Digital Craftsmanship Delivers Eiffel Tower 0.5

Macau Eiffel Tower with resort

Macau Eiffel Tower

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14 September 2016 - The Eiffel Tower in Paris is one of the world’s most iconic structures, well-known for its distinctive architectural details. Although many replicas exist across the globe, few have come close to reproducing the intricate structure of the original, choosing instead to copy only the shape.

This has not deterred global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm, Aurecon, who embarked on an ambitious project: to recreate a structurally- and aesthetically-accurate replica of the famed original, at half its size. This was the brief from the client, Sands China Ltd., a subsidiary of resorts giant Las Vegas Sands Corp, who wanted to recreate the romance of the iconic structure and mark their integrated resort, The Parisian Macao, in the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

More Complex than Direct-Ratio Scaling

The concept of a direct-ratio scale replica may have seemed like a logical engineering process but the Aurecon team quickly discovered it did not apply to the replica.

“While the Eiffel Tower’s centre line and geometry is relatively easy to understand, the connectors which join each piece of the tower are not scaled like-for-like when the Tower is scaled down in size. Hence, you get a case where the centre line remains the same but the size differs. This made it difficult for us to recreate a ratio-specific half-scale model,” explained Marty Collins, Building Information Modelling Manager.

“In addition we are restricted in which features can be scaled down – for example walkways, stairs and ladders still have to be sized for practical use, so scaling to half their size was not an option.”

Working Creatively Around Software Limitations

There are many reasons why faithful replicas are challenging to build. One reason is local factors, such as building codes for wind-loading and other seismic vibrations, which will be specific to an individual country. Another is the lack of a straight-forward software solution to manage the intricate modelling and engineering work of such unorthodox designs.

Following an extensive period of deliberation, Aurecon decided to do away with conventional 2D engineering blueprints, and adopted the use of a 3D modelling software called Revit.

“There were initial reservations when we proposed using the Revit application to recreate the Eiffel Tower’s geometry. For one, Revit is not well-known for this type of work, commonly used instead for the design of conventional building projects like hospitals and schools,” said Collins.

There was another limitation; Revit is not a shop detailing software application that specializes in creating manufacturing drawings for components. It is, however, a valuable tool in conveying the design intent to the fabricator when compared to the traditional 2D approach. This resulted in a more efficient process, enabling the fabricator to understand the complex geometry in a more efficient manner.

A Culture of Continuous Innovation

True to the company’s philosophy, the Aurecon team imagined what was possible, and turned problems into solutions.

Topped out in October 2015, and now a notable landmark on the Macao skyline, the successful completion of this accurate Eiffel Tower replica was the culmination of inventive digital craftsmanship by Aurecon’s modelling team and engineers, taking full advantage of the latest technology available and close collaboration with partners and the client.

“Leading this project was an eye-opening experience for me as an engineer. It was amazing to see the digital bits and bytes from our computer screens come to life, to the point now where visitors can now enjoy the Tower’s romantic atmosphere,” stated Dr Alecs Chong, Aurecon’s technical lead of the project.

“The level of detail, ingenuity and craftsmanship that Gustav Eiffel brought to the Tower is unrivalled and I am humbled to have had the opportunity to create this half-size replica. Overall it was extremely educational too, and as a company our involvement with this intricate project has strengthened our expertise. We have undoubtedly learnt lessons here that we will be able to apply to other engineering challenges in future.”

The Parisian Macao resort was officially opened to the public 13 September 2016, along with its Eiffel Tower replica.

Aurecon’s office in Macau was opened in October 2015, serving clients in the hotel, resorts, entertainment, and property development segments.

运用数字工艺创造埃菲尔铁塔 0.5


然而,澳昱冠并未因此望而却步。澳昱冠启动了一个雄心勃勃的项目,即按照 50% 的比例精准复制赫赫有名的巴黎埃菲尔铁塔的结构和美学特征。 这个项目的客户是金沙中国有限公司。该公司是度假村巨头斯维加斯金沙集团 (Vegas Sands Corp) 的附属企业。金沙中国希望通过在本地重建这座浪漫的标志性建筑,让其综合度假村——巴黎澳门度假村 (Parisian Macao)——成为中华人民共和国澳门特别行政区的一颗明珠。



“虽然埃菲尔铁塔中线和几何形状相对容易理解,但在缩小铁塔尺寸时,却不能以同等比例缩小用于连接铁塔每个组件的构件,因此会产生中线不变但尺寸却不同的问题,进而导致我们难以按照一个固定的比例复制出一个半尺寸模型,”建筑信息建模经理 Marty Collins 解释道。




在综合考虑各方面的问题和意见之后,澳昱冠决定放弃传统的 2D 工程蓝图,改而使用名为 Revit 的三维建模软件。

“最初我们提议使用 Revit 程序来复制埃菲尔铁塔的几何特征时,大家其实是持有保留意见的。首先,Revit 不以从事此等用途见长,这个软件常被用于设计医院、学校等传统的建筑项目,” Collins 说。

其次,Revit 不是专门用于为组件创建制造图纸的详图软件程序,这是另一重限制。但是,Revit 在向制造商传达设计意图方面比传统的二维法更有效,是非常有价值的工具。使用 Revit 可以提高流程效率,帮助制造商更快地理解复杂的几何特征。



这座比例精准的埃菲尔铁塔复制建筑于 2015 年 10 月封顶,现已成为构成澳门天际线的知名地标性建筑。善于发明的澳昱冠建模团队和工程师们充分运用了最新的科技并且与合作伙伴和客户展开了密切的合作,将数字工艺在这座铁塔身上发挥到了极致。

“领导团队完成这个项目对身为工程师的我来说是一次大开眼界的经历。目睹电脑屏幕上的数字元素一点一点地变为现实,让今天的游客可以领略铁塔的浪漫气氛,这种感觉真的很奇妙,”澳昱冠项目技术主管张嘉田博士感叹到,“古斯塔夫·埃菲尔 (Gustav Eiffel) 赋予巴黎埃菲尔铁塔的细节度、独创性和工艺无与伦比,能够参与创建埃菲尔铁塔 50% 比例的复制版我深感荣幸。总体说来,这个项目令人受益匪浅,以公司的身份参与如此复杂的项目增强了我们的专业技术实力,从中汲取的经验教训无疑有助于我们应对未来的其他工程挑战。”

巴黎澳门度假村 (Parisian Macao) 于 2016 年 9 月 13 日正式对公众开放,度假村中的埃菲尔铁塔复制品也随之接待游人。

澳昱冠澳门办事处于 2015 年 10 月开业,为酒店、度假村、娱乐和房地产开发行业的客户服务。



澳昱冠並沒有因此而卻步,反倒展開了一項雄心壯志的創舉:建造一座結構和外觀都完全依照聞名世界的鐵塔的仿製品,而尺寸則大約是本來的一半。這個建築項目其實是我們的客人(金沙中國有限公司)所要求的。金沙中國有限公司是度假村巨擘— 拉斯維加斯金沙集團的子公司,該公司銳意粉飾其座落於中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區的綜合度假村《澳門巴黎人》,故特此重新興建這個具標誌性的地點,並注入浪漫的元素。

造工複雜  豈止簡單縮減比例


建築信息模型經理Marty Collins闡述:「儘管艾菲爾鐵塔的中心線和幾何結構在縮減比例時都相對容易掌握,但塔內的一些連接部件(用來連接不同組件的結構)卻不是簡單按比例縮小的。所以有時候會遇到中心線雖然保持不變,但鐵塔尺寸卻要縮減的情況。這令我們仿建這個縮小一半的複製品時舉步為艱。

此外,我們亦受限於某些部件不能縮減的情況 — 例如行人通道、梯級及梯子都必須保持一定尺寸才能供人使用,因此無法將這些部件按比例縮小一半。」

超脫軟件局限  以創意解決難題




其實還有另一項限制 — Revit並非專門繪製零件圖的精密圖像軟件。不過,與傳統的2D圖紙方法相比,Revit卻是一種十分有用的工具,將設計的意念完完全全的呈現給建築單位。這可令整個過程變得事半功倍,同時建築單位也能更易理解建築物的複雜結構。





艾菲爾鐵塔的設計者Gustav Eiffel設計這個塔時的精細、巧妙和工藝是無與倫比的。我只能存著謙卑的心去參與建造這個尺寸縮半的複製品。整體而言,這次創舉都令我們獲益良多。就公司而言,參與這項艱巨的項目亦提升了我們的專業水平。無疑讓我們上了寶貴的一課,並會在將來的工程挑戰上學以致用。」



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