SEGMENTATION OF 3D MODELS FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS – SOME CRITICAL ISSUES
Cultural Heritage documentation and preservation has become a fundamental concern in this historical period. 3D modelling offers a perfect aid to record ancient buildings and artefacts and can be used as a valid starting point for restoration, conservation and structural analysis, which can be performed by using Finite Element Methods (FEA). The models derived from reality-based techniques, made up of the exterior surfaces of the objects captured at high resolution, are - for this reason - made of millions of polygons. Such meshes are not directly usable in structural analysis packages and need to be properly pre-processed in order to be transformed in volumetric meshes suitable for FEA. In addition, dealing with ancient objects, a proper segmentation of 3D volumetric models is needed to analyse the behaviour of the structure with the most suitable level of detail for the different sections of the structure under analysis. Segmentation of 3D models is still an open issue, especially when dealing with ancient, complicated and geometrically complex objects that imply the presence of anomalies and gaps, due to environmental agents such as earthquakes, pollution, wind and rain, or human factors. The aims of this paper is to critically analyse some of the different methodologies and algorithms available to segment a 3D point cloud or a mesh, identifying difficulties and problems by showing examples on different structures.