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.”
Fusion for Energy (F4E), the European Union organization managing Europe’s contribution to ITER (an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject), has just awarded the Franco-Italian consortium SIMIC – CNIM the contract to manufacture 70 radial plates for ITER. The contract, expected to run for 4 years and for a value in the range of 160 million EUR, is among the biggest industrial contributions of Europe’s share to the ITER toroidal field magnet system.
Amongst the mist of high-tech precision tools and machines is one of our very own FARO LaserTracker. The FARO Laser Tracker is an extremely accurate, portable coordinate measuring machine that enables you to build products, optimize processes, and deliver solutions by measuring quickly, simply and precisely.
Customers around the world trust the FARO Laser Tracker to solve their everyday measurement challenges as well as their most complex problems that simply weren’t previously possible. Companies are saving millions by completing large part inspection,alignment and machine calibration jobs faster, reducing downtime, eliminating costly scrap, and getting accurate, consistent, and reportable measurement data.
Okay, so the question is: what exactly is reverse engineering?
Reverse Engineering is the process of duplicating an existing product without the aid of drawings, documentation, or computer models.
Normally the product designer creates a drawing showing how an object is to be built and then the object is manufactured by following the design drawing.
However, with reverse engineering the steps are inverted and the object is ‘reverse engineered’ to discover its structure, function and operation. Therefore, duplication of the part is enabled by capturing physical dimensions, features and material properties.
The FARO ScanArm is a portable CMM ideally suited for reverse engineering applications. One key advantage of using the ScanArm to inspect is that soft, deformable, and complex shapes can be easily inspected without coming into contact with the part, greatly reducing the risk of damaging the item.
Interested in reading more about reverse engineering and success stories with its use? Download the full white paper here!
Affectionately known as “The Hammers” and now in their 9th year, the Construction Computing Awards showcase and reward the technology, tools and solutions for the effective design, construction, maintenance and modification of commercial buildings, residential and social housing and civil engineering projects of all sizes.
Among this years winners was the FARO Focus x330 3D Laser Scanner, which was able to prevail in the hardware product of the year category of the renowned Construction Computing award contest!
The Focus3D impressed due to its extremely powerful and accurate three-dimensional measurement method, which offers numerous advantages compared with conventional measurement systems. By means of three-dimensional scanning of surfaces, the laser scanner can record all spatial and surface geometry with millimetre accuracy with approximately one million measurement points per second. Much less time is spent in data recording, compared with other measurement methods. The resulting colour image of 3D measurement points shows an exact digital reproduction of existing conditions. Detailed 2D and 3D plans and complete 3D models can be created in a very short time with the precise data.
The compact size of the laser scanner was decisive for the award. It only measures 24 x 20 x 10 cm and weighs only 5kg. The Focus3D is thus highly mobile and usable at almost any location. In addition, it can be set up within a very short time.
MERIDA, Yucatán.- The Specialized Crime Scene Unit of the Ministry of Public Security is set to reach the height of the corporate elite research world with the acquisition of the Focus 3D Laser Scanner.
The director of the Specialized Crime Scene (UEEC) Unit, Marco Muñoz Herrera, explained that the FARO Focus 3D Laser Scanner can quickly capture the details of a crime or accident with high accuracy, without interfering with the scene whilst full details of the scene can be examined for further investigation.
Within a very short time after a crime, urgent steps must be taken to avoid deterioration of the scene and loss of evidence. The FARO Focus 3D Laser Scanner can mitigate the risk by quickly scanning a scene to record a detailed 3D point cloud overlaid with color images. This 3D forensic documentation captures the entire scene before the site is compromised. With this digital evidence, forensic scientists can examine the scene at a later date for lines of sight, a bullet trajectory or a blood spatter analysis.
HZ FbZ Züttlingen, a manufacturer of pressing tools and plastic injection, was founded in 1968 as a separate specialist department of the long-established August Läpple AG in Heilbronn, Germany.
The highest level of precision is demanded in the manufacture of tools produced by Züttlingen. The molds are milled out of a metal block on huge milling machines and then finished to an accuracy of hundredths of a millimetre. The tools must ultimately be adequate for the extreme precision requirements of the automotive industry.
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.
The F-35 program brings together the world’s most experienced aerospace industry leaders, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Pratt and Whitney. The global team also includes more than 1,400 suppliers from 46 U.S. states and companies from 10 other countries around the world. This landmark project combines team expertise with sophisticated manufacturing, engineering and technological capabilities.
Among the mix is one of our own. A FARO Laser Tracker Vanatge, which is used in order to ensure precision during the construction and alignment of the F-35 wings. Misalignments can cause machine downtime and significantly decrease machine performance; however, portable CMM’s such as our FARO Laser trackers and FARO measuring arms can help to mitigate these issues.
If you would like to watch the full video, where you can catch a glimpse of our FARO Laser Tracker Vantage at work on the F-35 production line click here. Or for more details about our other FARO products then visit our website.
When it comes to quality assurance at the automotive supplier Mürdter, nothing is left to chance. Each product is checked with a FARO measuring arm in order to guarantee that only flawless components are distributed to their customers.
Mürdter specialise in metal and plastic processing and every day the development engineers at Mürdter ask themselves the same basic question: How can we make this component even lighter without sacrificing quality?