Digital Capture for Physical Posterity

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Outputs from the current digital capture processes prove that buildings, structures, and assests can be captured as 3d models. These models can then be printed  in multiple materials and scales. This technology readily available thanks to cloud computing, low cost of entry, and 3d printing. 

The physical equipment can start with a something as simple as a basic laptop with internet access to the latest in drone technology with a high resolution digital camera. The question is what are you trying to accomplish? 

  • Cloud computing has removed the expensive powerful desktop workstation needed to compile to create a model. The heavy lifting of digital stitching the dataset with algorithms is done with massive databanks of computers offering cloud process once the information is uploaded.
  • Low cost of entry of this technology is capable thanks to internet processing, and affordable digital capture options (phones, digital cameras, drones, laser scanners, even google earth). The software prowess needed to operate the right workflow is all within reach thanks free learning courtesy of youtube, online forums, and google. 
  • 3d printers create the physical. You can own a printer, use an online service to print, build a printer, or hire out services onsite. Mediums include plastic's, concrete, precious metals, and organics. Scalability allows for something as small as you can hold in your hand to as large as a building.

With heavy lifting done by cloud computing the most important part becomes thedataset it is given. These datasets range from cell phones, digital cameras, laser scanners, drones, and even google earth. The better the photo quality and metadata, the better the archival accuracy. 



Gen. Lee Monument, New Orleans LA, National Historic Registry  1884-201?'s



drone w/digital camera -> dataset -> Autodesk Memento -> Autodesk Meshmaker -> Makerbot Replicator -> physical object




 Point Cloud File - Photogammetry File - Online Model - Makerbot Printer File 


So what is all of this good for to the AEC community? Digital models for architects & engineers to work with, verification & documentation of existing assets, 3D scale models, and historical preservation all come to mind. The real beauty is that this allows us the power to give anything posterity. Once captured properly, that object is accessible forever. 


Thanks to Danny Landry of LandBros for assisting with the drone technology making this capture possible. 

Myles M Martin AIA LEED AP
Follow me on Twitter @M3arch
Meetup with me monthly at the 'New Orleans area Revit User Group' (

Myles M. Martin


As a LEED-certified Architect, Myles has been a member of the Rozas Ward team for seven years. He attended LSU University for architecture school and worked for several architecture firms after college. He even worked as a contractor to learn the materials and details first-hand. After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Myles returned, putting his skills to work to help rebuild the city.

Committed to keeping Rozas Ward at the forefront of technology, Myles launched the local NOLA Revit user group focusing on BIM software used at the firm. He’s a versatile, hands-on professional who enjoys engaging others and applying his skills and technology to any project, of any size, in any industry.

Myles knew he wanted to be an architect from the time he was creating structures out of Legos as a child. He sees every project as a new challenge and doesn’t ever anticipate getting bored.

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Myles M. Martin