The new Roger Williams Park Self-Guided Tour is the perfect way to learn about the Park’s art and architecture on your own and with your friends and family. In addition to learning about the history and artist of each site, the tour has several interactive 3D-scans that you can use to see details of monuments even as large as the Temple to Music. Local firm Functional 3D-scans donated these scans for you to learn from. They are gradually adding more so be sure to check your favorite monument or let us know if you have a site you would love them to scan next.

We talked recently with Christopher Wilczewski, founder of Functional 3D-scans to find out about this technology and his love of Roger Williams Park.

Scanning the Temple to Music

Tell us about Functional 3D-scans. Who are you guys and what are you doing with this technology?
Functional 3D is a 3D scanning services, sales and consulting Company.  We support industries of all sizes stay competitive by offering access to both the hardware and expertise necessary.  Industries served include historical preservation, manufacturing, design/reverse engineering as well as commercial construction.  We can help anytime someone needs a digital twin or copy of something in the real world.
What made you so interested in this technology?
Technology and consulting has always been at the heart of my career starting in the computer department at Sears while still in High School.  About five years ago I started working for one of the premier manufactures of 3D Scanning, FARO Technologies in Florida.  There I was able to not only use the equipment but see all the amazing value this technology brought to countless industries.  Constructions projects can be completed more efficiently, accurately and reduce costs when implemented.  Manufacturers can digitize old or hand-made molds to be used with more modern manufacturing and digital copies of the real world can be brought into film, television or even give you a glimpse of the inside of the Apollo capsule from you phone or tablet (something the Smithsonian recently did).  My constant curiosity combined with the capacity and value of scanning has pushed me to continue seeking new ways to use it and bring value to those who are not.

Scanning the Pablo Duarte Memorial

What made you interested in scanning monuments and buildings in Roger Williams Park?
I am just a genuine fan of the park and what it has to offer our community.  The sprawling size offers new places to explore every time visiting and the monuments are just wonderful (and sometimes kind of hidden) gems of the park.  The monuments, in particular, give an amazing glimpse into what has been important to my (new to me) hometown.  It also reminds me of some of the nation’s most well-known city parks, such as Grant (Millenium) Park in Chicago (near where I grew up), Central Park in New York City, or Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. At least that is how I describe it to those who come to visit!
What kinds of things did you see out there? Did your scans surprise you?
Being new to the area, I always enjoy my time in the park, capturing monuments or otherwise!  I wouldn’t say the scans themselves surprise me, although while capturing the Temple to Music I was serenaded by a string trio practicing and immediately turned off my podcast to enjoy their work (if you’re not following the Newport String Project, you should!).
What sort of things should people look for in your interactive 3-D images of Roger Williams Park monuments?
If you can load them on a compatible Android or iPhone through the Chrome browser, do so and click the AR Button!  You can then put the monument in your room or another park, and even take a selfie with them!
Care to tell us anything else about Functional 3D-scans?
Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and if you’re working on anything from historical preservation, manufacturing, art, design, construction or anything you think could benefit from being scanned, let us know!  We would be happy to learn, understand, bounce ideas and give any feedback on ways we think 3D Scanning could provide value.  I will also be presenting 3D Capture Technologies in the Virtual Vanguard Discussion for the upcoming Preservation Conference RI alongside Adam Blumenthal of Brown University and Leslie B. Jones of the Preservation Society of Newport County.

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