This poster was presented at the 3D Digital Documentation Summit held July 10-12, 2012 at the Presidio, San Fransisco, CA.

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Recording Structure and Process: HAER 3D Digital Documentation Methods

For many historic engineering works the structure’s historical significance is based on its structural design. This is especially true for bridges. By understanding the structural composition of bridge trusses we learn how American engineers solved transportation challenges using available materials and a variety of engineering solutions. HD scanning has greatly enhanced the Historic American Engineering Record’s (HAER) ability to record structures and create accurate drawings that reveal structural design. However, we find that scanning must be accompanied by other documentation methods. In the field, scanning must be accompanied by hands-on investigation, field notes, and measurements. After completion of field work it is necessary to process scan data into a more readable end-product. Within our workflow, we consider scan data a powerful field-note that informs and guides the creation of 3D models and 2D drawings. We find it is necessary for pointclouds to be sifted through and edited considerably make the best use of its data. This data is used in conjunction with other information gathered in the field as well as consultation with historians and other experts. The goal of our documentation, as stated in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Architectural and Engineering Documentation, Standard I, is to convey “the historic significance of the building, site, structure or object” to future and present generations of “scholars, researchers, preservationists, architects, engineers and others interested in preserving and understanding historic properties.” We find that scan data alone simply does not contain sufficient information to adequately understand an engineering structure. This poster will illustrate the ways HAER uses scan data and 3D modeling to create exploded isometrics, process drawings, connection details, and drawings that convey the historic significance of engineering works.

Author’s Biography

Jeremy Mauro is an architect with the Heritage Documentation Programs of the National Park Service, based in Washington, DC.  His recent work includes the documentation of cabins in Curry Village, Yosemite National Park; the Forsythe Covered Bridge in Rush County, Indiana; and the Duck Creek Aqueduct in Metamora, Indiana.  His current work explores methods to create documentation that places NASA rocket test stands within their surroundings by merging topographical data with 3D models.


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