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.
In collaboration with FARO and ScanLAB Projects, Sir John Soane’s Museum in London has embarked on the Explore Soane Challenge which involves giving a global audience access to its archive.
Thanks to the latest 3D scanning technology offered by FARO, The Museum was able to scan its collections in order to create an online digital archive. The Soane Museum is one of a kind. Built by distinguished 19th century architect Sir John Soane, it was a home, library and museum in one – housing his collection of artworks, sculptures, furniture and artefacts. At his death in 1837, Soane left his house and collection to the nation, stipulating that it should be kept open and free for the public’s inspiration and education.
Almost two centuries later, FARO, ScanLAB Projects and The Soane Museum have embarked on a unified project to create an online digital archive of the Museum. The project utilises the latest developments in 3D technology to scan and digitise a wide selection of rooms and objects. This includes Soane’s Model Room, and the ancient 3,500 year old Sarcophagus of King Seti I.
For 180 years, the house has remained meticulously preserved through conservation and restoration. Nevertheless, Explore Soane continues this ambition in a new, powerful way. The teams will be adding more rooms, and several more objects to the digitised collection in order to inspire and educate, precisely as Sir John Soane wished.
Teams from ScanLAB have been utilising a range of cutting edge scanning technologies from FARO. Large spaces such as rooms and stairwells have been captured using LiDAR scanners such as the FARO Focus x 330, whilst smaller objects are scanned using the latest FARO Arm scanner and photogrammetric software. The data now forms part of an archive not just for the Museum but also for future and overseas researchers interested in studying the Museum and the many models collected by Sir John Soane himself.
“At Faro we strongly believe that the future is to digitally preserve and record every artefact or site of interest for future generations. Our mission is ‘To enable mankind to easily and accurately connect the physical world to the virtual world.’ The tools that we use to document collections have become more user friendly and cost effective which makes it more accessible to more people. We want to make our heritage our future.” (David Southam, FARO)
Click here to explore Sir John Soane’s Museum.
FARO Technologies are thrilled to have aided Andrew Saunders, Associate Professor from the University of Pennsylvania to accomplish his mission of collecting a digital archive of Baroque art and architecture. Saunders, who works in the Department of Architecture travelled to Italy for six weeks in order to scan and archive some of the most prominent Italian Baroque architecture. Following the University of Pennsylvania’s commitment to ‘advancing the public good–both locally and globally–through art, design, planning, and preservation,’ the purpose of this project was to discover a superior method to digitally explore highly complex baroque architecture.
By using a FARO Focus3D X 130 laser scanner, data was captured showing the prospering evolution from the early and high baroque in Rome extending to the late baroque in the Piedmont Region in Northern Italy. The archive includes work from Francesco Borromini, Bernardo Vittone, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pietro da Cortona Guarino Guarini, and Carlo Rainaldi. Precise 3D models were produced of the interior spaces of various churches which can now be viewed in full colour.
Taking into account that there were many challenges during this project, Andrew Saunders pointed out that the project would not have been possible without the contributions it received from its co-workers including FARO, Autodesk and the Italian contacts that made it possible to gain access to the scans.
FARO made a significant contribution to this project by providing a Focus3D X 130 laser scanner. This ultra-portable device allows users Topologies, FARO, University of Pennsylvania, baroque art, FAto record complex structures delivering realistic and true-to-detail scan results. The high resolution scanner has a range from 0.6m up to 30m and a distance accuracy of up to ±2mm. It also has a one million points per second scanning rate enabling fast, straightforward and accurate measurements of objects and buildings. FARO also offered software and training to those who had the responsibility of operating the laser scanner. The purpose of these scans was to create a comprehensive digital archive of the work. High resolution scans using the FARO Focus3D X 130 allowed verification, calibration and discovery of Baroque topologies.
Saunders stated, “The ability to capture, record and simulate increasingly larger sets of data, coupled with remote access to cloud computing and progressively more affordable additive fabrication technology, provides new opportunities and methods for understanding and assessing complexity and representation in architecture.”
The results from this project are extraordinary in many ways. The data that has been collected will now create digital access to some of the most prominent churches in the world, in a way that has never been available before. Furthermore, the captured scan data will allow experts to carry out reverse engineering of the algorithms behind the truly astounding baroque architecture.
However, the project is still not yet completed. It is intended that the archive will be used for in depth analysis and comparisons between the Italian churches. Moreover, The University of Pennsylvania School of Design will now work with Autodesk in order to make the archive available to the public as well as other students and scholars.
To access interactive 360 degrees views of the baroque architecture please click here.
There are quite a number of structures unique to London: Big Ben, the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, to name a few. But even the most ardent of Londoners may not be aware of their city’s one and only lighthouse, which has been unassumingly tucked away in London’s East End since 1864. Maybe the lighthouse’s lack of acclaim is due to the fact that it doesn’t serve as a lighthouse at all. Or that it never has, actually. From the outset, Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse served as an experimental hub for pioneering lighting techniques to be implemented in lighthouses and lightships along the entire coast of Great Britain. The lighthouse’s design and construction was the brainchild of Sir James Douglass, who is best known for his work on the fourth Eddystone lighthouse at Rame Head. But Douglass was far from the only eminent Briton to work at Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse. When oil and gas lighting were deemed obsolete, Michael Faraday, best known for his discoveries in electromagnetism, was commissioned to create and test different designs for electric lighting and lenses. He even set up a workshop on-site to have direct access to test his ideas.
Beyond boasting an impressive historical record, the lighthouse is also an extremely well-preserved example of Victorian architecture, making it the perfect subject for a new technique in heritage preservation. It is an all too common and devastating development when a structure, which once stood in pristine condition, falls into such disrepair that it can no longer be visited or recognised. Any record that would have been pre-emptively collected would likely have been limited to photographs, written documents and short videos, none of which allow a visitor to experience the structure as it once stood.
Taking advantage of recent advances in cutting edge technology, a team of visual and audio engineers aims to change this trajectory. Using a laser scanner, the team first captures the dimensions of the structure of interest. The data is converted into a 3D model which is then rendered into a virtual reality environment. Using a virtual reality headset, a user is able to effectively “step into” the structure as if walking around the actual site. Strategically placed audio clips inform the user of the structure’s history, so he or she is left with a very powerful, immersive sensory experience highlighting the structure’s beauty and historical context. The team hopes that the project will set a precedent for heritage preservation so that more people can explore a repository of heritage sites as they currently stand rather than after they have fallen derelict, scattered as fragments, overgrown and forgotten.
To create the digital model, Adrian (pictured) used the FARO 3D X130 tripod-mounted laser scanner to gather point cloud data at 2mm precision of the entire exterior and interior of the lighthouse and adjoining chain store. The efficiency of the scanning allowed a general scan to be obtained in less than 6 hours. For the more detailed objects like the singing bowls in the picture, Adrian used a FARO Scanner Freestyle3D. It’s hand-held design allows the user to capture all sides of an object in a single sweep rather than through multiple re-adjustments of a static scanner. The smaller size of Freestyle 3D also allows accessibility into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies that might prove impossible to capture with a static scanner. The only downside is looking like you are performing new-age yoga while gathering data. But who really cares when the data come out so darn good?
At this year’s Intergeo in Hamburg, FARO® presented numerous new and enhanced products to its architecture, engineering and construction customers. Intergeo attendees were able to see first-hand the Laser Scanner FocusS Laser Scanner, the Freestyle3D Objects Handheld Scanner, SCENE, PointSense Software and the newly announced Mobil Mapping Solution, the Road Scanner C.
Generating the most interest and enthusiasm was the new Laser Scanner FocusS which was the highlight at the FARO booth and was visualized on a big screen multiple times. The FocusS is the most recent member of FARO’s popular laser scanner product line, which compliments the functionality of its latest Focus3D predecessors, adding several customer-centric features. An extended scanning range (150 m and 300 m), an extended operating temperature (-20° C to +55° C), the industry standard Ingress Protection (IP) rating classification IP54, an innovative accessory bay and a built-in compensation routine all provide AEC professionals with enhanced versatility and efficiency in the field. With a larger and luminous touch-screen the FocusS offers easy operation and its weight is more than 20% lighter in comparison to the previous generation models.
For precise scanning of mid-range measurement volume, FARO presented the new powerful Freestyle3D Objects Handheld Scanner as an Early Adopter Product to trade show visitors. Primarily designed for the Product Design market, the device also provides AEC professionals with a solution for 3D capturing medium-size MEP components and historical artifacts such as relics and sculptures. With a scanning range of 0.3 to 0.8 meter, the FARO Freestyle3D Objects captures scan data quickly in detailed colour and is suitable for different ambitious measurement tasks.
With the releases of FARO SCENE 6.2, customers could gain an insight into how the new on-site compensation tool is supported software based. Next to gaining information on the workflow of verifying and adjusting the scanner’s compensation parameters, customers learned how to generate a comprehensive compensation document automatically.
Trade show visitors that have been searching for solutions to efficiently process their laser scanning data, were able to see the introduction of the new PointSense Software programs. FARO has introduced new powerful tools for the modeling and alignment of building and plant components based on point cloud data, such as the new SmartSnap command in PointSense for AutoCAD and the extraction of MEP pipes in PointSense for Revit®.
Finally, attendees were amazed with the introduction of the new Road Scanner C, FARO’s first mobile mapping application, addressing customers in the infrastructure field with a state-of-the-art documentation solution. Realized as a joint project with the partner SITECO, FARO® will concentrate on the hardware sale.
Intergeo proved to be an extremely successful event for FARO which included three days on the trade show floor filled with positive customer feedback, numerous new contacts and insightful ideas for future product developments.
A new special of the BBC One show Pompeii: New Secrets Revealed with Mary Beard has helped uncover some myteries in Pompeii. This is one of the most iconic archaeological sites and with the use of the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D unearthed the human stories behind the casts hidden underground. The presenter of the show Mary Beard is a passionate TV historian who wanted to find out the truth the bodies underneath the ashes. This ancient city was destroyed by volcanic ash and pumice during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Researchers were able to examine in detail the remains of bodies to find out more about how these people lived their lives thousands of years ago.
The precise yet simple laser scanner is especially suited to the outdoors due to its small size and lightweight capabilities. The FARO Focus3D Laser scanner was able to perform the most detailed scan of the archaeological site and was shown on the BBC One show for the world to see. The Focus3D can create a precise, virtual copy of the scanned objects at millimetre accuracies in only minutes by capturing up to 976,000 data points per second. Estelle Lazer from the University of Sydney was able along with her team to help Mary unpick the remains which are preserved in Pompeii.
Previously a bank, now a large restaurant of 720 metres, with a capacity of 140 seats: the construction of Studio 16, which opened its doors in Orléans in the
Autumn of 2015, represented a huge challenge in terms of construction, development of the space and decoration.
MB Design, a firm specializing in interior architecture, was charged with the creation and the realisation of this new concept, and monitored the progress of the building work closely, over a period of 8 months. “We had decided to carry out surveys using a FARO Focus3D X 130 scanner as the work progressed. In doing so, we were able to ensure a real and precise indication of the position of all elements of the site that would end up being hidden by various partitions and covers. The objective was to know exactly where the pipes and cables lay, which would turn out to be very useful later, for example when making an alteration, or if a problem were to occur in one of the hidden installations (a blocked pipe or a leak, for example),” said Michael Bustillo, Director of MB Design and sister company ABM2 (which specialises in surveys).
Like any establishment open to the public, the restaurant had to comply with building regulations before being allowed to open. A problem comes to light at this point: the facilities are 4 cm above the permitted height. Who is to blame? The plumber says he worked with the reference line, i.e. the horizontal level line marked on the wall by the bricklayer. The surveys obtained by ABM2 quickly prove otherwise: the resolution of the FARO Focus3D scanner is such that the bricklayer’s line is clearly visible. This simple fact has farreaching consequences: “Firstly, we have not lost time discussing whether the bricklayer or the plumber was right. Then we saved money because to trace a possible line level would have required breaking tiles which had been laid on top of it. Finally, there is no dispute to be resolved: the plumber being wrong, the removal of the fittings and their reinstallation at the right height becomes his problem,” explains Michael Bustillo. In playing the role of “justice of the peace”, the scanner saved a great deal of time and the establishment was able to open on schedule.
Now it’s official: paintings and pieces of art that have been scanned with the FARO Focus3D suffer no damage through heat. This has been confirmed by a report by Seibersdorf Labor GmbH.
The recordings of pieces of art or interiors of museums is quick and reliable with laser scanners – and can even be done during visiting hours thanks to the safety of scanners for eyes. Nevertheless, the question of whether pieces of art suffer damage as a result of scanning arises time and again. Reason enough for FARO to have this danger investigated in a report.
Oil paintings are seen as particularly sensitive. Paint and oil have low thermal conductivity and heat capacity values. The high-energy laser could cause an increase in the temperature on the surface and damage the substance of the painting considerably. The report does away with these fears.
For a worst case scenario, a FARO Focus3D X was set up at a distance of one metre from an oil painting – without any protective glass between the piece and the scanner. If a scan is conducted in which the scanner moves horizontally – as is customary in practice – there is a temperature increase on the surface of the oil painting of less than 1.3 degrees Celsius. Even if the head of the scanner doesn’t move and the painting is thus scanned with the laser beams for several minutes, the maximum temperature increase is under 2 degrees Celsius.
To test restorative techniques for example, it is normal to place items with oil paints in an oven for several days at over 60 degrees Celsius and so accelerate an aging process. Against this backdrop, it quickly becomes clear that a short-term temperature increase of less than 2 degrees Celsius due to the FARO Focus3D will cause no damage. This has now been confirmed in the report by Seibersdorf Labor GmbH. It also permits the conclusion that photochemical effects are very unlikely at a wavelength of 1,550 nm – good news for the use of the FARO family of laser scanners in the area of cultural assets.
The Sessa Aurunca Cathedral is therefore a building of superb beauty dating back almost one thousand years, with an absolutely unique feature: it is “the other original”, an almost exact copy of the church at Montecassino which, as is well known, was destroyed by bombing during World War II and subsequently rebuilt. The two buildings differ only in the number of naves: Montecassino has five, while Sessa Aurunca has three. The Sessa Aurunca Cathedral is one of the infinite “pearls” of Italian artistic heritage. Indeed, it stands out for its beauty and historical significance: despite the changes made over the centuries (Baroque and eighteenth-century additions), the cathedral still bears direct witness to the typical religious architecture of the period, combining structural rigour, Christian symbolism and a number of refined Byzantine-style elements (such as the splendid mosaic floor).
Despite its obvious significance, the Sessa Aurunca Cathedral is not well-known among the general public and is overlooked by “traditional” tourist flows. For this reason, the diocese and the municipality of Sessa Aurunca in the Campania region of Italy decided to launch the “Sessa Aurunca 3D Project”, a communications project designed to promote the Cathedral and provide the associated services and products.
The “Sessa Aurunca 3D Project” has several goals and is broken down into seven specific points that will explore new frontiers within the world of communications: the publication of academic and scientific reports and articles; the organisation of conventions, seminars and events; the production of stereoscopic 3D animations and videos, with the creation of a You- Tube channel and dedicated videos; the creation of a “360-degree Virtual Tour” with a database and “multidata” to “explore” the Cathedral using computers and mobile devices; the creation of thematic apps and a website; and the production of a “docu-film” about the project and the technologies used. Regarding this last aspect, Danilo Prosperi observed: “Part of the success of this initiative can be attributed to the FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner, an extremely precise device that we used to scan the Cathedral’s architecture, which provided us with a point cloud or, more precisely, digital data that we were able to use in our various activities.” The data acquisition phase involved 38 scans made inside and outside the church, including the crypt, and took just over half a day. “The quality of the FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner enabled us to acquire extremely high-resolution and high-precision images with very low margins of error, which was fundamental for the scanning of extremely beautiful details, such as the mosaic floor, the ambo, the spiral Paschal candelabrum and the crypt on the lower level.”
The data gathered was then processed in SCENE, the FARO software for the management of scanned data, designed specifically for the Focus3D. This software was used to create and edit videos and images for the 3D Virtual Tours of the Cathedral. “SCENE,” Danilo Prosperi specified, “allows us to easily process the scanned data and quickly generate particularly complex high-resolution equirectangular panoramic images”. Danilo Prosperi stressed: “We believe that the FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner is the best technology on the market, not only due to its extreme precision, but also because it is so flexible, fast and easy to use. In fact, it is a compact instrument that is very lightweight and easy to move from one scanning position to another.” He concluded: “The collaboration between FARO and the Master’s in Architecture, Sacred Art and Liturgy at the European University of Rome has only just begun. Given the quality of the results, we plan to use the FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner in the future for other projects aimed at promoting highly important monumental sites of great beauty.”
With Laser Scanning continuing to gain popularity, more workflows than ever now rely on the unparalleled precision and speed offered by the latest in scanning technology. We here at FARO continue to bring new instruments to the table, and legislative changes revolutionising the ways in which project data is handled, getting it right in terms of data capture, processing and modelling is more critical than ever. One company who pride themselves on being well ahead of the competition is Worcester-based Bury Associates: Opti-cal caught up with MD Steve to talk all things buildings, BIM and Bury.
In a rapidly changing project landscape, survey businesses like Bury’s occupy an increasingly pastoral role when it comes to guiding clients through the project lifecycle; and they’re not alone – with specifications now littered with demands for BIM, tighter phase collaboration and the need to navigate complex software suites, knowledge in the supply chain is king. They often say that a workman is only as good as his tools, but even with the FARO Focus 3D X330, what truly sets Bury Associates above the competition is the sheer breadth of knowledge, and committed attention to detail that has characterised the business right from its humble beginnings. Commencing back in May this year, their latest project has focused around the documentation and refurbishment of several of the core buildings of the one of the UK’s major academic institutions. With plans to overhaul the structure of the existing buildings, the University commissioned Steve and his colleagues to comprehensively scan, model and deliver a functional Revit BIM from which plans to renovate the central portion of the building could progress.
Having used cutting-edge data modelling techniques since the early 2000s, Bury Associateshave spent the past fourteen years building a reputation as one of the UK’s most experienced topographic and measured building surveyors around. “The project was essentially to carry out scans, and produce a BIM of several buildings and key external areas”, explains Steve; “Scanning started on site in May 2014 and the last of the models was issued to the client in October.”
“The FARO Focus3D X330 has already been used on several other prestigious projects, providing the point cloud for a large Rights of Light model in central London – again, it proved to be invaluable.”
“The end goal is to completely transform a whole major block of buildings so as to make more use of the space available”, he continues, “at present, the main courtyard surrounded by large U-shaped building isn’t really being used at all, so this projects aims to put the space to better use by installing extra glass blocks and lecture theatres. Much of the scanning has been carried out using our new Faro Focus3DX330,” says Steve; “There weren’t many vantage points from which the buildings’ high roofs could be seen – and those that were visible were a good distance away – so a high powered scanner with sufficient range was necessary to pick up the detail needed to model everything as accurately as possible. We were really pleased with the quality of the point cloud we got from the X330; it was clean with little or no noise, and with full coverage even in areas covered in dark slate tiles.” Even with the significantly reduced site time enjoyed by those opting to use high definition 3D data capture methods, the project still demanded a huge amount of raw data from which to accurately model the buildings in question: “In total we’ve performed well over 1000 scans, with more than 200 of those being taken in the voids above suspended ceilings,” says Steve.
“Although using 3D Laser Scanning for as-built projects such as this one has been documented to cause some problems in terms of attributing good, solid data to the resulting 3D model, I think this is where our wealth of experience comes into its own, because intuitively we’ve already got a fairly good idea of the kinds of features we’re likely to come across in a building of this kind. Obviously, it’s not a complete solution because every building is different, so where we could we were scanning up above suspended ceilings using elevated tripods, and putting the scanner up through ceiling tiles!
As a company at the cutting edge of their art, Bury have always been eager to embrace the very latest in 3D data capture methods and their project solutions often stretch far beyond the initial remit of full three dimensional documentation. Now offering some of the most comprehensive project solutions around, Bury are no strangers to Laser Scanning; “The X330 has already been used on several of our other prestigious projects,” says Steve, “and once again it proved to be invaluable. The data collected using the X330 has been used to create a 3D Revit Building Information Model, which as well as basic structural information also includes detailed plant and MEP features.
As with many projects of this kind,it’s the work that takes place in the back office that often accounts for the majority of the time – and Bury’s latest endeavor is no exception, with months set aside for meticulous data processing. “The project has been quite a long one, and if we stay on track we’re due to finish around the end of this month,” he says, “Overall it’s progressed really well and we’ve had some excellent feedback from the design team; the challenge has been to ensure sustained collaboration between our team – using Revit to create our BIM – and the architects for the project who have been working in ArchiCAD, in order to maintain the smooth transfer of intelligent 3D information from one software suite to another.”
“I think it’s critical with all of the projects coming our way nowadays to get the modelling side of things right because so often we’re modelling everything – MEP and so on –not just the architecture,” Steve continues. Contrary to the swathes of survey companies seeking to harness the momentum of the industry ‘BIM buzz’ by simply outsourcing their modeling work,Bury are one of the few businesses who have taken the time to really perfect their modelling art in-house. With major legislative changes on the horizon for businesses at all levels of the supply chain, Bury Associates are way ahead of the competition; now proudly boasting BIM deliverables amongst their regular survey services. “We have been working with and modelling in Revit since 2007 – in truth way before many of our competitors – so in terms of the skill set we have at our disposal, we’re pretty confident in the quality of modelling services we can deliver from the survey side of things.”
“We always have, and will continue to be as hands-on as we possibly can with our projects”, says Steve: “The argument for outsourcing increasingly critical modeling work is often based on the assumption of cost-saving, but at the end of the day, saving twenty percent on modeling costs pales quickly when you consider the sheer amount of errors that so often occur as a result of businesses trying to cut corners. Maintaining the integrity and accuracy of intelligent data is crucial to the success of any project hoping to experience any kind of real success.”