Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers

Tomb of the Unknowns Gets New Lease on Life: Digital Copy of Cracked Tomb Enables Creation of Exact Duplicate

Projects - Tomb of the Unknowns

The Tomb of the Unknowns is cracked. Located in Arlington National Cemetery, the monument honors unidentified Americans killed in battle and attracts 4 million visitors per year. The crack which circles the monument 1½ times has raised concerns that it takes away from the national symbol of pride and also poses a risk of structural damage. In 2001, officials at the cemetery approved a project to make an exact digital copy of the tomb which would then be used to carve an identical new tomb out of marble from the original quarry.

On November 30, 2004 Maryland-based Direct Dimensions, Inc. used specialized scanning cameras, lasers, and portable coordinate measuring machines to digitally measure every aspect of the Tomb.