Wednesday, June 30, 2010

15 Great Projects Over the Past 15 Years

Over the past 15 years we've worked on many truly incredible projects. From art and architecture to aerospace and automotive, and these are just the A's. Below are 15 of our favorites, one from each year, and it wasn't easy to choose.

1995: Olympic Sculpture Brought to Life - One of our first 3D sculpture projects way back in our founding year, was to digitize a 4-foot model of a sculpture to help fabricate a monumental sized public art piece for the 1996 Olympics Games in Atlanta. Our 3D data was used for structural analysis.
1996: Power Generation Components - We reverse engineered our first compressor, impeller, turbine blade, and diaphragm way back in 1996 for upgrading power plants. Back then we used contact digitizers before the laser scanners of today existed.
1997: Recreating Unique Automobiles – One of our earliest historic automotive projects was digitizing a one-of-a-kind 1951 Cunningham roadster, considered the first modern American sports car. Our data was used to create reproductions.
1998: Digitizing the Wright Propellers - To recreate the Wright Bro.’s first flight from 1903 in honor of the 2003 centennial, an airplane reproduction company asked us to reverse engineer original propellers from several historic Wright planes. We collaborated with the US Army in Edgewood.
1999: 3D Digital Facial Prosthetics – Back in 1999 we scanned our first ear to make a medical prosthesis. We scanned a plaster cast of an ear and mirrored it to create a digital version of the missing opposite ear. This digital file was also used to make an RP for a surgical guide.

2000: Aircraft OML Scanning for Analysis – Early in the new decade we scanned our first of many "outside mold line" aircraft exteriors for CFD analysis. Back then we used a laser tracker, today we use the amazing Surphaser.
2001: Lincoln Memorial Scan - Just weeks after 9/11, the U.S. Gov't called with a very special request. They wanted to see how 3D scanning could digitally preserve monuments and artifacts in case of catastrophe. We demonstrated this with Abe at the Lincoln Memorial.
2002: Monumental Church 'Monument' - We traveled to Richmond, VA to 3D laser scan a decaying marble monument from 1811. Our completely restored digital model enabled the rebuilding of a new monument exactly as it was designed originally.
2003: Ray Lewis Marble Bust – We scanned Baltimore Raven's player Ray Lewis and made a beautiful life-like marble bust which was auctioned off for his charity. Since then we've done Amelia, Kelly Ripa, and Natalie Portman. Oh boy!
2004: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – We laser scanned and digitally restored the Tomb of the Unknowns. Our 3D digital model may be used one day to fabricate a replacement for the cracked monument.
2005: Scanning the Liberty Bell - One of our most significant efforts ever has been our work with the Liberty Bell. We have scanned it three times over 6 years with increasingly better technology. Today we have a fingerprint level digital model of this famous icon.
2006: 3D Animated Political Cartoons – We have a lot of fun working with renowned political cartoonist - Kal. We scanned his exaggerated clay sculptures, including George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama so he could make 3D animated political cartoons.
2007: 3D Scanning Helps U.S. Solider – For years we've worked with Johns Hopkins to develop radical new methods for 3D digital prosthetics. In 2007 we helped create a new nose for a soldier wounded in Iraq. This was truly one of our most rewarding projects and it was later featured on CNN.
2008: Laser Scanning Buildings for BIM – As early adopters of long range scanning for historic preservation as well as ships and airplanes, its logical to also scan and model large building structures. Often these models feed into BIM for downstream re-design and analysis.
2009: Scanning Aircraft with the Surphaser – We are constantly testing new 3D products from all over the world. This year we implemented the Surphaser as a fantastic new scanning tool for a wide range of projects - from cars to airplanes and everything in between!

2010: Matisse Sculpture 3D Analysis - A major art exhibition opened at MoMA in New York featuring extensive technical analysis of Matisse's "Back" sculptures. Our team played a huge role with our various 3D technologies for scanning, modeling, and analyzing the pieces for this important and unique exhibit.

Our team at Direct Dimensions, combined with our tools, history, experience, and skills, is quite unique in the United States and perhaps the entire world. We simply don't know of another organization with the variety of tools and talent that we've accumulated over the past 15 years. The above glimpse into 15 projects over our first 15 years amazes us and should amaze you too. It is very exciting to look back but even more exciting to think about what the next 15 years will bring.

Thanks for reading thru this and we welcome your feedback and reposts to your friends about this amazing list.

From your 3D friends at Direct Dimensions.



Unknown said...

The breath of projects you have done is opening our minds (and markets!) to the potential uses of laser scanning as a tool to an end.

Congratulations for taking on challenging projects and for the technical expertise in adapting your skills to challenging endeavors.