3D reconstruction, or 3D modelling as it is often referred to, is a method of visualising historical and archaeological data. As the name suggests, it is used to virtually reconstruct written or drawn sources, typically of architectural plans. Where 3D documentation, such as photogrammetry or laser scanning creates a digital representation of a real-life object, 3D modelling is a tool for visualising data that has been changed or destroyed through time.
3D reconstruction is also a research tool for interrogation and interpretative reasoning. While 3D modelling an architectural site, the researcher often must make inferences about undocumented features based upon their knowledge of that site, region, and time period. These reconstructions can be used as a way to disseminate research in an interactive way, as it is often combined with simulations such as virtual reality.
At the 4D Research Lab, a variety of projects have been carried out through 3D reconstruction as a way to research and share information. Youtube tutorials have also been made available to students and those interested in learning how to 3D model using Blender.