Thursday, January 29, 2009

DDI to present at CAA 2009

Direct Dimensions is proud to announce that we will be participating in the International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) as the Exhibitors and Workshop chair.

The conference, hosted by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and The University of Virginia, is to be held from March 22-26, 2009 in Williamsburg, Virginia. This year’s theme will be “Making History Interactive,” and will be reflected in both the conference activities and the unique venue. As an organization, CAA is dedicated to the application of digital technologies that make it possible to access and investigate our cultural heritage in new ways. Using digital technologies, archaeologists can interact with the historical record, to push the boundaries of interpretation and further our understanding of the past.

Williamsburg served as the capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and today is the site of the nation’s largest outdoor living history museum. Founded in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation seeks to engage people in the exploration of the revolutionary events and ideals that led to the establishment of a new nation. In addition to the standard conference activities, attendees will be able to participate in workshops and courses related to digital applications, take behind-the-scenes tours to learn how history is made interactive, and experience what life was like in the 18th century.

Exhibitor space
at CAA 2009 is still available. For more information, including registration details, please visit


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Attention Geomagic Users

DDI Lead Designer Jeff Mechlinski presenting at last year's Geomagic Convergence

The Geomagic Convergence Conference is a three day summit designed specifically for DSSP (Digital Shape Sampling and Processing). 3D technology experts and industry leaders from around the world will gather together to share know-how, exchange ideas and best practices. The goal is to provide you with the knowledge, new ideas and a wealth of business contacts to enable you and your company to succeed in the market place.

DDI president and chief engineer Michael Raphael will be a featured speaker at the conference, which runs February 24-26, 2009 in Savannah, GA. If you are a Direct Dimensions Geomagic customer, you should seriously consider attending this event. Contact us for further information and please visit the Convergence '09 website for more information.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Five More Patriotic Projects

We had a blast pulling together January’s “Presidential” newsletter but even we were overwhelmed by how many important projects we’ve worked on in the realm of American history. We couldn’t fit them all in our newsletter so here are five more that we love, in reverse order:

5. The Liberty Bell / The Normandy Liberty Bell - DDI has had the privilege to laser scan Philadelphia's Liberty Bell on numerous occasions. The data we acquired during these scans has been used in several projects, including exact and modified replicas. In 2004, we were commissioned to help create a replica bell without the iconic crack to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the August 6th, 1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy Beach by Allied forces. Following a ceremony in Normandy, France on this anniversary weekend, the completed bell was returned to the U.S. and now rests in Philadelphia.

4. Louis XVI Portrait Frame - DDI had the opportunity to scan a priceless painted portrait frame that had been gifted by France's King Louis XVI to George Washington. A representative section of the ornate frame was 3D laser scanned and the resulting data was digitally modeled into a format suitable for replication. A foam prototype of the frame was produced initially and a milled replica is to be created some in several different materials.

3. “Young Ben” Franklin - DDI laser scanned a three-foot tall bronze bust of a youthful Ben Franklin. The sculpture, which is displayed in the University of Pennsylvania's on-campus bookstore, shows the founding father as a young man. The data captured in the laser scan was digitally modeled and used to produce high resolution prototype miniatures of the bust. These prototypes were then used as casting patterns for 8" and 12" bronze replicas.

2. The Lincoln Memorial – Two months after 9/11, Direct Dimensions laser scanned portions of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC for historical documentation of the ornate design. We were able to capture the marble sculpture of Abraham Lincoln himself, as well as the columns and engravings surrounding him. The scans were aligned together to produce an integrated digital model of the monument that can be used to exactly reproduce the original model.

1. Riding In Style – And for the neatest Presidential-related project, in late 2004, DDI scanned the inside seating area of a unique, highly armored vehicle in Washington, D.C.. We'd love to spill our secret further because this was seriously one of the coolest projects we’ve ever done, but we’re not allowed to say any more about this particular project – for obvious reasons.

You can read about more projects here.


Mattie Stepanek Follow-up

Photo by Ed Tenney

Last week, Oprah Winfrey aired a touching remembrance of Mattie Stepanek on her show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. The segment included the October 2008 dedication of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in Rockville, Maryland, including footage of the Mattie sculpture which Direct Dimensions helped sculptor Jimilu Mason to produce.

Her tribute also included a beautifully-done video tribute to the young poet, which can be viewed on her memorial page, Remembering Mattie.

You can read more about the Mattie Stepanek Memorial sculpture in our blog archives, or in our DDI project portfolio.