How digital technologies are helping rebuild Notre Dame

Digitization How digital technologies are helping rebuild Notre Dame

Shocking photos spread around the world on the evening of April 15, 2019: The French cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris caught fire. The fire brigade managed to trace the fire to the wooden roof structure, but the damage was significant. Now the monument will be rebuilt as closely as possible – supported by digital technologies.

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The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, which was severely damaged in April 2019, will be rebuilt as faithfully as possible. It is good that there are digital technologies.

(Image: Autodesk)

In April 2019, a fire destroyed the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and severely damaged the city’s landmarks. Now the architectural monument will be reconstructed – as with the original as possible. The public institution, dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris, is collaborating with Autodesk to implement the project. The software provider supports retrieval with technical expertise, design and manufacturing techniques, including Building Information Modeling (BIM).

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The cloud-based platform brings stakeholders together

The Public Foundation, dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, takes a digital approach to rebuilding the monument: The focus is on developing a data environment and a central cloud-based platform for all stakeholders involved in the project – in this way, all parties can access the existing data and plans and are done Always updated.

BIM technology enables intelligent data and 3D engineering modeling processes, which are also available via the shared platform. This creates digital historical records that can also be used for future restorations – so planners can revert to current data and don’t have to start from scratch.

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Realistic models of Notre Dame

A special challenge in restoring a cathedral: it must be rebuilt as original as possible. To this end, Autodesk first created a 3D BIM model of the monument as it existed before the fire using “reality capture” techniques. In a second step, a 3D model of the building in its present state after the fire was developed for comparison.

3D model of Notre Dame before the fire using unique surveying techniques. Autodesk has hired a team to use reality capture tools to digitally scan the building. The team took tens of thousands of measurements and photos of the memorial, resulting in billions of data points about the building’s exact specifications. All this information is contained in a central 3D model that gives all project participants access to the most recent project data and plans.

Nicholas Mangon, Autodesk Vice President of AEC Strategy

Realistic 3D models thanks to Reality Capture

Reality capture is an imaging software that creates 3D models from irregular images or layered laser scans. Reality capture is currently used in the fields of cultural heritage, whole body scanning, gaming, surveying, mapping, visual effects, and virtual reality in general.

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Frank Mccarthy

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