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“Laser scanning, also known as Reality Capture, has changed dramatically. It has become more accessible, more affordable, and more applicable daily to your jobs.”
Recently at Autodesk University’s BuildX, TURIS Systems representatives Joshe Lowe and Mike Whaley give a short presentation on Reality Capture, demoing many different ways that 3D laser scanning and modeling software can be used to greatly benefit construction projects. In this presentation, they also address the potential for Reality Capturing technology to create business value for its users by using simulations and digital models to save time and money.
You can view the presentation here.
In the last several blog posts, we been looking at how Reality Computing integrates the digital and physical worlds, bringing together many products and technologies to:
Today’s post focuses on how digital information is delivered back into the physical world.
“Turning data into things” (aka create)
The last leg of Reality Computing is the presentation of captured and modified reality data back in the physical world. This can be accomplished digitally (using project visualizations or augmented reality) or physically (using 3D printing, machine-controlled earthworks, and other digital fabrication techniques).
The ability to produce and present high quality images or animations of a new building or a consumer product can sometimes serve as a replacement for product prototypes or scaled-down physical project models. Project visualizations can be particularly important on large projects where sheer size and complexity make it difficult to fully convey designs using traditional engineering drawings. Model-based project visualizations that include reality data help project teams depict the project in the context of actual surroundings, making it easier for clients, project stakeholders, and the public to understand the project.
Model-based project visualizations help project teams depict their projects in the context of actual surroundings, such as this rendering of the Shanghai Tower. Image courtesy of Shanghai Tower Construction and Development Co., Ltd. Rendering by Gensler.
Dutch manufacturing company LUXeXceL is showing through its new Printoptical Technology why 3D printing, and reality computing in general, is so revolutionary. By developing the method of 3D printing high quality, transparent material with smooth and contoured edges, LUXeXceL has the capability of making custom-fit prescription glasses cheaply and quickly. Another example of how groundbreaking developments in the area of Reality Computing are changing the business processes of companies that sell customizable products.
Reality Computing is a high-level concept that integrates the digital and physical worlds, bringing together many products and technologies to:
The last blog post examined ways information about the physical world can be digitally captured. Today’s post looks at how software tools are used to manipulate and analyze that information—connecting the digital capture of the physical world and the physical creation of the digital world.
“And what goes on in between” (aka compute)
Once ‘reality’ is captured and processed, the next step of Reality Computing is the ability to operate on the digital, real-world information. This may involve editing it to filter erroneous or unwanted data, manipulating it into new designs, adding new model information around it, analyzing it for new information, or using it to simulate real-world behavior or perform clash detection. Depending on the application, some teams may take the optional step of creating surface meshes or 3D solids from some or all of the scanned or surveyed data.
3D design software can be used to manipulate and directly interact with the reality-captured data. For example, a civil engineer can import 3D laser scans of a congested roadway intersection into road design software as a real-world reference for early planning efforts to redesign the intersection. A damaged bracket on a military aircraft in a combat zone can be scanned and the reality-captured data uploaded to a manufacturing facility across the world where the data is imported into mechanical design software, the damaged portion is digitally repaired, manufactured, and replacement part is shipped back to repair the aircraft.
Moreover, enabling technology for segmentation and feature recognition of reality data allow designers to interact with point clouds and high density meshes in more intuitive, object-like ways. Manufacturers can use metrology technology—both laser scanning and contact-based coordinate measuring machines (CMM)—combined with feature recognition software to convert point cloud and contact-probe data of manufactured components into 3D solid models. These models can then be used for a variety of purposes such as quality inspection during the manufacturing process or for reverse engineering.
Reality Computing enables manufacturers to use metrology technology combined with feature recognition software to create 3D solid models for quality inspection, reverse engineering, and so forth.
Similarly, feature recognition software helps civil engineers manipulate point clouds of existing terrain or infrastructure as an object rather than a collection of points. For example, specialized feature recognition software can automatically identify relevant features from point clouds, such as bridges, signs, and streetlights in scans of highways corridors.
The ability to import, visualize, and edit reality-captured data can also help streamline ‘scan to BIM’ processes. Scanned data of a building can serve as a reference to create or validate a building model used as a starting point for the building’s renovation. Scans of a newly poured concrete slab can be imported into a 3D design model of a new building (that contains the digital design of the slab) to perform deviation analysis—highlighting high and low areas that need adjustment. Scanned point cloud data of an existing facility can be combined with digital models representing new equipment or renovated spaces for project coordination and clash detection.
Our next post will focus on the third component of Reality Computing: using digital information to create something new back in the physical world.
One reason we see a bigger idea around Reality Computing than just scanning or 3D printing is the continuing introduction of products that cover multiple workflows around reality data. XYZ Printing, an outpost of the Kinpo Group empire, is one of the more recent entrants in the growing market of converged Reality Computing hardware with their da Vinci 1.0 AiO (AiO for All-in-One) combination scanner and 3d printer. Check out this article on the Personalize web portal for a nice overview.
The engineering firm Arup, best known for the structural design of the Sydney Opera House, has unveiled a new method for 3d-printing structural steel construction joints.
"Arup says it has produced a new design method for creating 'critical structural steel elements' for tensile structures – a development it believes signals 'a whole new direction for the use of additive manufacturing in the field of construction and engineering'."
They hope that such methods could dramatically reduce the cost of materials and waste, while making these structual elements even stronger and more efficent.
You can read the full article at Dezeen: http://www.dezeen.com/2014/06/11/arup-3d-printed-structural-steel-building-components/
The last blog post introduced Reality Computing as a high-level concept that integrates the digital and physical worlds, bringing together many products and technologies to:
Today’s post will look at the first of these three components of Reality Computing more closely: 'capture'. The next posts will examine ‘compute’, followed by ‘create’.
“Turning things into data” (aka capture)
The ways information can be captured digitally from the physical world are increasing every day. Capture technologies—from laser scanning and point survey to photogrammetry and ground-penetrating radar—coupled with plummeting prices are promoting both ease of use and accessibility. For example, the chart below illustrates the development of 3D scanning, including the introduction of the first commercial 3D laser scanning systems for the AEC industry.
The first commercial 3D laser scanning systems for the AEC industry were
complicated and expensive, limiting their market penetration. Today, the
value and cost of laser scanning has made its use commonplace.
However, the systems were complicated and very expensive, limiting their market penetration, whereas today laser scanning is a staple of infrastructure and land development projects. Intel’s announcement at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that it will start building RealSense 3D camera technology into its product lines is another example of how 3D scanning technology is becoming commonplace.
Tatjana Dzambazova, firstname.lastname@example.org
For six decades and three generations, the Leakey family has dedicated themselves to uncovering, understanding and promoting the story of our origins. They have been systematically discovering evidence of our ancestry in East Africa. The Leakey team has collected thousands of fossils of our human ancestors and other animals, as well as stone tools and other artifacts that are stored permanently in the National Museums of Kenya and at the Turkana Basin Institute (www.turkanabasin.org).
Aware of the general inaccessibility of these national treasures in their current locations, Dr. Louise Leakey, a third generation of the ‘fossil hunter’ family, took it upon herself to find a way to make them globally accessible for everyone including educators, children, and science enthusiasts. Inspired by the possibilities presented by new reality capture and digitization technologies, about two years ago Dr. Louise Leakey began a fruitful collaboration with Autodesk (www.autodesk.com). Together, the team created 3D digital models of the most significant fossils, and built a beautiful, interactive web site to host them.
The dedicated web site www.africanfossils.org hosts the collection of fossil models in a virtual laboratory, and allows for an interactive 3D viewing experience of the lab .
The virtual lab allows the user to explore and pick up the displayed artifacts interactively
AutoCAD Product Manager Michael Mizuno takes us on a tour of new Reality Computing features in AutoCAD 2015. Michael makes the point (ahem!) that the point cloud is the model—reality data now behaves just like any other design element in AutoCAD. Check it out here.