Skip to main content

ARTEC Eva 3D scans its first submarine

Who can tell how much heritage has been destroyed by time, man and nature? Countless monuments and artefacts have been lost forever, leaving traces only in manuscripts, books, photos and memories of the lucky ones to have seen them. But things have changed with the advent of 3D scanning as more and more institutes and museums have started to embrace the technology to save precious and fragile legacy in 3D.

Artec 3D scanners have been used extensively to digitize museum collections and historical sites, from scanning Assyrian reliefs at the British Museum to 3D capturing excavation sites with fossilized bones of prehistoric animals and hominids in Kenya.

The extent of heritage preservation is not confined to antiques and fossils, though. Artefacts of more recent history also need to be conserved. One of the examples of such artefacts is this Biber mini-submarine that has been 3D scanned by Artec’s Dutch partner Erwin Kanters, the head of the 3D tech company Miniyours.


The Biber, the German for beaver, was the smallest, one-man submarine in the Kriegsmarine, the navy of Nazi Germany. It could carry mines and two torpedoes attached to each side of the hull and was used to attack ships off the Belgian and Dutch coasts during World War II.

The submarine was developed in less than six weeks in February 1944 with the view to helping repel the imminent invasion of the Allies. The haste resulted in some serious construction flaws, which meant that pilots operating the Biber were virtually on a death mission. Between January and April 1945, 109 Bibers were sent on operations and only 32 survived.

The Biber scanned with Artec Eva sank before it saw action. The submarine was discovered buried deep in the silt of a river in the Netherlands a few years ago, and the Dutch maritime heritage foundation Stichting Maritiem Erfgoed K-Verband asked Erwin Kanters to 3D scan it in order to capture its measurements for restoration and preservation.

“Because all the metal was old and dented, it was quite easy to scan as we had enough features on the surface of the metal,” Erwin says.


Using Eva connected to a battery pack, which ensures stable scanning in places where there is no source of electricity, Erwin scanned the hull, the propeller and the torpedoes. Even though the Biber is a mini-submarine, it was quite a large object for the scanner, and taking into account all the ribs and gaps that needed to be captured, scanning took one full day, generating 10 files of raw data 3GB each.


“I found it useful to make multiple files and scan the submarine in sections to get maximum accuracy, as each section took quite a number of scans,” Erwin says. “I find Artec Studio very fast and easy to use. Although I prefer to do post-processing manually, the automated post-processing is simply amazing! Artec Studio algorithms help a lot in processing. I especially like constrained alignment with loop closure.”



Erwin processed the propeller and parts of the hull, and the larger part of processing was done by the foundation’s staff. They are now reconstructing the Biber, planning to put it on display in the future, which may take some time as it was badly damaged.

Artec3D Scanners are available from Objective3D. For more information, contact us at 03-9785 2333 (AUS), 09-801 0380 (NZ) or email us at enquiries@objective3d.com.au

Popular posts from this blog

Delivering High Quantities of Prototypes Fast

Objective3D Direct Manufacturing produces parts using a range of additive and conventional manufacturing technologies. We offer tailored solutions for your project’s needs. If your project requires larger quantities of small parts – fast, Laser Sintering is the best technological solution for you. Per-part pricing is reduced as quantities increase, but there are more advantages to using Laser Sintering for small prototypes than price alone.

Laser Sintering (LS) provides strong, versatile and geometrically intricate components made from filled and un-filled nylon materials that are ideal for fit and form verification and functional testing. Prototypes made with LS are created quickly and offer robust solutions for your project.
FAST Delivery Laser Sintering can provide sturdy, functional prototypes as little as 24 hours. Multi-component designs can be incorporated into single structures, allowing engineers to produce complex features and geometries in one print, and eliminating the need…

Commodore Ute to US: 100,000 votes needed!

According to The Age Drive and an article by Barry Park, we are again set to export our Commodore Ute to the US.

The article is as follows:

US website rallies to GM's Twitter call of 'If you ask for an El Camino ute, we'll do it'.

An off-the-cuff quip from General Motors' newly appointed chief marketing officer could be just the thing to help Holden's cause to sell the Commodore ute in the US.

Joel Ewanick, who made the jump from Hyundai to the US car maker late last year, recently joined the social networking service Twitter. He soon started interacting with Chevrolet fans, with many of them asking for the car maker to re-introduce a vehicle based on a cross between a truck (ute) and a car.

In response to one passionate request for a new-age El Camino, Ewanick wrote: ''Well, we need you and 100,000 more of your best friends.''

Advertisement: Story continues below That was enough for US motoring website Jalopnik, which is now on a campaign to collect…

Canberra para-athlete Scott Reardon wins gold with 3D Printed Spike Plates

Canberra para-athlete Scott Reardon has sprinted his way to gold at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha with victory in the T42 100m for leg amputees.

The fastest qualifier coming into the finals, Reardon, using a 3D Printed Spike Plate, got his nose in front to stop the clock in a time of 12.13 seconds - a mere one-hundredth of a second in front of Russia's Anton Prokhorov.
It was sweet revenge for Reardon, the 25-year-old having to share the gold medal two years ago at the world championships in Lyon in 2013 with Germany's Heinrich Popow​.
"You come to championships to win championships and that's the most important thing," Reardon said.
"I probably didn't get the time I wanted, but when people look back, how I got there won't matter. "It will just show me as world champion, and that's so exciting."
The result is the culmination of more than a decade of determination and training.

The Spike Plates which Reardon used in the …