Hands down, this 1940s blast furnace gas engine is the largest object we’ve ever scanned here at Artec, and probably one of the biggest industrial structures ever captured in 3D with such a fine level of detail and accuracy. At 26 meters long, 10.5 meters wide, and 6.5 meters high, weighing 1,100 tons, the Groussgasmaschinn is the largest gas engine ever built – it’s so big it could hold an entire tennis court. Located in a former steel mill in Luxembourg, the engine is now part of the collection of the Luxembourg Science Center, and a national treasure of Luxembourg. In 2021, the Science Center team reached out to the Artec 3D HQ in Luxembourg with a request to help preserve the Groussgasmaschinn in 3D.
To capture such a large and complex object in 3D, we decided to use two scanners that would fit the bill: Artec Ray was used as the primary scanner for capturing the entire engine, due to its ability to scan large objects from a distance with submillimeter accuracy, while Artec Leo, a wireless, portable 3D scanner, captured high levels of detail from the smaller parts and hard-to-reach areas that Ray couldn’t easily scan.
First, our team scanned the entire engine with Ray from multiple angles, five to 15 meters away from the engine, including a few top shots made from a cabin hanging 10 meters above the floor. Then, following the same scanning route, they went on and scanned the smaller parts of the engine with Leo.
Overall, it took the team four working days to complete the scanning stage of the project. The engine was scanned from 18 different angles with Artec Ray, and these scans were later combined with Leo scans in Artec Studio for processing into a final mesh file. The final 3D model consisted of 350 million polygons, which were then reduced to 15 million polygons for faster loading and easier online viewing.
To learn more about the engine and the entire scanning & processing workflow, check out this case study.