The fourth European 3D Documentation Conference takes place in a beautiful scenery in Bavaria. Seen from miles around atop Holy Mountain above the eastern bank of Ammer Lake, Andechs Monastery is the oldest pilgrimage church in Bavaria and since 1850, an asset of the Benedictine monastery, St. Boniface, in Munich.
The participants of FARO’s User Meeting noticeably enjoy the conference at the Monastery and its amazing surroundings.
Between the workshops the participants of the 3D User Conference have the chance to network and exchange knowledge and experience.
In the coming 2 days we will provide you with the latest from the world of 3D documentation and laser scanning technology.
The conferece started this morning with the industry and FARO news by Managing Director Ralf Drews. Then we kicked-off with keynote Bernd Becker, Chief Technology Strategist about the latest 3D Documentation technology news.
Laser scanning is rapidly gaining acceptance and becoming more and more commonplace in the law enforcement and accident reconstruction communities. Over the past few years, hardware and software have improved significantly creating a simpler, overall system to capture immense detail in a short period of time.
These are 10, of the many, reasons to consider laser scanners for a forensic application:
1) Easy to use: Many manufacturers are moving toward a simpler interface making operation of the scanner more like a digital camera than a complicated survey instrument.
2) Portability: Laser scanners are smaller in size today than ever before making them easier to deploy to a crime/accident scene and useable by just about anyone.
3) Safety: Data can be collected from a distance, with some scanners collected measurements over 300 meters away. This allows the operator to scan a scene out of harms way. In addition, laser scanners can collect up to 1,000,000 points per second with average scan times of several minutes. Less time on a scene means less time for potential danger to the individuals at the scene. Class I lasers are also being used in laser scanners creating a truly eye-safe environment during the scan.
4) Speed and Efficiency: Complete color scans can be captured in as little as several minutes creating a virtual scene with high accuracy and detail that can be revisited over and over without physically traveling to the site. In contrast to traditional methods of surveying/documenting a scene, laser scanning can be much faster and allow multiple investigators to have eyes on the virtual scene.
5) Produce a variety of deliverables: Once the scene has been laser scanned, various types of final products can be extracted or produced from the data. For example, anything from a traditional 2D drawing to a detailed 3D animation can be created from the scan data.
6) Peer pressure: With more and more agencies utilizing laser scanners for their scene documentation, the result is more widely accepted. As well as growth in expectations that future scenes will be documented in 3D.
7) Cost Effective: Laser scanners are becoming more and comparable in price to total stations which are traditionally used for documenting traffic accidents.
8) Specialized Measurement Tools: Software for forensic analysis from 3D data also now includes special tools for measuring blood spatter and bullet trajectory, witness/suspect height, etc.
9) Easy to share: More software tools are available to view and document the scan data without the requirement of installing software or purchasing additional licenses.
10) Archive the scene: Once the scene has been laser scanned it has been essentially frozen in time, preserved for future virtual visits by anyone who may wish to investigate the scene. This allows for measurements to be taken that may not have necessarily been thought to be important at the time of capture as well.
Blog post by Alex Demogines, Account Manager Laser Scanner, FARO Technologies
This image is part of a digitization project which includes more than 100,000 scans that were collected with the FARO Focus3D laser scanner.
Three months of hard work have enabled Actual Foncier Topographie (AFT), a company specialised in surveying, to scan the Palace of Versailles to create a digital platform for a 3D virtual tour of the prestigious interiors and gardens. It is now possible to take a virtual tour of the Château de Versailles via Google Earth.
AFT was commissioned by Google to scan Versailles and turn its magnificent facades and roofs, luxurious interior and its beautiful gardens and fountains into a 3D model. Virtually cross the Hall of Mirrors or walk through the beautiful gardens. It’s really remarkable.
Here’s a YouTube video to give you an idea…
ATS AB bought 7 units of the laser scanner Focus3D X 330 to support one of their main fields of work: 3D scanning of tunnels, bridges and other constructions.
Rolf Berlin, the CTO of ATS AB, says: “With the extra-long range and outdoor performance of the Focus3D X 330 a complete new application areas open up.”
The new scanner was for example used to scan the Älvborgsbron in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The whole 800m long bridge was scanned from only a few positions! “We are really excited to be the first company to offer this cutting-edge product in the Scandinavian countries”.
About ATS AB
ATS AB was founded in 1990. The company is marketing laser based 1D-2D-3D distance measurement instruments and systems for industrial applications. Key systems are different types of guidance, docking and navigation systems.
Since 1997 the company offers 2D & 3D high-accuracy scanning solutions in tunneling, mining, constructions, buildings and automotive & process industry. ATS AB provides scanning solutions of small and large objects for both reverse engineering and analysis purpose.
More info: http://ats.se/
Stuttgart’s students stunned the scene with their simple kit for a 3D mobile mapping system. Ann-Kathrin Kinscher, an intern at FARO Europe, tells the story…
Mobile laser scanning is an essential part of today’s 3D documentation technologies. It is already widely used in generating 3D city models, as well as in registrering roadway damage and in the CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) sector. Through interaction of an inertial measurement unit, with a GPS system and a laser scanner it is possible to capture a 3D point cloud. New developments in IMU sensor technology (MEMS based) open up new markets which is very promising for the future.
Currently, such systems are still very costly and therefore rarely used by companies as opposed to surveying. Furthermore, cities could become car-free in future, which would mean that mobile mapping systems can no longer be used by car.
As part of my master thesis which was done in cooperation with FARO, Applanix and Tobias Moehlihs, a university colleague, I thought about all these facts and developed a solution: A mobile mapping system which is completely flexible and easy to set up. The principle follows the concept: “Do it yourself”.
At the moment it is still a prototype, which will be further developed, e.g. cameras will be integrated into the system. With the Focus3D laser scanner FARO offers a cost-effective component for such a system, because of its small size and low weight. After testing several inertial measurement units with the Focus on, I decided to use the POS LV220 from Applanix as the IMU. Hereby focusing on overall results and synchronization-options.
This system delivers robust data even in cities with high buildings. Additionally, with the two-antenna system of the POS LV220 the heading is improved by the GAMS solution (GPS Azimuth Measurement Subsystem) developed by Applanix. To adhere to the principle of simplicity I use the trigger signal from the FARO Focus3D to synchronize the components. This means that every time a new mirror rotation of the laser scanner starts, a trigger signal is sent to the IMU, which saves the position and orientation.
By combining a laser scanner, an IMU and a vehicle of your choice you can start setting up your own mobile mapping system, as shown on the photo above. The POS LV220 contains the IMU, two GPS Antennas, the DMI and the processor. The FARO laser scanner Focus3D with the Helical-Kit, a laptop, a battery and a bike trailer finalise the system.
The bike trailer has several advantages; it is a ‘green’ solution and it can access many more locations than a car. I scanned an old church in the pedestrian zone in Stuttgart within a couple of minutes. This would take an hour if you would scan it statistically.
For the transformation of the laserscan data I wrote a program using Matlab. FARO SCENE is used for pointcloud editing and POSPac from Applanix is used for postprocessing the GPS data.
To sum it up you can quickly and easily scan with this self-built compatible system in almost every environment and situation. The software is easy to use. With post processing in POSPac and easy point cloud editing with SCENE you receive precise positions.
In this slideshare demonstation you will discover how to simplify the planning of your architectural projects. It shows the entire workflow; from point cloud capture of the building with the FARO laser scanner to the import into Revit Architecture for processing and 3D modelling of the building.
Autodesk Revit Architecture ‘thinks’ like architects and designers do. And it helps you to develop architectural designs more accurately and with higher quality.
By using tools specifically designed to support building information modeling (BIM), you can capture and analyze your concepts and materialize your vision from design to documentation and construction..
It was again exciting at Control, the international trade fair for quality assurance in Stuttgart. Diverse technology, international exhibitors and countless suggestions made a visit to the show worthwhile. This was also the right place and time for Ralf Drews to introduce himself to the wider public. Since the beginning of 2013 he is Managing Director of FARO Europe.
FARO’s credo seen throughout all product lines: measuring systems can be user-friendly. Even if the complexity increases – the technology must always be easy to use. In maintaining this goal in constant view, regarding portable measurement systems, Drews sets the customer’s requirements first.
The latest solution that could be seen at Control is the so-called FARO TrackArm. It expands the measurement volume of the FARO ScanArm by combining it with the FARO Laser Tracker Vantage in one coordinate system. Innovative adapters provide a wireless connection between the two measurement systems. The extremely flexible portable arm reaches almost every hidden corner of components and in combination with the laser tracker it has an enormous range of up to 80 meters. The ScanArm can often be repositioned as desired during measurements. Re-calibration is not necessary: a significant alleviation in practice.
Also, the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D Drews sees as a perfect example of this idea: “With its ease of use and flexibility, the Focus3D embodies our strategy. The leap in mobility and quality with the Focus3D launch two years ago, was a revolution in the market. The scanner has a built-in color camera, increased accuracy and reduced noise and is also radically smaller, lighter, easier to use and much more cost-effective than other solutions on the market.” Especially in 3D applications, that can realize the ‘unbelievable’, the Managing Director sees large potential.
Ralf Drews will also be present on the first day of the FARO 3D Documentation User Meeting on 13th and 14th June, held in Strasbourg.
FARO will be present at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall event in Falmouth on June 3rd.
Digitising artefacts with the help of portable measurement systems is the main focus of this event. You have the chance to see live scanning and 3D documentation of different artefacts in the NMMC.
We will present our portable CMMs and 3D imaging devices FaroArm, Edge ScanArm, Laser Tracker Vantage and the Laser Scanner Focus3D for 3D measurement and 3D image documentation together with the accompanying software.
Furthermore, participants will be able to try FARO devices for themselves. If you bring a piece or component, you will have the opportunity to scan it.
Date: 3 June 2013
Time: 10.00 am – 4 pm
Address: National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Further reading: ‘Pushing the next generation of digitizing heritage‘