9/11 World Trade Center Memorial

3D Scanning Helps Design the State of Maryland’s 9/11 Memorial

Projects - 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial

The 68 Marylanders who lost their lives on September 11th were honored when the “9/11 Memorial of Maryland” was unveiled in a ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of the tragic event. Our CEO, Michael Raphael and his wife Rachel, attended the dedication ceremony to mark Direct Dimensions’ technical contributions to the project. See ceremony images here.

The Memorial, designed by architects at Ziger/Snead, also located in Baltimore, incorporates three original 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 more powerful and reverent memorial of the event.

In order to determine the precise positioning as needed for this design, the architects required an assessment of the complex geometry of the artifact. This led the architect team at Ziger/Snead to contact our engineering team at Direct Dimensions – to employ 3D laser scanning and digital modeling.

We used two types of 3D scanning technologies to capture the geometry of the steel beams. The Surphaser HSX Spherical Laser scanner scanned the overall shape while the new handheld Mantis Vision F5 scanner 3D imaged the inside and undercut areas. All work was performed on-site within just a few hours.

The raw data acquired from the two systems, both in the form of dense 3D “point clouds,” was imported into PolyWorks software to be aligned and ultimately converted into a watertight 3D mesh model with all the details of the actual mangled steel.

Ziger/Snead used the 3D digital model for various purposes including determining the exact placement on the site, fabrication and construction dimensional questions, a fly-thru animation of the memorial design, and to make a physical scale model of the beams using 3D printing.

Direct Dimensions was proud to contribute our technical capabilities to this incredibly important project.

You can visit the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland project page to learn more about the creation of the memorial, this site for more on the 3D imaging technology that Direct Dimensions used, and more on our contribution efforts on our blog.