Virtual voyage of discovery through the digital twin of the Deutsches Museum

A blog post by Maximilian Reimann (Deutsches Museum Munich) and Frank Dürr (acameo)

With a breathtaking flight around the digital twin of the world’s largest science and technology museum, the new virtual tour with playful and interactive features through the Deutsches Museum starts just in time for Digitaltag 2021. “Discover the Deutsches Museum in Munich in a completely new way on this virtual journey. Immerse yourself in the world of masterpieces of science and technology. Experience the highlights of the house playfully and in 3D.” The speaker wishes you a lot of fun and the spectacle already starts. This tour is no ordinary digital tour, as is currently the case on a regular basis. The digital twin of the Deutsches Museum is constantly being expanded, broken open and manipulated in a playful and immersive way. These extraordinary features not only lead the visitors to 3D objects, but also offer a previously unseen storytelling with game character. The Lunar Rover can be driven on the moon and ores can be collected in the point cloud of the mine.

Since 2020, all departments of the Deutsches Museum can already be visited in a virtual tour. Now the new tour with the 3D web software cuuub® by acameo (Tübingen) extends the digital experience with an eventful guided tour with interactive features.

Right at the beginning, the elaborately scanned 3D model of the museum is revealed during a flight around the point cloud. Afterwards, visitors can be guided through highlights of the history of technology with the help of audio guides.

The Lilienthal glider, the world’s first series-produced flying machine, is on display as a 3D model and can be viewed from all sides. Using the historic Zuse Z3, animations explain how modern computers work. The superimposed user has a special privilege: he is allowed to operate the keyboard and bring the computer to life.

The lunar vehicle from the Apollo 15 mission, which is on display at the Deutsches Museum, can also be viewed in 3D and even driven over a lunar landscape. During the immersive lunar journey, users learn important facts about the foldable electric vehicle and its lunar missions. Before the largest museum piece is explained in an automatic mini-tour: the U1 submarine, which has been atmospherically integrated into a night scene and as a VR video.

Other stations on the Fraunhofer telescope, the museum founder Oskar von Miller or shipping house further interesting tools for entertaining knowledge transfer.

The end of the tour is particularly playful: In the style of a retro game, users* can collect ores in the museum’s historical illustrative mine and learn more about the history of mining in the process.

From a technical perspective, the tour shows the advantages of a 3D laser scan compared to often used 360 panorama images: The museum’s digital twin can be used in different contexts to create new and innovative offerings for digital museum visitors. The 3D game is based on the laser scan of the mine. This created a point cloud from millions of points, which was converted into a mesh for this game and enhanced with a gaming engine.

We wish you a lot of fun!