3D model shows the BYU campus from new perspective

The new 3D interactive model of BYU campus is located in the Hinckley Center. (Nicole Peterson)

Read a Portuguese translation of this story here.

If BYU has ever felt too big to take in, there’s now a miniature version.

BYU presented a new three-dimensional model of campus at an unveiling ceremony on Tuesday, July 2, at the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center.

Designed and created by Utah company WhiteClouds, the diorama is scaled at 1-inch to 45-feet and represents approximately 367 acres. 

“The level of detail is just absolutely amazing,” said BYU President Kevin J Worthen.

The design and creation of the 3D-printed prototype of BYU was no simple task. The following facts come from university-provided information at the unveiling ceremony:

The detailed 3D model of BYU campus displays all 81 buildings. (Nicole Peterson)
  • The model took approximately 2,750 hours to design.
  • The model required 240 hours of overall installation over four weeks.
  • It took approximately 650 hours to print the 81 different buildings, or approximately 8 hours to print each building.
  • There are approximately 700 cars on the model.
  • Approximately 600 trees are represented on the model, including 123 handcrafted trees.
  • The model is not only massive and extremely detailed but also interactive. Visitors can use a screen to select an area of campus and the corresponding area in the 3D model will light up.

Though the model mainly represents the BYU campus, it also highlights the Provo Temple. John Sorenson said later in the ceremony that the event’s purpose was to “honor the life and mission of the Savior.” 

BYU alumni John and Stephanie Sorenson funded the project. 

Stephanie Sorenson expresses her gratitude for BYU and the opportunity to help with the project. (Nicole Peterson)

Stephanie Sorenson said she has a passion for maps. “This is the ultimate map,” she said. “I love the direction that maps give you and the perspective.” She related it to the direction and perspective found through the gospel.

“We love BYU,” she said. “We love everything that it represents.”

Stephanie Sorenson said she and her husband met on a blind date in front of Fox Hall, one of the original Heritage Halls residences. In honor of the generous donors, the model creators put two miniature people holding hands at the estimated location of where they met. 

John Sorenson expressed his gratitude for the BYU leadership’s vision and the creators at WhiteCloud.

“It takes so many people coming together to do what you’ve accomplished here,” he said. 

President Worthen presents a plaque to John and Stephanie Sorenson for their contributions to the project. (Nicole Peterson)

Though he and his wife live in Orange County, he said they often think and pray about their BYU experience. He said BYU is part of who they are.

“You can see why it’s wonderful to work at a university,” President Worthen remarked at the closing of the ceremony. “People are willing to share a vision, create a vision, make it happen and work together.”

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