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The National Park Service (NPS) created a detailed 3-D model of the USS Arizona using Autodesk's reality computing technology, subsea LiDAR, SONAR and underwater photogrammetry in a first-ever use of all of these technologies together to form a single coherent model.

Few models exist of the 1910-era battleship – the last dating back more than 30 years was compiled from hand drawings – and great care and every possible precaution had to be taken to avoid disturbing the ship, which is considered an active military cemetery. Autodesk employed a variety of laser scanning technologies, such as those often used for BIM projects, to scan the memorial above, and a unique laser scanner, designed for underwater inspection of oil wells, to scan the sunken remains of the USS Arizona below.

The first results of the survey still in progress detail intricate 3-D printed models of a cooking pot and bottle of Coke found in the ship's galley.

The printed model is only the first step for the preservation and education process. Eventually a 3-D model will educate visitors in person and online, while 3-D printed "artifacts" will allow allow a more immersive experience for visitors to the memorial.

These high-quality models also will allow the NPS to track deterioration on the USS Arizona

“The USS Arizona Memorial is such an important, yet fragile, piece of history,” said Autodesk Vice President Brian Mathews. “Reality computing is an emerging concept that bridges the physical and digital worlds, and Autodesk sees great potential in supporting the National Park Service and preservationists around the world with reality computing technology to capture, analyze and communicate these stories of our past for future generations.”

Other organizations involved in the survey include: HDR, Sam Hirota, Inc., Oceanic Imaging Consultants, Inc., 3DatDepth, Shark Marine Technologies, Inc., United States Coast Guard, and the U.S. Navy Mobile Diving Salvage Unit One.


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