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The 3D art behind America's great engineering projects

With the Historic American Engineering Record, the National Park Service and the Library of Congress are celebrating some of the country's best engineering projects.

A 3D model of the Space Shuttle Discovery, generated from a point cloud of data on the NASA spacecraft. National Park Service/Historic American Engineering Record

If you're a fan of America's long and storied history of great engineering, the National Park Service has got something for you.

On Monday, the park service's Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Autodesk and kubit will announce the technological process of documenting these structures, a process that resulted in a broad collection of 3D imagery of projects like the Space Shuttle Discovery, as well as NASA launching pads, famous bridges, and more. The imagery was used to generate what are known as "point clouds" of data that, together, show a 3D version of the object.

Based on the point cloud image, HAER built detailed 3D models and 2D drawings of many of the country's engineering feats, and now the HAER archives will be housed at the Library of Congress.