MakerBot At Work: Scanning And Printing Bay Bridge Cables

I’ve  been working on a strategy for physically attaching the lights for the Bay Lights Project in San Francisco, and we needed a section of the bridge suspension cable to test things. Chopping out a section from the bridge is naturally out of the question, but fortunately we have some really cool tools at our disposal.

Our team went on to the bridge, and photographed the cable from all sides. Using 123D Catch, I made a 3D model, and then printed out a section. Presto, we’re all set, with an accurate model of a section of cable!

Bay Lights Team

The intrepid Bay Lights lighting team on-site

This short video shows how easy it was to generate the 3D model and print it. The scan needed only minor automatic repairs using Netfabb Studio Basic, and printed really easily.

I’ll be posting more details of the lighting solution as it develops. Very excited that having a MakerBot made it possible to set up a realistic prototyping setup for this project in a way that would have been almost inconceivable just a few years ago.