This was part of a European sponsored project, with an aim to standardise information gathered from the scanning of paintings in art galleries. Scanning systems were supplied to the National Gallery, London (see photo) & The Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Working closely with specialists at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, engineers designed and built a digitising scanner to study the gallery’s great paintings. The stepper driven 3-axis scanner provides resolution down to 10 microns, a scanning speed of 25mm/second over a 2-metre horizontal travel.

A square ‘portal frame’ carried a 2-axis scanning camera to record a series of digitised images across the surface of the painting, allowing images to be digitally manipulated for analysis and study.


A system was required for precision scanning of paintings to gather valuable information such as colour change, detection of cracks, deformations or imperfections as part of a long-term historical and restoration project.

art gallery scanning system


  • The problem was solved using a component structure, which allowed the flexibility and rigidity for on-site installation.
  • A linear high precision cross roller slide was used for the critical focal axis.
  • Fully motorised axis with limits and datum sensors
  • Full 4 axis drives and controls system with RS232 interface.

Benefits Gained

  • Standardised information gathered from scanning the paintings.
  • Potential money saved from early detection of colour alteration, cracks and/or deformations.
  • A vast amount of data collected for analysis and future historical significance.
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