Using lasers as the “eyes of an engineer” can be a very effective way of determining how a structure needs to be fixed in order to achieve maximum stability and long lasting structural integrity. A 3-D scan provides engineers with a model that looks very similar to the computer generated imagery used in the classic movie “Tron.” Using this technology paired with the engineering skills gained from the study of math and science, engineers can interpret a model and make recommendations to clients. This process also saves a massive amount of time for engineers, who would normally have to manually make measurements on difficult pieces of land.
This process isn’t just used for scanning areas of land and current building structures, but also used for restoring old ships, according to this blog entry from Gizmodo. The entry speaks about the restoration of the world’s last great whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan. The wooden ship was scanned with lasers and X-ray technology to determine where its weak spots are, so that a $10 million restoration could begin.
According to the piece, the boat should be restored by 2012, but that whaling will not be possible. At this point, the boat will be preserved for history’s sake. Without 3-D scanning technology, the last whaling boat in the world would be gone forever.