Project

3D Scanning a Thrilling Drop at Dollywood

Industry: Theme parks
The challenge: Measure and generate a 3D model of the final twisting curve in one of Dollywood’s most famous rides so that the replacement steel track could be fabricated.

Blazing Fury is an indoor steel roller coaster that has been a major attraction at Dollywood since before it was named Dollywood—the ride was built in 1978 by what was then Silver Dollar City Tennessee. In the decades since, portions of the coaster’s track were scanned and replaced. The exception was the twisting curve of the final 18-foot drop, from where the new and old track met and continuing to the bottom. It’s located in an area that is difficult to measure by hand: As an indoor coaster, the spaces are tight, and it’s challenging to see the underside of the track in some areas. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dollywood’s goal was to have the track section replaced in time for opening day, which meant IDI’s scope needed to be completed within 3 weeks. IDI performed an initial site visit to determine where the 3D scanner would need to be placed to ensure that all the angles of the complex track geometry were captured, completed those scans in a half-day visit, and delivered a point cloud and 3D model on time.