Raising high above the stained glass, the giant boom holding one of the world’s best scanners stood tall at the alter. Now there’s something you don’t see every Sunday.
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Hartland, Wisconsin is about 110 years old. But what the church is doing with Exact Metrology today is bringing a long-time icon into the digital age and the surrounding community.
Mounted on the walls of the church’s sanctuary lies a giant, hand-carved wooden cross made by a local artist. We’ve used a Surphaser to scan the cross’ every detail. Why? While the icon has been admired by the church’s congregation for over 10 years, the Surphaser’s scanning capabilities will allow the church to reproduce the distinct details of the cross in smaller variations, thus extending its connection to the sculpture far beyond the church’s sanctuary.
How did we get here? Jeff Gratz had the vision about a year ago. As the long-time member was sitting in church gazing up at the wooden cross, he suddenly came to view it from a new perspective.
“I realized that we had this beautiful piece of art hanging in our church and many new members didn’t fully understand its history,” says Gratz. “And I began to wonder if there was a way to duplicate the exact cross hanging in the church on a smaller scale while staying true to the detail.”
Gratz’s first route was to enlist the help of a CAD professional to build a model, measuring the dimensions of the cross and working several hours on that model. However, in the end, what both men realized was that the CAD model simply couldn’t achieve the same detail as the original cross. So although he’d been granted permission to recreate the work by the artist, Gratz knew he wouldn’t be doing it justice going the CAD route.
Without a strong solution, the project began to stall and Gratz questioned if it would ever resume.
In the midst of researching online, Gratz stumbled upon an article about reverse engineering. It seemed like the scanning process could be done on small projects but could any device accurately scan the church’s mammoth cross?
The answer was yes.
As luck (or fate) would have it, Gratz also discovered Exact Metrology’s website, where he learned that not only we had the advanced hardware to scan the cross but that we had an office in Milwaukee nearby. The project immediately re-gathered steam.
For brilliantly scanning 3D digital images in a device that’s also very portable, our Surphaser scanner has regularly been one of our best options in a variety of remote locations. With a scan rate of up to 1.2 million points per second, projects like these can be completed in hours rather than days.
But of course, the object we were scanning wasn’t anywhere near eye level. We knew a project of this magnitude called for not only a Surphaser, but a boom that could secure the Surphaser over twenty feet in the air.
One of the primary benefits of using a Surphaser in tandem with a boom is that when you have a mounted object, such as a large cross on a church wall, you don’t have to remove that object whatsoever. In this case, such a task of taking the cross off, scanning it and putting it back would’ve been very labor-intensive. And who knows what kind of minor damage it could’ve potentially incurred during that movement?
Instead, the Surphaser was able to complete the scanning work with relative ease, enabling the cross to stay right in its native environment without moving an inch.
Now that Our Savior’s Lutheran Church has numerous ways to duplicate an exact replica of its most iconic object, a number of ideas are already taking shape – from using their cross on new brochures to having smaller versions available at community events.
If the concept of a scanner that can take between 50,000 to over 1,000,000 measurements per second blows your mind, you’re not alone. We find ourselves regularly in awe of it, too.
Able to complete 3D scans of any large space: be it a room, landscape or entire building, our long-range scanning technologies can obtain highly accurate, extremely detailed 3D scan data. And they do this fast.
How is this useful to you? Let us count the ways…
Most often used in construction, civil/survey and plant projects, long-range scanning is used:
Often surprised by just how much long-range scan results tell them, clients who come to Exact Metrology with a specific goal in mind often find that they benefit in many unexpected ways.
Thinking of applying our 3D scan technology to a construction project? Our digital 3D scan data can be used to measure raw material piles to determine how much material needs to be moved from a construction site. Topographical data from the scan can assist with planning the ideal contouring of a facility during the initial stages of a project.
Long-range scans can also be used to make sure that construction is taking place according to plan specifics, to inspect work stage by stage as it occurs and to uncover building impairment early, avoiding hassle and cost as the project progresses.
Are you an architect, looking to speed up your diagramming process? The architectural benefits of long-range 3D scanning are endless. Used to plan and complete restorations of existing buildings or plants, for 3D scale-up or scale-down models and to archive 3D renderings of an architect’s work in a virtual portfolio, firms turn to long-range scanning to save time and money on a variety of tasks.
For factories or plants, along with ensuring the safety and accuracy of construction, long-range 3D scan data can be used to create quick and economical drawings of the space as it is currently utilized. If a facility needs to move-in new equipment, reorganize or be refurbished, scan data can assist with the locating of pipes, wiring and additional obstacles and assist in planning for these site changes.
Long-range scanning has applications in the transportation realm, as well. Marine ship owners and/or builders can utilize long-range scanning for hull modeling and to analyze ship stability, in addition to benefits already mentioned. And scan data has also been collected on the exterior shells of aircrafts for use in air-flow analysis.
One of the most interesting applications of long-range scanning has been its use in crime scene investigations. Since long-range scanning is a non-contact measurement tool, able to collect extremely detailed data about an area without moving or touching anything present, the 3D images collected by scanners are incredibly useful to investigators. Able to recreate a digital, true-to-life view of the space where an accident or crime took place, these 3D scans are useful both in the crime lab and in the courtroom, alike.
At Exact Metrology, we’re proud of the toolbox we’ve assembled and are ready to address any and all of your long-range scanning needs. Bringing all the benefits of NDI & Leica optical trackers, Surphaser laser scanners and Leica spherical laser scanners to you, the technicians at Exact Metrology are both well-educated and well-equipped to provide you with thorough, accurate long-range scan results.
“Working with Exact Metrology has been great. Once I talked to their team, I became tremendously excited about getting the work done. I’m absolutely amazed at the detail and precision of the scanning technology to capture this object from all angles.”
– Jeff Gratz, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church