High resolution 3D models of the fossil oyster shells

The aim was to estimate volume and age of ca.16 million years old oyster shells by using close range laser scanning technology which derives high resolution models with sub-mm resolution.

Study objects

Ten oyster shells are selected as objects for the modelling. They belong to the Natural History Museum Vienna. Length range of the shells is approximately from 14- 40 cm.


The data are captured with a measuring arm (METRIS MCA, 3600 M7) which contains a triangulation laser scanner and a camera. This is hand-held, fast and compact laser scanner well-suited for data acquisition in the dimensional control applications. Already during measurements real-time automatic orientation of the scans is provided and optimal polygon mesh is generated, while preserving the edges, features and 3D geometry. 

METRIS measuring arm was suitable for use for volume estimation purposes of oyster shells and adequate measurements were acquired. Closed mesh model of the baby oyster fossil:



We would like to thank Florian Rist from Institute of Art and Design, Vienna University of Technology for providing access to photo studio, his support and help during the data acquisition.

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