RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK –Raindrop Geomagic is helping Texas Tech University, the National Park Service, and the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) create digital architectural drawings of the Statue of Liberty.

Texas Tech is capturing the statue’s architecture with 3D laser scanning technology and geometry processing software that automatically generates an accurate digital model from the scan data.

The team collected the data using a Cyrax 2500 3D laser scanner capable of capturing 800 points per second and tested at 6mm accuracy. Researchers spent four 14-hour days in New York harbor scanning different points around the statue.

Back in Texas, the research team used Geomagic Studio from Raindrop Geomagic of Research Triangle Park. Geomagic Studio takes scanned data and automatically generates highly accurate polygon and NURBS surface models.

The first step in Texas Tech’s process was to take the 16 million data points and align them into a polygonal surface. The next challenge was to create a NURBS surface.

Even though the team used a scanner specially made for large objects, it can only scan what’s in its line of sight. So any overlap or undercut on the statue wasn’t captured.

Normally, holes and imperfections can be fixed automatically in Geomagic Studio. But, because this is a historical record, the researchers must first document each hole that must be filled.

The fills must also be recorded as part of the permanent documentation. If permission is not granted, Texas Tech will use Geomagic to surface the parts separately.

The end goal of the project is still months away, but with new technologies such as those provided by Geomagic Studio, the team has already saved weeks in production time.


Texas Tech: