Any application of three-dimensional computer graphics in the Cultural Heritage (CH) field requires availability of a digital model of the artifact(s) treated. Detailed and accurate digital 3D models can be produced with 3D scanning devices, which allow conversion of reality into digital form in a cost and time-effective manner. We present the capabilities of this technology and the main issues which are preventing its wider use in contemporary applications, highlighting some open problems and a few promising new approaches for 3D model construction. We also briefly review some CH applications which could boost the diffusion and evolution of 3D scanning technology
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