Sunday, September 11, 2011

Direct Dimensions Contributes to 9/11 Memorial of Maryland

The 68 Marylanders who lost their lives on 9/11 will be honored today when the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland is unveiled in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. The Memorial, designed by Ziger/Snead, incorporates three steel beams from the World Trade Center, three limestone blocks from the west wall of the Pentagon and three black granite pieces representing the Flight 93 site in Shanksville, PA.

The 9/11 Memorial of Maryland is unique among other state memorials in its design; rather than incorporating the artifacts into a new structure or piece of art the designers felt that leaving the beams in their original state offered a powerful and reverent memorial of the event.

One of the first steps in creating the design was documenting the existing condition of the beams. Due to the extensive damage it would be nearly impossible to document them using traditional methods. It was also important that whatever process was used to record the measurements not come into contact with these historically important pieces.

These two factors lead the team at Ziger/Snead to Direct Dimensions to learn about how cutting edge 3D laser scanning and 3D imaging could be used to capture the beams for the purposes of planning and design. Of course, Direct Dimensions' President Michael Raphael and the DDI team of engineers were excited to tackle such a unique 3D scan while also helping a worthy cause.

The Direct Dimensions team ultimately utilized two different scanners to capture the massive and complex steel beams. The Surphaser HSX Spherical Laser scanner and the new handheld Mantis Vision F5 scanner were used to digitally capture the complex artifacts in just a few hours. Both of these scanners were able to capture the exact measurements of the beams without ever touching them.

The data acquired from the scan, in the form of large point clouds, was digitally modeled and delivered to the designers. According to Ziger/Snead the 3D model can be used in a variety of ways including using it for 3D printing a scale model of the beams, using the 3D models for placement on the project site and construction questions, and using it for the design of structural supports and fasteners.

The monument will be officially unveiled today in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

You can visit the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland project page to learn more about the creation of the memorial.