Nov
26
2015

Always one step ahead – 10 years of laser scanning

An unprecedented success story began ten years ago when iQvolution AG of Ludwigsburg, Germany, was acquired by FARO Technologies, Inc. This global market leader in the area of portable coordinate measuring machines added 3D laser scanners to its array of products as a result.

“We are confident that this step will push the continuing development of our 3D laser scanning technology towards new products and strengthen the global expansion of our market presence”, said Dr. Bernd Becker, founder of iQvolution and now Chief Technology Strategist at FARO Europe, commenting on the merger – and he was proven right.

A whole range of innovative developments in the areas of 3D laser technology and computer-aided measuring systems bear witness to success. FARO has been ahead of the market for years. How about some examples? In 2006, FARO introduced a laser scanner that allowed three-dimensional measurements to be taken outdoors – and this was a sensation. A short time afterwards, the company again surprised the market when they presented the Photon laser scanner.

The big breakthrough came in 2010 – only five years after taking over the 3D laser scanner line of business and incorporating it into the FARO portfolio: FARO developed the smallest and lightest laser scanner in the world. Furthermore, this high-tech device was as easy to use as a digital camera. The company showcased its consistent ongoing developments with the Focus3D X 130 and the Focus3D X 330, which allow an even greater range while providing excellent and precise measurement results. The 3D documentation business also sustained further growth that year with the Freestyle3D models – top-quality high-precision hand scanners.

Timeline_EN

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Oct
14
2015

Increased safety for pieces of art

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.

Meet the new FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330
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.

Sep
15
2015

FARO @ Tank Storage 2015

TSA’s Conference and Exhibition is the UK’s leading event for the bulk liquid storage sector. It is the must-attend event of the year for all those who work in the fuels, chemicals, edible oils and fats storage industries.

The event has a proven track record of successfully bringing together people who care about safe and effective bulk liquid storage operations.

The next annual one day event will be held on Thursday 15 October 2015 at the E.On Lounge of the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. The venue, which is located less than a mile from junction 3 of the M6, is just a 70 minute journey by train from London and is close to Birmingham International Airport.

Tank storage 2015

The conference programme will feature presentations from the COMAH Competent Authority and industry experts on topics which are of key interest to those who operate and maintain bulk liquid storage terminals.

FARO will be showcasing the company’s, high speed FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner3D and the recently launched FARO Scanner Freestyle 3D

For more information click here!

Aug
25
2015

FARO @ Offshore Europe 2015 – Aberdeen

FARO UK invites you to the Offshore Europe Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition which is one of the leading global technical conferences and exhibitions for the upstream E&P industry.

The event takes place in Aberdeen from 8th till 11th September 2015. We will present the our cutting-edge metrology products: the FARO Edge with the lightest and smallest laser line probe and touchscreen computer for basic measurements, the FARO Gage with the barcode scanner, the revolutionary FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D, as well as the lastest FARO Laser Tracker Vantage for large volume measurements. In addition we will show our recently launched FARO Freestyle3D handheld laser scanner and the FARO Edge ScanArm HD with new LLP to scan challenging materials with high speed and high-definition data clarity.

To register visit the official exhibitor website.

Offshore Aberdeen

Aug
18
2015

Combined use of the Freestyle3D and Focus3D scanners at the Born Cultural Centre site in Barcelona

When contemplating the site of the “Born Centro Cultural” (Born Cultural Centre) in Barcelona, you can imagine daily life in Barcelona in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It’s like walking the streets of the city that resisted the siege of the troops of Felipe V (Philip V) until its surrender on 11 September 1714. With an area of 8,000 square meters, this is the largest urban site in Europe. Furthermore, it is a unique and exceptional archaeological space because of its dimensions, its state of preservation, and the historical progression that it represents, and also because the historical documentation has allowed names to be put to the families who lived there.

Despite the expanse and the spectacular nature of what can be seen today, this site housed inthe interior of the Born Cultural Centre is one that has not been exhausted in terms of area, depth or research. Therefore, the “Instituto de Cultura de Barcelona (ICUB)” (Cultural Institute of Barcelona) is promoting the creation of an app that collects all of this knowledge, allowing the rich heritage represented by the Born Cultural Centre to be discovered.

Vistes generals, balconada i jaciment, El Born CC 14.12.2013 Fotografia Pere Virgili

Creueta 119 is responsible for the project and for coordinating the different teams involved in the development of this app. To facilitate the rendition of the site and make it more accessible, it is proposed to carry out a realistic 3D survey in full detail. Creueta 119 is incorporating the experience of Captae and Leonard Blum to carry out 3D scanning of the entire surface of the site and to create a mesh with real textures in high resolution that is optimised for iOS and Android. The team formed by Captae and Leonard Blum means the perfect pairing – combining Captae’s experience in digitisation using the 3D laser scanner with Leonard Blum’s experience in the photographic correction, texturisation and optimization of the model.

Digitisation with the FARO Focus3D terrestrial laser scanner allowed an extremely high percentage of the surface of the entire site to be obtained. Even so, there were areas that were difficult to access and that had complicated morphology (wells, ovens, etc.), which could not be fully digitised. The intrinsic geometric characteristics of the site and the distinctive features of the environment made it the perfect candidate to utilise the technology of the FARO Freestyle3D scanner – a handheld scanner with excellent quality and precision that is used especially to cover areas that are difficult to access or narrow spaces. Thanks to a scan volume of up to 8m3, it quickly and reliably documents rooms, structures and objects in 3D and creates high-definition point clouds. With a precision of less than 1.5mm, it is suitable for any application where installations or properties need to be measured quickly from various perspectives.

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On the Born site, as this scanner is smaller, lighter, more manageable, and does not have to carry out the digitisation from a static position, the Freestyle3D allowed access to many more nooks and crannies, enabling a point cloud to be obtained that had similar characteristics to that obtained with the terrestrial scanner. Thanks to its lightweight carbon fibre structure, this handheld scanner weighs less than a kilogram and is therefore extremely practical and portable. The tablet software SCENE Capture includes an intuitive user guide – even for users who have not had any training.

In addition, as this is a professional tool by the FARO brand, it is guaranteed that the digitised elements have the same pinpoint accuracy as the Focus3D scanner, and that there is also full compatibility between the data formats generated by the two scanners.

Captae used the system to carry out the digitization of an oven with small dimensions in order to put the limitations of the new device to the test and check that the data obtained could be integrated into the existing model of the complete Born site. The results were convincing, since it was possible to digitise the element and all of its nooks and crannies in just over 20 minutes, whereas this would have taken four times longer using a terrestrial scanner and it would not have been possible to obtain the complete geometry.

The total integration of the data from the two scanners thanks to the SCENE 5.4 software allowed a precise fit between the model of the oven and that of the complete site. Following this test, it can be confirmed that the two systems complement each other perfectly.

Aug
12
2015

FARO @ TCT Birmingham

FARO staff will demonstrate the FARO Edge touchscreen computer for basic measurements, the FARO Laser ScanArm HD with the lightest laser line probe for non-contact measurements and the revolutionary high speed FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D for detailed 3D modeling and image documentation. To help illustrate the FARO Edge ScanArm HD LLP remarkable data-capture and transfer capabilities it will be connected to a Laser Lines 3D printer.

ddd

 

TCT Live is the event for Product Development and Additive Manufacturing in Europe. It is an essential event for everyone involved in the concept, design, specification and manufacturing process to learn about the latest in Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing and other cutting edge product development software and technology.

Jul
20
2015

Scientists Build High Precision 3D Model of Gomantong Caves

Located in Sabah, East Malaysia, Gomantong Caves is a 65-million-year-old limestone cave system that is famous for its edible-nest swiftlet and bat populations, as well as an ecosystem of critters and creatures that thrive in dark and moist conditions. Despite its harsh environment, Gomantong still sees its fair share of visitors, whether they be bird’s nests collectors or eco-tourists.

In July 2014, a group of seven international academics embarked on an expedition to the far North East of Borneo to study the renowned Gomantong Caves. Funded by the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions, the project’s goal was to obtain highprecision, three-dimensional (3D) laser scans of the complex cave systems, and to integrate the scan data with the digital elevation model of Gomantong Hill’s surface.

Involving specialists of various fields from six countries, the study is driven by an interest to understand the interaction between animals and landform changes, and is a continuation of earlier expeditions to Gomantong Caves and Niah Caves in Sarawak. FARO – the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement technology – partnered the team.

Gomantong caves

Obtaining a 3D Model

Under the guidance of Professor Donald MacFrlane from the Keck Science Department, The Claremont Colleges (California, USA), the interdisciplinary research team included Mr. Warren Roberts from the Honhold Library, The Claremont Colleges, Professor Joyce Lundberg from the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa (Canada), Professor Manfred F. Buchroithner and Mr. Benjamin Schröter from the Institute for Cartography, Technische Universität Dresden (Germany), Mr. Guy van Rentergem from Deinze (Belgium) and Keith Christensen from Falls Church (Virginia, USA).

Prof. Buchroithner commented, “This expedition is an essential data collection trip for us to build a very detailed 3D model that will enable further scientific research. The 3D ‘cave map’ will then form the basis of various geologic and biologic tasks that each team member will undertake.”

For the cave biologist, it would be important to identify the exact distribution of bats and swiftlets; for the geologist, however, the vertical profiles that indicate cave genesis or the horizontal profiles that give elevation contour lines would be vital information. In that regard, it is absolutely critical for the team to ensure flawless execution in the early stages of data collection.

Gotamon caves

Prior Knowledge & Rich Experience

As several members possessed rich experience in terrestrial laser scanning, particularly in caves, the team had a good idea of what was required, and of what to expect. In particular, given that scanning would be performed in a remote location that was dark, dirty, humid, and distant, the device had to be able to overcome all those difficulties.

Having had prior experience with the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D, Prof. Buchroithner was fully aware of its capabilities. He shared, “Clearly, we needed a device that was rugged, lightweight, and capable of capturing accurate data even with low ambient lighting. My prior encounter with the Focus3D gave me full confidence that the new Focus3D X 330 would deliver the results we needed. In fact, it surpassed our expectations in several ways!”

Over 17 days of fieldwork, the team worked tirelessly for at least eight hours a day, taking a total of 270 detailed, over-lapping scans in the cave system. Back in the office, these scans were then processed using the FARO SCENE software, which eventually resulted in the detailed 3D cave model that the team desired.

The research team unanimously felt that the Focus3D X 330 provided highly accurate scans in a consistent manner. Measurement times were also significantly reduced as the device could collect large amounts of data in just a few minutes. In addition, the power efficiency and portability of the Focus3D X 330 – both in weight and form factor – made it even more attractive for the cave-scanning project. Not only was the device easy to bring around, it did not require additional computers or heavy battery units for a day out in the field.

On several occasions, the team members had to perform scans in extreme ‘exposed locations’, where there was no way to deploy the device on a tripod. The Focus3D X 330 was put to the test, as it collected data while being held in oblique or even horizontal positions. In some instances, researchers even risked their lives to perform scans by hanging from vertical rock-faces of cave shafts, just to collect sufficient point cloud data for a complete model. These ‘stunts’ were made possible only because the Focus3D X 330could scan even with significant device inclination, unlike other older devices that required a level base.

Perhaps most noteworthy of all, the latest version of the FARO SCENE enabled the team to process the captured data more efficiently. The software’s ability to support targetless scan registration meant that artificial markers were no longer required for scans to be positioned in post-processing. In actual fact, the FARO SCENE stitched data from separate scans accurately and quickly, even under challenging conditions.

“The automated merging function in the FARO SCENE facilitates the processing of scans tremendously,” said Prof. Buchroithner. “The fact that the software can deal with an irregular environment like the Gomantong Caves is a testament of its strength.”

Indeed, the FARO SCENE software was celebrated for its user-friendliness by this research team. It allowed them to generate reports easily and to utilize CAD data in later stages. Photo-realistic images could also be added as an overlay to provide simulation, providing flexibility in data manipulation.

At the end of the trip, the interdisciplinary research team managed to complete the geometric model they aimed for. Furthermore, the resulting 3D ‘cave map’ is now the most accurate worldwide, and the one with the highest data volume. Prof. Buchroithner concluded, “We appreciate the technical support that we have received from FARO in the past few years. Without it, these demanding projects would not have been possible. I hope to ‘conquer’ more caves in other parts of the world with FARO in future.”

 

Jul
14
2015

FARO @ GEOBIM 2015

FARO is a silver sponsor at the upcoming 2nd GEOBIM Middle East Conference, 16-17 August 2015 to be held at the Hotel Al Bustan Rotana Dubai, UAE.  Join us to discover the FARO´s strong existense in the field of BIM Technologies with its High End 3D Documentation solutions during the GeoBIM 2015.

The Technical Slot of “3D Documentation in the BIM workflow: Efficiency Increase, Cost Saving, Risk Reduction” to be presented by FARO´s Senior Product Manager 3D Documentation Oliver Bürkler, will focus on implementing FARO´s award winning 3D Documentation solutions in documenting large volume spaces or structures in 3D, surveying and construction, as well as for developing and sustainability of large Scale Infrastructural Projects and the implementation of FARO 3D BIM processes into them.

With more than 30 years of pursuing its vision:  “To be the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement, imaging and realization technology”, we are developing values and adding them to computer-aided measurement and imaging devices and softwares to deliver the superior solutions.

Those who employ FARO 3D Solutions, are enabled to easily and accurately connect the physical world to the virtual world.

Please click here for Plenary Plan and further information of the event!

geobim dubai.jpg

 

Jul
08
2015

Multirotor (UAV) Laser Scanning – Eckartsau Palace

Old but gold. The video below, filmed back in 2013 shows how 4D-IT had the vision to revolutionize the measurement business.After months of development and multiple hurdles, they finally reached their goal:”Project Kronos” came to life!

It was the first time worldwide, that a FARO laserscanner was used on a multirotor aircraft (UAV) and the results were very promising!

Jul
03
2015

Rome’s Invisible City

BBC’s ONE’s 60 minute special Rome’s Invisible City follows ScanLAB Projects and presenters Alexander Armstrong and Dr Michael Scott as they explore the hidden underground secrets of Ancient Rome. The show explores Roman infrastructure and ingenuity, all below ground level. We journeyed via the icy, crystal clear waters of subterranean aqueducts that feed the Trevi fountain and two thousand year old sewers which still function beneath the Roman Forum today, to decadent, labyrinthine catacombs. Our laser scans map these hidden treasures, revealing for the first time the complex network of tunnels, chambers and passageways without which Rome could not have survived as a city of a million people.

Used in the program is our very own FARO Focus3D. The FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner creates a precise, virtual copy of the scanned objects at millimeter accuracies in only minutes by capturing up to 976,000 data points per second. At those speeds and with features such as auto-registration, projects are completed in a fraction of the time and can accrue savings up to 50% in scanning and processing time. Intuitive controls on the touchscreen display make the Focus simple to operate; its small size and weight facilitate portability and setup on site.

Easily document building construction, excavation volumes, façade and structural deformations, crime scenes, accidents, industrial buildings, and more in 3D.

To find out more visit our FARO website, or alternitavley check out our FARO GB Youtube Channel!



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