Aug
11
2017

An Insight into FARO Labs

Dr Bernd- Dietmar Becker, chief technology strategist and head of FARO Labs recently met with GIM Internationals Wim van Wegen where they discussed what to expect from laser scanning and its role as key reality capturing technology in the years ahead.

FARO are keen to follow the latest technological advances and we want to ensure that we can adapt quickly to change, providing 3D measurement solutions to our customers and our industries.

To find out more about what Faro thinks of entering the drone market, or how the market of mobile laser scanning systems will evolve, read more.

Aug
09
2017

TCT Awards 2017- Faro Shortlisted!

Faro are tremendously delighted to announce that they have been shortlisted in the category ‘Industrial Product Application’ for the TCT Awards 2017. The TCT Awards provide an opportunity for the nominees to be recognised for their most unique, inventive and impactful applications of 3D technologies in a variety of vertical markets. FARO’s latest ultra-portable Focus Laser Scanner has been the reason behind this outstanding recognition. The Faro Focus enables to capture fast, straightforward and highly accurate measurements of complex objects and buildings and has helped to deliver a complete 3D “walk-through” model of a complex food manufacturing facility. The winner will be announced at the TCT Awards on 27th September 2017 at the Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham, UK.

Aug
03
2017

3D Technology Reveals the Face of Ancient Peruvian Female Ruler

FARO’s 3D Laser Scanning Technology used in reconstructing the face of a mysterious mummy, known as the Lady of Cao. She is believed to be a female leader of the Moche Civilization in Peru, which ruled more than 1,700 years ago.

Moche culture flourished approximately a thousand years before the Inca civilization in northern Peru. In 2005, a tomb was discovered in a mud-brick ruined pyramid near Trujillo, a city on the northwest coast of Peru known for being a site of the prehistoric Moche culture. Inside of this tomb was an intriguing bundle of cloth. This bundle preserved a mummified female body covered in elaborate tattoos – of snakes, spiders and supernatural motifs — along with jewelry, ornaments, crowns, and two scepters. This woman is now known as “The Lady of Cao”, the only known female ruler of the Moche Civilization.

The Lady of Cao mummy is currently in display in the Museum of “El Brujo” Archaeological Complex, near to Magdalena de Cao town, in northern Peru.  To preserve the mummy, she’s kept in a climate-controlled chamber and can only be viewed indirectly with the aid of a viewing window and mirror.

Wiese Foundation, the entity that sponsors the Museum, wanted the visitors to be able to admire the Lady of Cao more freely and have a permanent digital record of her remains for further preservation. To achieve this, the museum contacted the world’s most trusted source for 3D technology, FARO®. Through FARO’s state-of-the-art 3Dsolutions, it was possible to build a digital model of the mummy, 3D print a replica, and, using specialized software and forensic anthropology techniques, perform the facial reconstruction that would reveal to the world, for the first time, The Lady of Cao’s face.

To achieve this goal, FARO and Wiese Foundation, along with 3D Systems®, Grupo Abstract and ARQ 3D+, assembled an international team of experts formed of archaeologists, anthropologists, forensic scientists and 3D technology experts.

The process began by 3D scanning the mummy’s face using a turnkey 3D scanning solution tailored for forensic anthropology, crime lab, and medical examination applications. This solution consisted of  high-resolution, fast-speed 3D scanners, the  FARO Design ScanArm®  paired with 3D Systems’ Geomagic®Wrap and Geomagic®Freeform® software.

Here’s a breakdown of the digital reconstruction process:

  • The FARO Design ScanArm was used to digitize the mummy by 3D scanning the surface area and collecting thousands of accurate, high-resolution digital points.
  • These digital points, known as point clouds, were then processed in the Geomagic software to create an accurate and realistic 3D model.
  • Forensic artists and anthropologists used photographs and anthropological investigations of the Moche Civilization descendants to generate hand-drawn sketches of the features of the face of the Lady of Cao.
  • The 3D model and anthropological drawings were then combined in the software and a full facial reconstruction occurred
  • Once the Lady of Cao’s virtual face was constructed, the team used numerous ethnographic research documents to add the final finishing details such as pores, wrinkles, expression, details in lips, eyes, forehead, eyebrows, and hair.

 

Thanks to this effort of this multidisciplinary talent and state-of-the-art 3D technology, the face of this remarkable and historic character of pre-Hispanic culture has been brought to life and revealed to the world.

If you want to learn more about the use of FARO’s 3D solutions in forensic reconstruction and cultural heritage preservation, click here.

Jul
24
2017

ARENA2036

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the motor car in 2036, FARO along with other key stakeholders have formed a private partnership named ARENA2036.  The main objective of ARENA2036 is to prepare the the way for the automotive production of the future in order.

The factory of the future must be able to optimise itself in order to be more flexible and agile than the current rigid production lines. FARO innovation manager, Dr. Denis Wohfeld is organising the Digital Shadow project which involves an updated actual model of reality that can enable the planning and simulation of the factory of the future.  He believes that this can be done by having sensors that scan the shop floor and also access the IT systems from the whole network and hardware installations. This will allow the data to flow together to form one model, a virtual representation of the entire factory.

In order for the factory to evolve with Industry 4.0, expert measuring and imaging technology to support the reshaping of production processes and working environments is required. FARO offers a wide variety of high precision solutions including tactile measuring arms and laser scan technology for the non-contact recording of objects. In addition to the measuring technology, FARO also offers various software solutions that provide a platform for integrated communication between all measuring systems as well as interfaces to all common software applications. This allows users to record measured data very quickly in multi-sensory mode, helping organisations to cut costs for system integration.

The technology that FARO provides can strengthen companies at wage-intensive locations and therefore secure jobs. Moreover, by relieving employees of monotonous routine tasks that can be hazardous to their health, freedom is created for areas of work that requires their creativity such as product development.

Read More.

Jul
10
2017

FARO Releases ZONE 3D for Public Safety Professionals

FARO are delighted to announce the availability of the new FARO ZONE 3D software. This revolutionary platform, through its advanced smart tools, is the first of its kind to enable investigators to move fluidly between 2D and 3D environments and enhance the quality of incident reconstruction analysis or presentations for public safety professionals.

FARO Zone 3D dramatically elevates the visual impact of presentations, including courtroom exhibits, by enabling accurate 2D and 3D scene diagrams, 3D scene walk-throughs, and full scene reconstruction animations.

FARO Zone 3D also enhances the ability of public safety professionals to plan for, and respond more effectively to, emergencies by creating accurate representations of real-world locations within local communities.

Read More.

Jul
07
2017

Sacred Scanning Interiors

Toward the end of last summer, after he had finished his scans of Baroque churches in Rome and Turin and was back in his Meyerson Hall office, Andrew Saunders began sending massive batches of data to the cloud. He had scanned the interiors of each sumptuous church from multiple vantages, using a top-of-the-line LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) scanner. At the high-resolution setting he used, each scan comprised about 15 million points, with less than a centimeter separating each point. The trick was to get all the scans to mesh together, without overlaps or gaps.
“We’d send 200 million points to the cloud—up to 90 gigabytes—and two or three days later, we’d get back an email” from Autodesk, a California-based software firm, recalls Saunders, an associate professor of architecture. “One time it has a smiley face and says, ‘Congratulations! Your mesh worked. You can download it.’ Other times, after two days you get a frown face that says, ‘Sorry, it didn’t work.’ It’s really kind of a blind process.”
But once they meshed, he says: “All of a sudden you’re seeing these churches as nobody’s ever seen them before.”
 
Space may seem infinite, ubiquitous, even timeless.But confine it to the interior of a soaring, wildly complex Baroque
structure—say, Guarini’s Church of San Lorenzo in Turin—and it becomes, in the right hands, with the right technology, something else altogether.
“It’s essentially an argument for space as an object,” says the 42-year-old Saunders, who speaks openly and quickly, with a certain professional dryness. That argument is at the heart of his Baroque Topologies project, which he unveiled at Charles Addams Hall last winter, and which he is now writing up in book form. (Publication details are still being worked out.)
Even the term space, as a component of architecture, is relatively new, he points out. “Frank Lloyd Wright in the ’20s was the first one to really use it. It’s kind of a contemporary concept, and I think it’s continuing to change.”
For those inclined to regard space as an object as gaseous academic theory, consider this: you can, with the right technology, print out the objectified space on a 3D printer. (On a reduced scale, of course, which is a good thing for any building housing that printer.) It’s the equivalent of filling each church to the top with Jell-O, shrinking it down to a tiny fraction of its original size, and removing it. Except that Saunders’ translucent photopolymer resin molds have far more detail and articulation, right down to the non-space that had been occupied by altar cherubs and high-flying angels.

On the computer screen, these digital renderings are protean, morphing at the click of a mouse from solid 3D printouts to

ghostly X-rays to a sort of internal death mask. They are also strange and toothsome eye candy.
The images “force us to see complex buildings with fresh eyes,” says Joseph Connors, a professor of art history and architecture at Harvard who specializes in the Italian Renaissance and Baroque. “Their beauty and their strangeness shock us into new recognitions of buildings we thought were familiar. They reify space, making it into a sculpted substance in which the contained takes on life, even when the enclosing container is peeled away.
The buildings always had a strange beauty, but now they have shock value too,” he adds. “It is as though the familiar bust of Homer on our desk were suddenly replaced by the brain of Homer.” At times, the freshness borders on hallucination. One rendering brings to mind an ornate Japanese robot. Another suggests a rococo decanter. A third, an exquisitely decorated fire hydrant. “It’s something that leaves us curious, excited, and perplexed at the same time,” says Guido Zuliani, an architect who teaches at the Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union. “Because it’s all new, and because of the beauty of these things, it may be deceiving, but there is an intellectual chain—in terms of the Baroque, in terms of architectural analysis, and in terms of a different model of understanding an architectural object.”
Unlike Renaissance or Modernist architecture, the Baroque is “so completely complex,” says Saunders. “It has so much articulation. It’s always about blurring thresholds between painting, sculpture, architecture, the city.” In a recent talk, he described the space of Baroque interiors as a “maelstrom of pressure and forces with a paradoxical desire of purely mathematical speculation and religious mysticism bound in a taut envelope.”
Connors paints an eloquent picture of what we perceive when we enter, for example, Bernini’s Sant’ Andrea al Quirinale and gaze upwards: “the dome we see is a fiction of superimposed structures: ribs inside coffers that diminish perspectivally to
expand the surface that covers us.” Saunders’ models, he explains, not only show such vaults “with the clarity of a high-resolution photograph, but they also show the space the dome contains. We have the illusion that we can run our hands over space and feel its contours and inflections.” For Saunders, those “deep, withdrawn, interior spaces are really amazing to study because they’re so cut off from the exterior.”
“They’re just their own sort of worlds,” he adds. “Any kind of light, even natural light, is usually indirect or very far or bouncing back.
You never get a direct view out of them—they’re just kind of deep chasms that you enter into.”
Before traveling to Italy last summer, Saunders flew to Florida for a training session on the FARO Laser Scanner Focus 3D X 130, which can scan at nearly a million points per second and has a range of 130 meters.
“I found that it’s being used mostly in criminology and surveying,” he says. “In architecture and historic preservation, it’s used to look at a very specific piece, not an entire building.”
Had he been forced to buy the scanner, it would have wiped out the entire $50,000 University Research Fund grant he had procured to cover his expenses in Italy. Fortunately, FARO agreed to lend him one for a month, gratis.
Autodesk also allowed him to use, among other things, its ReCap (for Reality Capture) and ReMake software. Without their ability to generate high-resolution meshes, he says, he never would have been able to make the renderings.
“Autodesk has been a huge, huge help,” he adds. “Right now this is a very big realm, not just for Baroque historical analysis—which it is but even for the industry: engineering, architecture. Because they’re trying to figure out how to work with this large amount of data within their typical tools for making construction documents or representation. The stuff that we’re doing wasn’t even possible to do
weeks ago. We’re working with Autodesk and changing the algorithms for how they’re processing all of this stuff.”
Autodesk was thinking mainly of industrial designers and engineers when it started its cloud computing service, he explains. “They’re scanning a lot of infrastructure, oil platforms, things with a huge number of pipes and services, and they want to make sure that what- ever new thing they’re putting in doesn’t collide with anything. So they scan them and make them into meshes, and use them for collision detection. Then all of a sudden 18 Baroque churches start rolling through. And they’re like, What is this stuff? They got really interested.”
Tatjana Dzambazova, Autodesk’s senior product manager and “technology whisperer,” confirms that when she and her colleagues “started making the tech, we were thinking of architects, engineers, contractors.” But, she adds, “disruptors like Andrew show us that when smart, curious, caring people are given new technological tools, they think of ways they can push the boundaries of their profession, which so often go beyond what we, the makers of that same tech, ever had in mind.”
During his time in Rome,  Saunders focused mainly on the churches of Borromini, Bernini, Cortona, and Rinaldi. Then he headed north to Turin, where Guarini represented a “natural progression from Borromini, about 50 to 100 years later,” he explains. The progression “basically charts an evolution of the Baroque central plan in High Baroque from 1600 to 1700 in Rome, and then 1700 to 1750 in Turin.”
One doesn’t just wander into those venerable edifices and start scanning, though. Permission requires supplicating local and national layers of state and church bureaucracy. “That was one of the most challenging aspects,” he admits. “It started slowly, but then I started to make really good contacts and was able to access quite a few.” By the time he left Rome, he had been able to scan most of its important Baroque churches, apart from those in security-crazed Vatican City. One morning, at the Church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini in Rome, he made his way into a tiny underground crypt—the Falconiere Crypt—designed by Borromini.
“Not many people know about it,” he says. “You have to go into this two-foot passageway to get down there. So I went down into it, and I scanned it, and I came back out.”
Tried to, anyway. By then a “full-on mass” was under way.
“I just couldn’t come out with my scanner in the middle of mass,” he says. “There was no way to escape. So I spent the entire mass underground in this crypt. It was very small, and kind of creepy.”
Back in the old days of scanning —say, two or three years ago—“people had to use physical targets,” Saunders explains. “You would have to plant spheres around the site, or targets that you would pin up on walls. When you came back to register the scans, or composite them together so that they overlapped, you would have to find the spheres yourself and kind of stitch the pieces back together. But now the software and algorithms have gotten so advanced that they can find patterns and automatically register
and scan and put everything together.”
Even so, “in the case of someone like Bernini, where there’s so much figuration and columns within columns, you could scan for days and still miss parts,” he acknowledges. “So one of the things my research assistant [Ariel Cooke-
Zamora GAr’19] has been doing is patching and cleaning up all these areas.”
In Cooke-Zamora’s view, the Baroque Topologies project has transformed laser scanning “from a surveying tool to a
representational one,” with serious benefits for architecture students.
“I’m very lucky to have been one of the first people to see these churches in this way,” he says. “Orbiting around the point cloud grants the viewer perspectives that have never been seen—not even by the architect himself.”
Connors compares some of Saunders’ digital renderings to certain “astounding drawings” by Borromini, which “give us
the impression that we are seeing through structures as in an X-ray.” This same quality, he adds, “is evident when we see, in Saunders’ models, [Borromini’s] buildings as though they had turned to glass and we could look through them as we fly above them. They are images that grab us by the shoulders and shake us into new perceptions of Baroque architecture.”
When he taught a graduate seminar on Baroque architecture this past spring, Saunders and his high-tech renderings were able to address a longstanding problem for students of the genre. The architects left no blueprints behind, and had often improvised as they went along. As a result, he says, any plans they did draw up usually “have little to do with what actually gets built.” True, there are plenty of photographs to study, but those two-dimensional representations seldom capture the full three-dimensional realities.
“Oftentimes I found that an architectural drawing of, say, Bernini’s Sant’ Andrea al Quirinale did not match the existing form of the church,” says Cooke-Zamora. And until now, “a student doing a formal analysis of these works would have had to model the space using existing—often scarce or inaccurate—reference images.”
“We went from students finding four or five photographs and squinting at them, trying to figure out what the three-dimensionality is, to printing fragments by someone like Vittone—not having to visualize; just 3D-printing it, like they’re printing pieces of this church to analyze,” says Saunders. “It’s kind of mind-blowing.”
The scans make for a “night-and-day difference,” he adds. “Within two weeks, the students really know the difference between Cortona, Rinaldi, Borromini.”
“One thing I saw in some of the work of Andy’s seminar was the possibility to deconstruct the object differently, to understand differently the layers and strata of this kind of activation of space,” says Guido Zuliani. “The work raises the possibility of taking certain moldings or decorations and analyzing them separately from the rest of the building with incredible precision, which will elimi-
nate some of the ambiguities or guessing that is normally done.
“It is a little bit early to understand the range of possibilities,” he adds, “but the range is really big.”
For Saunders, teaching the only course in PennDesign’s Master of Architecture sequence that covers architectural history before 1850—and doing it with laser scans and 3D printouts—is a rewarding kind of time warp.
“I enjoy that,” he says simply. “It’s very Baroque.”
Jun
23
2017

3D Scanner Company of the Year

We are delighted to inform you that FARO has won the award for the 3D scanner company of the year !

“Given the standard of our fellow nominees competing for the prestigious 3D scanner company of the year award, we were delighted with our success,” enthused Dave Southam, Regional Manager Europe North at FARO Technologies. “As FARO scanners are particularly suited to the demands of the 3D printing industry our sales in this exciting global sector continue to grow at a phenomenal rate.

 

Read More.

Jun
07
2017

FARO Tracer M Laser Projector for Factory Metrology

FARO has recently launched the Tracer M Laser Projector. This new solution allows users to reduce the expensive delays associated with the alignment and assembly of large components, help improve process precision, and negate the need for physical templates and hard tooling.

The Tracer M uses Advanced Trajectory Control (ATC) to deliver fast projection. ATC provides superior dynamic accuracy and a rapid refresh rate which minimizes flicker. Photogrammetric targets are used to enable the best fit alignment of the projected image onto the surface or object, thereby allowing the projected image to be consistent with the CAD model.

For larger assemblies and for use in space-constrained areas, multiple Tracer M projectors can be controlled from a single workstation to provide large-scale virtual templates in one coordinate system. The risk of human error and costly scrap during assembly is significantly reduced, in addition, manufacturers are able to avoid the time and expense associated with using large, heavy templates.

 

Read More.

May
30
2017

Drone Hero Europe 2017

Think 3D has recently entered the STORMBEE into the Public Drone Hero Europe 2017 award.

The Belgian company has combined the FARO Focus 3D X 130 with a drone to create the world’s first high precision 3D scanning drone. A common problem faced by many users of our laser scanner was that it was a very time consuming process for them to create 3D models of sites from a stationary position. In order to increase productivity and make the process of scanning sites more efficient, Think 3D came up with the concept of combining the FARO Focus 3D X 130 laser scanner with a drone. After a research period of 4 years, STORMBEE was created which now allows Think 3D to deliver requested 3D models to clients within a 24 hour time frame, much faster than a company that does fixed scans.

Drone Hero Europe is a contest for everyone to participate in which allows teams to show their innovations in the field of drones to a large public audience. It also gives the innovators a chance to connect with potential customers or partners.

The winner of this competition will receive an all access pass as well as an exhibit space in Las Vegas at the Commercial UAV Expo Americas. The competition is open until 12.00 on 22nd June 2017.

In order to see the STORMBEE video and vote, please Click Here.

May
12
2017

FARO’s Speed and Accuracy aids Rail Project

The use of a FARO Focus3D X 330 Laser Scanner helps to ensure the delivery of precise precast concrete structural elements to the Ordsall Chord project, part of Network Rail’s £1bn+ railway upgrade plan for the North of England.

A joint venture between Skanska BAM Nuttall is currently involved in delivering the Ordsall Chord, part of the Great North Rail Project to improve railway services. The project will help to increase connectivity across towns and cities and enable the Government’s so-called Northern Powerhouse initiative to boost economic growth in the North of England.

Since October 2015, work has been taking place on the Ordsall Chord.  This new section of track will create a link between Manchester city centre’s main train stations; Victoria, Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly, for the first time.  However, for this vital piece of track to be fitted, a huge amount of preparatory work needs to take place.  This includes realigning existing track-, building new bridges, removing disused arches and restoring Grade I listed structures related to what is a section of the world’s first passenger railway.

The delivery of incorrectly sized precast concrete elements had the potential to cause long delays to the Ordsall Chord project and to disrupt road and rail travel. To help eliminate this possibility a fool-proof system of laser scanning the critical structural elements has been adopted.

Dan Binney, Skanska BAM, Senior Engineering Surveyor explained. “Work on the Ordsall Chord involves reconfiguring the existing railway between Eccles and Deansgate, Eccles and Manchester Victoria and Deansgate and Salford Crescent stations. Other work includes the installation of two new bridges, the renovation of an existing bridge, the widening of a viaduct and establishing a new track lay out.

“The track changes will allow the 300 metre chord, a brand new section of railway, to connect with the new layout. As part of the project, a range of large, precast concrete, structural elements are manufactured off-site. Although we are able to make on-site adjustments to accommodate very minor size discrepancies, the delivery of precast structures that fall outside our specified dimensional tolerances would render them useless and cause massive time delays.



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