar to a smartphone.

This project for Icons is the Museum’s first 3D scanned interactive within a gallery space. It is also an important step in the Museum’s ongoing digitisation efforts, of which 3D scanning is likely to play a growing part.

Why 3D scanning?

3D digitisation has a range of potential applications in the museum space. 3D models can offer visitors new ways to access and explore our collection, and aid conservation. 3D models can be used in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) learning experiences, and facilitate 3D printing.

Space constraints also limit how much of the collection is on display at any time, and 3D technology offers new ways to make more of the collection accessible to the public within and outside the Museum.

Digitisation is also an important consideration in the planning for a new museum in Parramatta. Moving the collection to a new site offers a rare opportunity to digitise our objects as a step in the process – and this let us get our hands dirty and understand more about technology available in this space.

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Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Mr Brian Oldman, South Australian Museum PO Box 234 Adelaide, South Australia 5001 Australia, © CAMD 2022
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