Digital 3D reconstruction of Betancourt’s historical heritage: the dredging machine in the Port of Kronstadt

José Ignacio Rojas-Sola, Eduardo de la Morena-de la Fuente


Agustín de Betancourt was one of the most distinguished engineers of the 18th and 19th centuries with numerous contributions to various fields of engineering, including civil engineering. This research shows the process followed in documenting the cultural heritage of this engineer from the Canary Islands (Spain), especially in the geometric documentation of the Kronstadt harbour-dredging machine presented in 1808. The initial information was taken from the Canary Orotava Foundation, History of Science, which has been compiling information on the Betancourt Digital Project for years. In particular, there are only 8 colour illustrations without scale, as well as a small report on the description of the parts and the operation of a dredging machine previously designed for the Port of Venice (but never put into operation). This was the basis for the construction of the dredging machine for the Port of Kronstadt (Russia) that did go into operation in 1812 for more than 10 years. From this information, 3D reconstruction was made by means of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) techniques thanks to the use of the Autodesk Inventor Professional parametric software, which made it possible to build the 3D model and complete its geometric documentation as well as different detailed plans and exploded views. The results show a reliable approach to its modelling, a process in which several dimensional and operational hypotheses have had to be assumed due to the lack of existing information.


cultural heritage; geometric documentation; 3D reconstruction; Agustín de Betancourt; dredging machine; Autodesk Inventor Professional

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