AUTOMATED VOXEL MODEL FROM POINT CLOUDS FOR STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF CULTURAL HERITAGE
Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Buildings, Point cloud, Voxel, Terrestrial laser scanning, Structural analysis, FEM, Mesh generation
Abstract. In the context of cultural heritage, an accurate and comprehensive digital survey of a historical building is today essential in order to measure its geometry in detail for documentation or restoration purposes, for supporting special studies regarding materials and constructive characteristics, and finally for structural analysis. Some proven geomatic techniques, such as photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning, are increasingly used to survey buildings with different complexity and dimensions; one typical product is in form of point clouds. We developed a semi-automatic procedure to convert point clouds, acquired from laserscan or digital photogrammetry, to a filled volume model of the whole structure. The filled volume model, in a voxel format, can be useful for further analysis and also for the generation of a Finite Element Model (FEM) of the surveyed building. In this paper a new approach is presented with the aim to decrease operator intervention in the workflow and obtain a better description of the structure. In order to achieve this result a voxel model with variable resolution is produced. Different parameters are compared and different steps of the procedure are tested and validated in the case study of the North tower of the San Felice sul Panaro Fortress, a monumental historical building located in San Felice sul Panaro (Modena, Italy) that was hit by an earthquake in 2012.