Photogrammetry has been in use for over one hundred and fifty years. This research considers how digital image capture using a medium range Nikon Digital SLR camera, can be transformed into 3D virtual spatial images, and together with additive manufacturing (AM) technology, geometric representations of the original artefact can be fabricated. The research has focused on the use of photogrammetry as opposed to laser scanning (LS), investigating the shift from LS use to a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera exclusively.
The basic photogrammetry equipment required is discussed, with the main objective being simplicity of execution for eventual realisation of physical products. As the processing power of computers has increased and become widely available, at affordable prices, software programs have improved, so it is now possible to digitally combine multi-view photographs, taken from 360°, into 3D virtual representational images. This has now led to the possibility of 3D images being created without LS intervention.
Two methods of digital data capture are employed and discussed, in acquiring up to 130 digital data images, taken from different angles using the DSLR camera together with the specific operating conditions in which to photograph the objects. Three case studies are documented, the first, a modern clay sculpture, whilst the other two are 3000 year old Egyptian clay artefacts and the objects were recreated using AM technology. It has been shown that with the use of a standard DSLR camera and computer software, 2D images can be converted into 3D virtual video replicas as well as solid, geometric representation of the originals.