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Tim Dobrinich


3D Scanning Project Recaptures History in Commemoration of Abraham Lincoln

Published: Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 13:07

Earlier this spring, thousands of people from all over the nation gathered in Springfield, IL, to honor the life of our beloved President Abraham Lincoln. After his death in 1865, his body was carried hundreds of miles by a funeral train. It passed through more than a hundred cities, with formal ceremonies in 12 cities, before arriving to Springfield, his final resting place. Millions of people witnessed the procession or viewed his body first hand.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s death. The special events and reenactments that took place in Springfield would not have been complete without the Abraham Lincoln hearse at the center of it all.

The original hearse was tragically destroyed in 1887 by a fire at the Lynch & Arnot stables in St. Louis, MO. All that was left was the photo and two silver plate medallions. But that did not stop the Staab Family Livery in Springfield from gathering historians, craftsmen, and a combat veterans’ build team to reverse engineer and recreate this historic vehicle.

Among those who helped ensure the authenticity of the hearse was TriMet, a metrology sales and service company based in Fenton, MO. With expert skills in 3D scanning and CAD modeling, the company was selected to reverse engineer the medallion that would be prominently displayed on the hearse.

The silver plate engraved with President Lincoln’s initials and the phrases “In Memoriam” and “Springfield May 4th, 1865” was commissioned by Mr. G.N. Lynch to adorn the hearse. It is believed that the plate was removed shortly after the funeral and presented as a token of esteem to St. Louis Mayor James Thomas. He had been instrumental in facilitating the loan and the transportation of the hearse from St. Louis to Springfield. This is the last known major relic from the vehicle.

When P.J. Staab of Staab Livery approached TriMet about recreating the medallion, he wanted a deliverable product for machining. The team was ready to take on the challenge from scanning the medallion to creating an STL file, which is widely used across different 3D printing, modeling, and CAM programs.

Using a ROMER Absolute arm and scanner, TriMet performed a high-density scan on the front and back of the medallion, and worked with the data using PolyWorks software. After the raw scan data was complete, TriMet’s Mitch Fields aligned the front- and back-side scans together, and proceeded to create a watertight STL file to be used in the machining process. The file was sent on to Richardson Machine in Springfield, where the final product was produced, as shown in the photo.

TriMet is among the many individuals and companies that contributed to the recreation of this compelling piece of history. The nation will be forever grateful to be reconnected once again to the “Healing Spirit of Abraham Lincoln.”

TriMet’s core management team has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. The company is a trusted supplier of high-end metrology products and professional services, such as inspection, reverse engineering, 3D scanning for 3D printing, CAD modeling, and other innovative services for use in sectors such as aerospace, automotive, and general manufacturing.


About The Author

Tim Dobrinich

Tim Dobrinich, the owner of TriMet, has 28 years of experience in metrology. Tim began his career at Mc Donnell Douglas in St. Louis in 1987 were he worked with portable metrology and CAD programs. Tim continued his career at ROMER / Hexagon as an applications engineer, regional manager, international manager of Europe and Director of Sales Midwest USA. Tim founded TriMet in 2009 with industry veterans Mitch Fields and Kevin Fields. The company specializes in metrology sales and professional services with an emphasis on 3D scanning technologies.