Today's #CyantistWeLove: Lisa Federici And The Scansite Team

Every chisel mark, crack, dent, texture, stitch and fingerprint gives a deeper understanding.

A few weeks ago, we shared about how 3D Printing had been used to bring one of the Seven Wonders of The World back to life via our Facebook page, a great example of work at the intersection of art, history and tech. So we are thrilled to be featuring Lisa, founder and CEO of Scansite, and her team as Cyantists we love. Lisa is a pioneer in the 3D scanning industry. Over the years, she has assembled a multidisciplinary team of engineers, artists, historians, architects, archeologists and technologists who specialize in capturing meticulous details on real world objects. Using 3D scanners, they have created 3D models of historic artifacts, from dinosaur bones to statues from Michelangelo, real people including the singer Tony Bennet, industrial tools and entertainment models (think Star Wars!), to name a few. 3D Scanners can be thought of 3D cameras, and are themselves the result of multi-disciplinary engineering, including mathematics, computer vision, optics etc.

They work by projecting geometric light patterns onto object surfaces. The pattern is distorted by the surface, and these distortions are recorded by the scanner to compute information about the shape, or structure, of the object in 3D, using 3D reconstruction algorithms. The scans can then be processed with a modeling software to create 3D Printing files or be examined and edited in greater depth. So 3D scans can provide precise 3D information on small or larger objects, and this information can be used in many applications, one of them being in manufacturing where the scans help the quality assurance process by showing where defects might have crept up.

However, and quite importantly, it is not just technical work Lisa and her team do. Working with museums and other institutions such as the NY Metropolitan among many, she and her team are an intrinsic part of preserving art and enabling history to be better understood. For example, they produced the largest ever 3D printed triceratops, enabling biomechanical studies to be conducted at the Smithsonian's. And her scans of statues from Renaissance Italian sculptors is enabling the restoration of statues and provides information to art historians too. Works like hers also help make some of the value of history and art very tangible.


We hope this will inspire many young Cyantists to make links between tech, science, history, art now and in the future!