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Demolition of PPPO Paducah Site Water Tower

Demolition of PPPO Paducah Site Water Tower: One of our long-time clients is a group out of Paducah, Kentucky, working with the U.S. Department of Energy. Earlier this year we worked with them to create an animation of how a long-standing water tower was to be demolished on site. When you blow things up for real folks nearby want to know what’s going on.

So we worked with the engineers and Subject Matter Experts to create a short animation showing how the tower would fall; that it wouldn’t hit the nearby quonset hut, and the explosives being used were really pretty minimal.

The water tower was designed and constructed before they were using CAD for such things, so everything was built in 3D using old 2-D engineering schematics.

The demolition is complete and was hugely successful. With so many variables and moving parts, and consequences if things go wrong – it was a thrill to watch it all happen in real life. The animation was “spot on” showing how it would fall.

This is another great example of using real world data, engineering and science to visualize your project.

A few out-takes from the development phase of the project. Wire frames at the beginning show explosives higher-up on the legs, and generating too much debris for the final sequence. Often times several iterations need to be created before the proper sequence is approved.

A primary goal of this project was to educate the public about what was actually going to happen. When neighbors hear ‘explosives’ will be used they take notice.

The precision with which the team executed this demolition is nothing short of incredible. Precise cuts were made on the legs, and coinciding charges were precisely positioned to affect direction of fall. Engineers and Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) diligently planned each step to minimize risk.


It was important not to over-exagerate explosions or blast impact, accurately reflecting the amount of debris.

As we worked with the team to understand the various forces involved, several different scenarios were created and animated before the final, accurate simluation was reached.

Google earth was used to measure distances on the actual site. The water tower itself was modeld in 3D using old, 2-dimensional engineering schematics. 

Demolition of the PPPO Paducah Site Water Tower

Demolition of PPPO Paducah Site Water Tower

3D Product Animation Product Rendering Product Animation Engineering Animation Technical Animation Industrial Animation
3D Model of Water Tower, built for demolition animation sequence.