In December 1836, the London terminus of the world’s first passenger railway, the London & Greenwich Railway, opened. Almost 180 years later and known as London Bridge Station, the UK’s fourth busiest railway station still reflects some of its early 19th century origins, being an elevated structure built on brick arches, but the complex has since been expanded and reconfigured piecemeal many times.
In addition FARO Laser scanner Focus3D aids Costain in improving its capture and sharing of field data to being a terminus, the station now also caters for through services, including cross-London Thameslink connections, but by the early 2000s the station had become a bottleneck hampering rapid movement of both passengers – some 56 million use the station each year – and trains. To remove the bottleneck and to expand passenger capacity by 40 per cent, Network Rail set about transforming London Bridge station.
Six low-level platforms for terminating services were to be raised to the height of the platforms of through services; the total of through platforms would be increased from six to nine; and a new single concourse at the foot of London’s iconic Shard was to be constructed – and all while continuing to operate passenger rail services through the station and allowing interchange with London Underground, local bus and taxi services, and onward journeys on foot or by bicycle.
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FARO UK will be attending the The Future of BIM: Looking beyond 2016 conference. This conference will provide an industry update of the BIM Level 2 adoption in the UK construction industry.
Guests should gain knowledge of where the industry is at the present moment and providing strategies to improve efficiency and minimising waste within the construction industry. Some of the products related to this include the FARO Laser Scanner which have contributed to the handling of project data and data capture.
The event will take place on Thursday 3rd December 2015 in Euston, London.
Tickets for the event are £325.
Speaker will include:
Martin Simpson – Associate Director at Arup (Chair)
Dr Arto Kiviniemi – Professor of Digital Architectural Design, University of Liverpool
Elahe Gholami – Researcher, Building Research Establishment
Click here for more details
FARO Technologies Inc., the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement technology, was elected “Milestone of the Industry” by Vogel Business Media in the category of measurement and testing technology.
Vogel Business Media (VBM), a worldwide major specialist media publisher that focusses on the markets Automation, Automobile, Electronics, Production, Mechanical Engineering, Design Engineering among others celebrates its 120th birthday. In order to share this success, VBM honors based on this long lasting experience within the industry markets important players of the industry for their achievements in innovation and technological development.
The award “Milestone of the Industry” for FARO is based on FARO’s innovation started in 1984 with the development of the first measurement arm used for orthopedic applications and in 1994 to be the first measurement company in the world that developed measurement arms which worked like a fixed co-ordinate measuring machine but would provide mobility, flexibility, wide range measurements with a high accuracy to the users. This innovation was considered a milestone of the industry for its revolutionary contribution to the industrial history. It changed and simplified the way that quality, surfaces and dimensions of products, etc. could be measured. This achievement was followed by a number of outstanding innovations that make FARO a trusted partner in the industry today.
FARO’s success is proven through numerous recognitions and awards. The FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D FARO has already prevailed twice with regards to the Hardware Product of the year award at the Construction Computing award contest, 2012 and recently in November 2014. The Focus3D impressed due to its extremely powerful and accurate three-dimensional measurement method, which offers numerous advantages compared with conventional measurement systems.
Geospatial World, considered the world’s largest geospatial technical resource portal, confirmed this vote for the Focus3D in 2014 with the Technology Innovation Award acknowledging that it sets new standards with regards to performance and ease-of-use.
“FARO is very proud to be considered a milestone for the industrial development.”, said Jay Freeland, President and CEO of FARO Technologies Inc., “With our recently introduced new FARO® Scanner Freestyle3D, we will do our utmost to keep this innovation pace and leadership position.” The Freestyle3D is the latest addition to the FARO 3D laser scanning portfolio and provides customers with the same intuitive feel and ease-of-use in a handheld device, enabling users to maneuver and scan in tight and hard-to-reach areas such as car interiors, under tables and behind objects making it ideal for crime scene data collection or architectural preservation and restoration activities.
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.”
FARO Technologies, Inc., the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement, imaging, and realization technology, announces the release of the new FARO Freestyle3D Handheld Laser Scanner, an easy, intuitive device for use in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC), Law Enforcement, and other industries.
The FARO Freestyle3D is equipped with a Microsoft Surface™ tablet and offers unprecedented real-time visualization by allowing the user to view point cloud data as it is captured. The Freestyle3D scans to a distance of up to three 3 meters and captures up to 88K points per second with accuracy better than 1.5mm. The patent-pending, self-compensating optical system also allows users to start scanning immediately with no warm up time required.
“The Freestyle3D is the latest addition to the FARO 3D laser scanning portfolio and represents another step on our journey to democratize 3D scanning. Following the successful adoption of our FARO Focus 3D Scanners for long-range scanning, we’ve developed a scanner that provides customers with the same intuitive feel and ease-of-use in a handheld device.”
The portability of Freestyle3D enables users to maneuver and scan in tight and hard-to-reach areas such as car interiors, under tables and behind objects making it ideal for crime scene data collection or architectural preservation and restoration activities. Memory-scan technology enables Freestyle3D users to pause scanning at any time and then resume data collection where they left off without the use of artificial targets.
It is no secret that where large-scale major investment is concerned in the current economic climate, infrastructure is a serious front-runner. As one component of a multi-pronged assault on rectifying the UK’s extensive debt crisis, Cameron’s government has pledged billions to the preservation and vast improvement of the country’s arterial infrastructure systems in the hope of stimulating a kick-start for the country’s long-term economic growth. With high-profile projects such as HS2 and Crossrail at the vanguard of the £36billion major infrastructure investment plan, the subject of national infrastructure has become one of 2014’s hot topics. Opti-cal caught up with Ted Harland of Tri-tech Site Engineering and Land Surveys in a bid to get the inside scoop on one of this year’s largest projects; the high profile £300million upgrade of the A1 between Barton and Leeming, that upon completion will see journey times in the area cut by as much as twenty percent.
Tri-tech themselves are a Yorkshire-based surveying and site engineering company, who since 2005 have gained a solid reputation in supporting and facilitating project success for both public and private sector clients
“The project is essentially a £300m upgrade of the existing A1 dual carriageway to 3 Lane Motorway”, explains Harland, MD of Tri-tech, “upon completion, the project will also provide a number of local access roads to serve the local community, and significantly improve safety in the area [which at present lacks the local access roads necessary to accommodate the area’s numerous agricultural vehicles.]”
Falling beneath the broad umbrella of major infrastructure projects for 2014/15, the A upgrade sets the tone for contemporary project process in its use of 3D Laser Scanning Technology, as well as the firm insight into futureproofing the venture’s work through BIM (Building Information Modelling) workflows. “There has been a big push nationwide to start to deliver projects through BIM”, says Ted; “This in turn with the recent development of Scanners, PC Software, and PC Hardware has meant that now more than ever 3D laser Scanning has become a viable option for data collection for this kind of project.” “We have used Opti-cal for number of years now for the supply and service of all our equipment …Their support and service is second to none”
“We were asked by the Morgan-Sindall Carillion Joint Venture (MSCJV) project team to survey a number of existing bridges for the structural design team to process”, he explains, “some of the existing bridges are to be kept, as well as a number modified to suit a new 3 lane Motorway. After having various discussions with the design team about their specific requirements, and whether they could handle such large amounts of scan data, Tri-tech choose the FARO Focus3D X330 model for the job largely because it is the ability to scan at a far.
” Since its arrival on the market last year, the FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner from global manufacturing powerhouse FARO has evolved in tandem with the changing requirements of the survey teams using it. In November last year, the original S120 model was replaced by the first of the X series units – the X330 – which boasted considerable range whilst maintaining the compact 5kg housing that has gained this particular brand of scanner well deserved industry-wide recognition. “In the past we have used the Focus3D S120 to scan a number of buildings for a client”, he says, “The results were excellent, however on this project we knew we required the additional range of the X330 to confidently scan the structures from both sides of the carriageway and get good results. Because we only have access to the side of the motorway sometimes the distances needed to be scanned would have been right at the limit of the S120, which is why we went for X330. In terms of the hire itself, we have used Opti-cal for number of years now and so it was natural progression for them to supply the scanner and all accessories. Their support and service is second to none.”
Speaking about the data captured at the site, Peter Robinson of AECOM’s specialist design team said, “The use of the X330 FARO scanner by Ted Harland of Tri-tech has provided the A1 Dishforth to Barton structures design team with invaluable information. The [sheer] level of detail obtained from the surveys has left a number of the design team speechless, and has allowed [the highly] accurate modelling of existing structures.” He continues; “thanks to the coordinated point cloud obtained from the surveys conducted, we discovered that the original surveys carried out [at the site] were in fact inaccurate, which could easily have led to costly issues on site.”
Here, Robinson highlights the very issue that awards Laser scanning its rightful place at the heart of much of the industry’s recent lean towards Level 2 maturity BIM workflows; that the data you get out of a model will only ever be as good as the data you put in. And where Tri-tech is concerned, no expense has been spared in ensuring total accuracy for MSCJV and the holistic success of their project. “There was quite a lot of prep work prior to the scanner arriving on site,” Ted continues, “control had to be established at each structure using GPS and then tightened up using a total station; all stations were then digitally levelled to tie them into the site network. The beauty about scanning and scan data is that you capture everything in one visit – which at the end of the day saves the project both time and money.”
“We managed to scan all the structures in 4 days with a total of over 40 scans taken”, says Harland. “The processing was then done the following week using the Faro Scene, and the data exported out of FARO Scene Software in a format ready to be imported into Autodesk Revit/Autocad. We know this data is of an exceptionally high quality, and can now be used to design and model all new additions or changes to the motorway bridges – it also provides a real snap shot of what is there now as a record forever, in true 3D.”
With work commencing in March this year, the venture is by no means a small undertaking; “The project is due to be completed in mid-2017,” says Ted, “and I am confident that should there be any further survey work of bridges or structures, laser scanning will certainly be a first choice – not only by the designers but by the site team too.”
A scanner is not much use on its own – with SCENE software from FARO, all the scan data acquired on the set can be processed and – with the hosting service – securely shared worldwide.
FARO is a manufacturer of portable 3D measurement technology, and has developed the SCENE software package specifically for the FARO Focus3D laser scanner. However the SCENE software is not restricted to the laser scanners from FARO, but can also be combined with other makes of laser scanner.
Using this software, the user can process the photo-realistic scan data from the laser scanner with the aid of automatic scan registration and positioning methods, and then carry out measurements and 3D visualisations and export point clouds. New tools take care of automatic scan positioning without having to rely on artificial targets such as checkerboard markers or spheres. The range of functions of the software can be extended at will with plug-ins from the FARO 3D App Center, for example for creating a video, for volume calculations and much more. At the same time, FARO has published the new version 1.6 of the scan data hosting service, SCENE WebShare Cloud: This enables scan projects to be viewed, shared and published online. And all with the highest security standard.
SCENE is compatible with Windows from version 7, 64-bit, in addition to which at least a 512 MB graphics card with OpenGL-2.0-interface is required for optimum performance. For stereoscopic display, FARO recommends an Nvidia Quadro card. SCENE uses the manufacturer-independent, binary data exchange format ASTM E57, and the tool also supports all popular formats.
How many laser scanners should be used for a high-quality scan model of which magnitude?
Oliver Bürkler: The crucial factor is always the degree of detail required for a scan. The more accurate a scan is to be, and the higher the resolution it is to have, the longer the scanner takes to record the data. We are talking about a maximum of 15 minutes for a very detailed scan outdoors, within a surrounding radius of 330 metres. The larger and more complex the object to be scanned – for example a large, angular building – the more scans will have to be carried out in order to record all the surfaces. It can thus be an advantage in terms of time to employ several devices in parallel, but it is not absolutely necessary. As far as SCENE is concerned, the software can in principle handle projects of unlimited size, and map them with no restrictions.
How does the scanner store the data?
Oliver Bürkler: The scanner stores the scan data automatically on a normal SD card. If a computer is equipped with SCENE software, data transfer is started as soon as the SD card is inserted, following a brief request for confirmation.
There are two methods available for automatic scan positioning without markers: “Top View”-based registration and “Cloud-to-Cloud” registration. Which of these is suitable for which situation?
Oliver Bürkler: “Cloud-to-Cloud” registration uses all the scan data for registration. In order to be able to operate reliably, this type of registration needs in principle some initial information about the rough position and alignment of the scan. When outdoors, SCENE uses the GPS information saved by the scanner for each scan. Without this information, for example when indoors, the user has to align the scans roughly by hand in advance. In contrast to “Top-View”-based registration, this method requires a little more time but is potentially more accurate.
Prior information about location and orientation are not necessary for “Top-View”-based registration. This method is particularly suitable when there are enough vertical structures – such as walls, for example – available in the scan data.
However, in the case of targetless methods the user has to ensure greater overlapping between the individual scanning locations. So you need more scan positions but you save yourself the effort associated with transporting, fitting and managing the targets.
In which application situations is the use of targets as essential as ever?
Oliver Bürkler: SCENE still supports spheres and checkerboards as targets. The user will normally still want to use targets if he/she wants to georeference the scans, for example, with tachymeter data. The type of most suitable targets depends on the individual case.
In which formats can data such as image files, CAD drawings or cards be integrated into the scan data?
Oliver Bürkler: The user can import files in .tiff, Geotiff, .jpg or .png formats into SCENE. The software then displays the file on a horizontal plane in 3D space. In the case of a Geotiff file, the position and scaling are extracted automatically from the metadata. With the other file formats, the user has to enter the position and the scale of the image, for example by means of a dialog box.
Does stereo 3D viewing work in real time in every situation?
Oliver Bürkler: The output of a stereoscopic 3D view can be easily defined in the 3D settings of SCENE. A stereoscopic view is always possible without any time delay then.
Is SCENE WebShare Cloud permanently integrated into the software or an optional feature?
Oliver Bürkler: It is an optional service from FARO, but from the technology perspective it is fully integrated in SCENE. Advantages of the Cloud service include the easy viewing of scan data in standard web browsers, as well as the provision of data in any size. Users do not need any special software for it. The scans are also displayed as panoramic images, so no knowledge of 3D programs is required. That makes it particularly easy in the case of complex projects to provide access to the data to everyone involved – all without any time delay. Even changes to the project become visible in real time. There is the choice of making the data public or of restricting access by means of username and password.
Is web-based collaboration on the model also possible?
Oliver Bürkler: Yes, that is also possible. Although we recommend that a web conference system such as GotoMeeting or WebEx be used for that purpose when several people are working at the same time. It makes cooperation more effective.
You also offer a free version of SCENE, called Scenect. For which target group is it intended?
Oliver Bürkler: Our intention with Scenect is to appeal to people who are not typical professional 3D scanner users, and to offer them an easy way into 3D scanning. All that is needed are inexpensive sensors such as the Asus Xtion or Microsoft Kinect. With Scenect, however, only one sensor can be used at a time.
Are there any imminent plans for a Mac or Linux version von SCENE?
Oliver Bürkler: There will be no versions of the software for other operating systems in the immediate future. On the other hand, SCENE WebShare Cloud is entirely independent of the operating system.
FARO is set to participate at the GeoData Event in Glasgow where you will be able to see first-hand how its portable CMMs and LaserScanners for 3D documentation solutions can benefit your operation. These exhibition style events include live demos of the products and provide an opportunity to talk to members of the team about your specific requirements. Technology from FARO permits high-precision 3D measurement, imaging and comparison of parts and compound structures within production and quality assurance processes. The devices are used for inspecting components and assemblies, production planning, large part inspection or structures in 3D, and more…. To find out how to register for the GeoData Event click here and head up to Glasgow on the 4th of November where we will be featuring our FARO LaserScanner Focus3D X Series, or visit our website and book your demo today.
What is 3D Documentation workflow? How does it work? And most important: What are the benefits for you?
Watch the video to find the answers!