The Royal College of Art and Sir John Soane’s Museum in London are collaborating with Quod on a ‘Digital Soane’ competition which involves 3D scanning some of the Museum’s amazing artefacts, including the bust of the man himself which sits in one of the main galleries.


With a drop of around 20 feet below the bust down to a priceless sarcophagus and strict instructions not to touch the bust itself or any of the surrounding artefacts, we had a particularly interesting challenge trying to capture all the detail of the bust whilst being aware of trailing wires and balancing on stepladders to reach the top of the head.


Everything passed off without incident thanks to a careful approach and the kind assistance of the Museum staff and a video of how we did it all can be seen below left. We used a combination of Artec Eva and Artec Spider 3D scanners to capture the bust data. The Spider, which has a greater accuracy than the Eva but not its range, was used to capture an inscription on the underside back of the bust. Under normal circumstances, for a static object like this, we would have used a portable arm and ScanWorks V5 laser scanner to capture engineering-quality highly accurate data, but the bust simply could not be moved and so the Artec scanners were better suited to the task and its constraints.


Sir John Soane (1753-1837) was a London architect most famous for his design of the original Bank of England building, much of which has now been replaced. He was also Professor of Architecture and an Academian at the Royal Academy. His home and office in Lincoln’s Inn Field became a resting place for much of his extensive art collection and in 1833, he bequeathed his home and collection to the nation. More information can be found at


Some of the professional-level scanners we use are explained on the 3D Technology page and technical specification details can be found at our sister company website