Jun
26
2015

Accident Reconstruction with the FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner

The FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner is the ideal portable scanning solution for accident reconstruction. With the Focus3D you can quickly capture the scene and minimize safety risk as well as traffic stoppages. Scan data is saved on an SD card for portable upload to the workstation for detailed analysis. The result is a permanent virtual 3D point cloud detailing vehicle, roadway and environmental conditions. This technology enables you to conduct accurate measurements and visualizations to recreate the accident for evaluation, as well as share scan data via the internet with insurance and legal agents.

Jun
17
2015

FARO 3D Conference Montage Video

The 5th edition of the annual 3D Documentation Conference 2015, took place at Motorworld in Stuttgart-Böblingen, Germany, yet again attracted more than 200 participants from all over the world to discuss the latest trends, innovations and applications in 3D Laserscanning.

During which a short video montage of scans was created using the FARO Freestyle3D Handheld Scanner comprised by our very own 3D Doc. Application Engineer Si Horton.

To find out more about or to stay informed regarding next year’s event sign up to our FARO Newsletter!

Jun
10
2015

FARO scanners adapt to the access constraints of Mont Saint-Michel

Known worldwide and welcoming about 3.5 million visitors each year, the Mont Saint-Michel abbey is a major centre of attraction. As it is exposed to bad weather, it benefits from frequent restoration work. The French Centre for National Monuments (CMN) is currently focusing its efforts on the Merveille building, located just to the north of the abbey’s church, and containing the cloister, refectory, work room and chaplaincy. Together, these structures make up two sets of three-storey buildings, resting on the slope of the rock and extending approximately 90 m in length, 40 m in width and up to 50 m high.

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“To prepare for this restoration the CMN  asked us to produce a detailed digital rendering of the  site so they would have access to a very precise survey, which was not available from the existing plans they had access to,” explained Lazare Grenier, Topography and Survey Engineer at Art Graphique & Patrimoine (AGP). The company, with long experience in using FARO equipment, decided to use scanners for this application. The topography of the site is complex and they needed to work outside of visiting hours. Simply put, a maximum of efficiency was required in a minimum of time. In these conditions, AGP was able to get the most out of the methodology they use in this type of application. This consists in defining all the locations where scanners will be placed in advance of placement to limit the amount of overlapping, and above all to avoid forgetting a hidden area. “This task led us to select almost 700 locations for placing the scanners.”

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For the Mont Saint-Michel site, AGP used the FARO Focus 3D X 330 over a period of four weeks in late 2014. Certain parts of the site, notably the exterior walls above the cliff, were not visible from any position on the surface, so the digitisation was done using airborne equipment: to achieve this, AGP relied on traditional photogrammetry, since the onboard scanners did not have a high enough precision. The assembly of the scans is done using SCENE software from FARO.

With many years of experience under his belt using FARO scanners, Lazare Grenier takes stock of lighter and more compact than their predecessors. They are more precise, easier to use and work off batteries. They also have increased their depth of field and are able to record scenes which are much closer, as well as much further away. These scanners also allow for digitising buildings in complete darkness or in full sunlight ensuring total safety for the public in terms of their eyesight. All of this is particularly important in an application such as that of Mont Saint- Michel, where there are many constraints for scanner placement, requiring the scanner to be placed very close to the target in some cases, and farther away in other cases.”

May
29
2015

FARO Focus3D – Law Enforcement

Here’s an overview video for FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner for use in capturing and analyzing Crime and Accident Scenes. SCENE Forensic Extension allows for blood spatter analysis, bullet trajectory analysis, and also exports data to popular diagramming software packages (Visual Statement, Crime Zone, Crash Zone, ARAS 360, MapScenes)

The smallest and lightest laser scanners on the market – Focus3D X Series are ideal tools for indoor and outdoor applications. The fast and accurate laser scanners Focus3D offer everything you might expect from professional 3D laser scanners – with FARO’s established and well-known level of simplicity.

Want to find out more about our Laser Scanners? Then check out our FARO Website or why not download our FARO Focus3D Tech Sheet!

May
11
2015

Kickoff Your Career in 3D Technology

The 5th annual 3D documentation conference sponsored by FARO is invaluable for any student in the technical field wanting to get the best start to their career. The agenda offers the opportunity to network with both fellow students and current leaders within the 3D field, as well as hear from some of the top people on current trends, new developments and the exciting future of this technology.

3D Conference - Student

Registration

First come – First serve!
Simply email the following data to recruiting@faroeurope.com

• Full name
• Email adress
• Mobile number
• Link to your LinkedIn or Xing account (if you have one)
• Name of university and subject of your studies

We look forward to seeing you there.

Your FARO team.

May
08
2015

PX Engineering Refine Bio-fuels Manufacturing Plant

The PX group is a fully integrated infrastructure solutions business that has earned an excellent reputation for delivering enhanced operating performance to commercial and industrial facilities. Improvements are produced through a strategic divisional structure that is focused upon three key delivery areas – Engineering Consultancy, Operations & Maintenance and Energy Trading.

Operating globally, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, px’s wide range of capabilities have been developed and expanded throughout the group’s 20 plus years of experience in managing, operating and maintaining some of world’s largest industrial facilities.

The recent use of an advanced FARO Focus X330 laser scanner illustrates px’s use of cutting-edge on-time, on-budget delivery of complex projects.

point cloud data px engineering

Following px Engineering Consultants Limited (Part of the px Group) recent completion of the design and construction of a large extension to an existing Biofuels Manufacturing Plant, a FARO Focus X330 was used to precisely scan the completed project. The comprehensive, as-built 3D scans of the prestigious Teesside, UK plant, that produces biofuel from waste oils, were then compared to the original px 3D design model by using Autodesk Navisworks software.

As-built surveys, using high precision 3D laser scanning technology, such as the FARO Focus3D X 330, provide users with detailed point clouds which enable 3D modelling for a range of diverse tasks, including building reconstruction, plant layout and enhanced data presentation with augmented reality.

With the ability to deliver impressively quick turnaround times on scans of buildings and entire environments, the FARO Focus3D X 330 can deliver fully surfaced CAD models for a variety of industries. Architectural design, civil engineering and construction, facility management, and cultural heritage sectors have all benefited from FARO’s advanced 3D solutions.

ScanData PX Engineering

The Focus3D X 330, as used by the px group on the Greenergy, Seal Sands, Biodiesel Plant project, is the extra-long range – 330m, version of the range. The extremely compact light weight unit – 240 x 200 x 100mm – 5,2kg is ideal for outdoor applications. Simple scanner control is assisted by touchscreen operation a clear display and WLAN.

With an impressive distance accuracy of ±2mm, the Focus3D X 330 has an impressive measurement speed of up to 976,000 points/second and features an integral colour camera (up to 70 mio. Pixel), a multisensor: GPS, a compass, a height Sensor and a dual axis compensator.

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Mar
23
2015

On FARO and the Future of 3D with CEO Jay Freeland

jay-freelandJay Freeland, President and CEO of FARO Technologies Inc is one of the leading players in the 3D laser scanning industry. If you know anything about Jay, you know that he has been vocal about pushing the development of 3DLS technology so it can reach the widest professional community possible, a task he refers to as the “democratization” of 3D. Clearly, Jay and FARO have some big plans for the future.

I caught up with Jay following FARO’s 3D Documentation conference this year to discuss FARO’s future, why democratizing 3DLS tech is so important, and why making a more affordable scanner is so difficult. Jay also gave me a picture of what he imagines the future of 3D will look like, and just how far off we are from 3D finally breaking big.


Sean Higgins: During his keynote, Rob Pietsch [FARO’s VP of marketing for the Americas] said that this year’s conference wasn’t about the scanner so much as what you can do with it. Can you talk a little more about the things that FARO is working on to change what you can do with the scanner?

Jay Freeland: Numbers one and two are ease of use and price of entry. When you think about bringing technology to a set of users to adopt when that technology doesn’t exist in the space currently—those are the types of things that can help drive the penetration.

I think the third piece that goes along with that is customizing the solution for the different verticals, and maybe even specific applications depending on how unique they are to the customer. That drives the adoption as well.

For us, internally, we’re driving all three of those at the same time. Some of it is through our own R&D, of course, and there’s still a lot of work to be done on lowering the total cost of ownership, lowering the price of the scanner to the general population.

In many respects, we’re still in the early adopter phase of the cycle. When you look at the price point today versus where we think it needs to go in the longer term, our current pricing is still much higher than the normal threshold for a lot of surveyors, law enforcement, and construction, and those different groups.

A lot of what we do is going to be through mergers and acquisitions. So if you look at the acquisition of CAD Zone, that’s a good example, and a first step toward offering software that’s specific to an industry. There are other acquisitions like that. We can pick up application layers that can easily be attached to the scanner, and allow us to integrate 3D data into existing software.

The last way is via things like the app store. Oliver Bürkler talked about the app store and what we’re doing there. You’ll see users who have very specific applications—they’ll write the app, put it on the app store, and it will go to a really small sliver of the marketplace, but it will be available.

All of that goes back to driving the ease of use for the customer and lowering the entry point.

Sean: This ties into a common theme from the 3D Documentation conferences, which is the democratization of 3D scanning technology. Why is that so important to FARO?

Jay: Number one, it’s important to us because we believe this is the right way to solve the measurement problems that are out there. That means pure measurement in the traditional surveyor’s sense or the traditional construction sense, all the way through the imaging side of it, where we look at how people are establishing the imaging for games, or in the movie or television industries.

The ability to capture rapidly at that level of accuracy and with that level of density and detail is the next evolutionary step away from traditional cameras, tape measures, and total stations.

Number two, if you look at it from a business standpoint—when you’re thinking about surveyors, civil engineers, construction engineers, law enforcement personnel, law enforcement agencies, investigative agencies—there are easily a couple million customers who we could sell the technology to.

FARO as a company has sold to only 15,000 customers in total, and that accounts for the fact that the vast majority of our customers are on the metrology side, in the industrial world, where we’ve been for 30 years. So, we have barely scratched the surface. I mean, that is a massive market opportunity. If we solve that market problem correctly – from the technology standpoint, the ease of use standpoint, the price point – it becomes a viable option for all of those folks to make the transition from 2D into full 3D.

Sean: For anyone who wasn’t there at the conference, what would you say was the big takeaway? I noticed there wasn’t a big product or software announcement.

Jay: What I really want them to think about is the opportunity that’s out there to improve their own businesses, to make their own businesses more productive, more profitable. I want them to think about the opportunity to solve the current problems that people are solving today, plus a whole array of new problems that can’t be adequately solved. The scanner opens up a whole new world for people to do that. That’s takeaway number one.

Number two is that the scanner is already pretty darn easy to use, and pretty affordable, and they can rely on FARO to drive that to a point where it is entirely easy to use and entirely affordable for the population of targeted users.

Now, does that mean that the average Joe on the street is going to walk up and buy a laser scanner? I don’t think we’re anywhere close to that in the near term. When you think about consumer 3D printing and things like that, it’s a whole different marketplace. Somebody’s going to solve problem that through a smartphone, through normal camera technology. The image can be dimensionally proportionate, but it doesn’t need to be dimensionally accurate. It will be good enough for the average consumer, but that’s not FARO’s world.

Our world is the professionals who really need the technology because that’s how they make their living and that’s how they protect the safety of citizens, and how they ensure the efficiency and accuracy of civil works projects, or large construction projects, or buildings and other things of that nature. So takeaway number two is that we are, in fact, going to make the technology accessible to that broad user set.

Takeaway number three is that we are still in the early adopter phase. All the people who are at the conference are the pioneers from an end-user standpoint. So their feedback as to where we should be going – or where we can be going – is vital to helping solve the broader problem across that total market opportunity.

Even if we had a product release, I would say those are three takeaways and the product release would be the fourth one. This is a bigger mission to think about what we are trying to do in a very wide open market where we are barely scratching the surface. We’re just getting started.

Sean: In that case, I’d also like to ask where you’d like to see 3D laser scanning technology used where it isn’t already used. Do you have any ideas for future possibilities? 

Jay: You know, I hear this question and of course I get excited, because I think it could be used everywhere. Like I said, everything’s got three dimensions, it’s just a matter of whether it’s worth capturing it or not.

Can I find an industry where they’re not using it yet? I’m hard-pressed to find one where there isn’t at least someone who’s trying it out. Again, we’re in that early adopter phase. For me the bigger question, or maybe the one that’s more appropriate at this time is: What do we need to do to drive better adoption across all of those different verticals?

Sean: How far do you think the industry is from producing hardware and software that makes this technology truly easy for those verticals to adopt?

Jay: I think we’re close. And when I say close it doesn’t mean that two months from now FARO is going to release something that hits the mark—we’re certainly not that close. When I think about the price point that really makes sense to the marketplace and the feedback we get from the customers we are already dealing with, the engineering task at hand is not insignificant.

It’s not like if you sold 10,000 scanners a year, you’d get enough volume leverage to help bring the price down. You couldn’t sell enough scanners the way the technology is currently configured. So it’s a real engineering challenge to be solved. Obviously nobody has solved it yet, and we feel like we’re in the position to do it.

If we’re sitting here in five years’ time and I’m still at the same price point, then something has gone really amiss.

Sean: At the end of an interview, I like to include a big question. What do you imagine for the future of 3D technology? Where do you think it will be in 50 years?

Jay: If I take the broadest possible picture and not think about what we’re trying to do—in 50 years, if the entire world doesn’t have the ability to do things in 3D at their fingertips, then something has gone awry. Will people still hang regular 2D photographs in their houses because of the image, the memory, etc? Of course. When you’re using smartphone or your camera, are you going to have the option to take the photograph in 3D or 2D? For sure. Will you be able to take that data and send it off to either a 3D printer at your house or a FedEx or a Kinko’s that has them? For sure.

Do I think that the professional world, you know, the industries that we talk about that we target, do I think that all of them will be using 3D technology in 50 years? Yes, I think they will be using it, if not 100% of the time, then it will be pretty darn close.

I think people will be able to walk around with something they are able to hold in their hand and get the same image clarity and accuracy, and perhaps maybe not the same range, but good enough for a lot of the projects. I have no doubt the technology will migrate there.

Do I think that we’ll be able to scan data, immediately upload it through the cloud, back to their offices and already have all the data rendered and all the visualizations done before they even get back? No question in my mind. That’s where I see it headed.

I am one of those true believers that it’s never a matter of if it can be done. Yes, there are laws of physics and things like that, but people have challenged the laws of physics pretty effectively. It’s not a matter of if it can be done, it’s just a matter of when. If you give a 50-year time window like that, there’s not a doubt in my mind that all of that, and probably well beyond that is going to happen.

Mar
20
2015

Ninety Six National Historic Site preserved thanks to FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner

South Carolina ETV and the University of South Florida’s Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies are working collaboratively with the Ninety Six National Historic site to produce a public documentary highlighting the technology and the story of the Kosciusko tunnel located at the park.

This project is a partnership between the mentioned entities and throws light on a lesser known part of the Revolutionary War History. The Kosciuzsko (pronounced KOS CHoos’CO) tunnel which is located leading up to Star Fort, is a tunnel that was dug by patriots in an effort to dislodge the British from their stronghold at Ninety Six.

Military Tunnel 3D Scan

The Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies was contracted to map the tunnel and surrounding area, whereby they used one our very own, the FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner to get the job done! The finished product will be used to find the best way to preserve the tunnel AND at the same time make it accessible through 3D mapping and imaging for preservation and educational purposes. ETV Upstate is working with AIST and the Ninety Six National Historic Site to help with the educational part of this project.

The overall project includes a thirty minute program, a short documentation video of the Tunnel laser mapping process, and other products derived from video content collected in support of the full program.

To find out more about the FARO Focus 3D Laser Scanner by heading over to our FARO Website and checking out our YouTube Page!

Mar
13
2015

FARO Laser Scanner assits in Stock Pile Measurement

According to Jonathon Coco, Modeling Manager at Forte Tablada, using a FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner took “less then 1 man hour as apposed to the old method of having to use 5 men over 2 days to measure stock pile volume!

3D laser scanning with the FARO Laser Scanner can provide engineers with detailed 3D models which accurately document entire facilities and their assets, such as power components, machinery and pipe work. This scan data can be used for Building Management, Collision Detection for retrofits, As-built Documentation for CAD modelling and other Plant design tasks.

Forte Tablada Video Screen shoot

Asset and facility management solutions from FARO ensure that factory layouts are as logical and efficient as possible.

Want to find out more about what we here at FARO can do for you? Then check out the video above and download our FARO Laser Scanner Brochure!

Mar
06
2015

FARO assits in the 36 Pit Fire Investigation

ESTACADA, Ore. – A wildfire that burned thousands of acres and threatened hundreds of homes back in September last year and thanks to FARO and the FARO Focus 3D Laser Scanner investigarors were able to conclude that the fire was started by bullet fragments igniting dry grass and brush at gravel pit popular with target shooters. The 36 Pit Fire was not intentionally set, according to fire officials. The gravel pit was open to recreational target shooting when the fire started.

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The fire threatened homes near Estacada and forced evacuations and had more than 1,000 people fighting the fire, including 12 elite Hot Shot crews, with the fire being estimated at over 5,500 acres in size.

Click here to watch the Video explaing the 36 Pit Fire and how FARO helped assist in the investigation, or want to find out more about our versatile product range? Then check out our website!



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