Dr Bernd- Dietmar Becker, chief technology strategist and head of FARO Labs recently met with GIM Internationals Wim van Wegen where they discussed what to expect from laser scanning and its role as key reality capturing technology in the years ahead.
FARO are keen to follow the latest technological advances and we want to ensure that we can adapt quickly to change, providing 3D measurement solutions to our customers and our industries.
To discover the full interview click here.
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.
To find out more about or to stay informed regarding next year’s event sign up to our FARO Newsletter!
We are proud to announce a triumph in the product design category of the prestigious Red Dot Award 2015. FARO impressed the 38 members of the jury with its handheld FARO Scanner Freestyle3D, yet another demonstration of its excellence in this, the most important product design competition.
Established 60 years ago, the Red Dot is a seal of high design quality across national and industry borders. The use of this famous seal is reserved for products that the international Red Dot jury confirms possess outstanding design that is head and shoulders above the rest. This year, 5,000 products from 56 different countries were submitted. The international jury was impressed with the innovative design of the FARO Scanner Freestyle3D and pronounced it a worthy winner of the sought-after Red Dot label. Its streamlined, three-armed shape was especially intriguing to the jury, supporting as it does the device’s range of functions and lending it an absolutely unmistakable appearance.
Usability and flexible applications were the focus when developing the FARO Freestyle3D. This is reflected in the design of this unique, industrial-grade handheld scanner. Thanks to its lightweight carbon fibre body, the scanner weighs less than a kilo and is therefore extremely portable and mobile. The application areas of the FARO Freestyle3D are diverse and range from construction to industrial production and forensics.
One key factor in its success was the scanner’s compact size, which allows it to be used in hard to reach areas, such as in industrial facilities. An intuitive plug and play system means that the Freestyle3D needs no warm-up and is quickly ready to use. Not only that, but the device also offers fast data entry, real-time visualisation and a high scan volume. This reduces the amount of time needed for scanning. The wide range of operating temperatures from 0-40°C makes scanning possible even in challenging environmental conditions. The 3D scan data can easily be imported into all commonly used CAD software solutions.
“When we developed the Freestyle3D we paid special attention to making sure that it was easy to use, so that even inexperienced 3D scanners can get to work immediately. Its unique design allows users to capture a high scan volume and create detailed documentation of a scene,” says Dr. Reinhard Becker, head of the product’s development at FARO.
FARO develops forward-looking solutions and sets benchmarks in product development and design. Back in 2012, the company received the prestigious Red Dot Award for its Laser Scanner Focus3D. Whilst the Focus3D enables scanning over vast distances, the Freestyle3D was developed to allow for very easy and intuitive capturing of details over shorter distances using a handheld device.
With the Freestyle3D, FARO is underlining its leading position in the market for portable 3D measurement technology, offering an innovative and user-friendly device to give new customer groups access to the world of 3D scanning.
Laser scanning is rapidly gaining acceptance and becoming more and more commonplace in the law enforcement and accident reconstruction communities. Over the past few years, hardware and software have improved significantly creating a simpler, overall system to capture immense detail in a short period of time.
These are 10, of the many, reasons to consider laser scanners for a forensic application:
1) Easy to use: Many manufacturers are moving toward a simpler interface making operation of the scanner more like a digital camera than a complicated survey instrument.
2) Portability: Laser scanners are smaller in size today than ever before making them easier to deploy to a crime/accident scene and useable by just about anyone.
3) Safety: Data can be collected from a distance, with some scanners collected measurements over 300 meters away. This allows the operator to scan a scene out of harms way. In addition, laser scanners can collect up to 1,000,000 points per second with average scan times of several minutes. Less time on a scene means less time for potential danger to the individuals at the scene. Class I lasers are also being used in laser scanners creating a truly eye-safe environment during the scan.
4) Speed and Efficiency: Complete color scans can be captured in as little as several minutes creating a virtual scene with high accuracy and detail that can be revisited over and over without physically traveling to the site. In contrast to traditional methods of surveying/documenting a scene, laser scanning can be much faster and allow multiple investigators to have eyes on the virtual scene.
5) Produce a variety of deliverables: Once the scene has been laser scanned, various types of final products can be extracted or produced from the data. For example, anything from a traditional 2D drawing to a detailed 3D animation can be created from the scan data.
6) Peer pressure: With more and more agencies utilizing laser scanners for their scene documentation, the result is more widely accepted. As well as growth in expectations that future scenes will be documented in 3D.
7) Cost Effective: Laser scanners are becoming more and comparable in price to total stations which are traditionally used for documenting traffic accidents.
8) Specialized Measurement Tools: Software for forensic analysis from 3D data also now includes special tools for measuring blood spatter and bullet trajectory, witness/suspect height, etc.
9) Easy to share: More software tools are available to view and document the scan data without the requirement of installing software or purchasing additional licenses.
10) Archive the scene: Once the scene has been laser scanned it has been essentially frozen in time, preserved for future virtual visits by anyone who may wish to investigate the scene. This allows for measurements to be taken that may not have necessarily been thought to be important at the time of capture as well.
When an accident occurs a reliable rapid documentation is essential for forensic purposes.
Police forces and crime scene investigators alike often turn to FARO’s Focus3D Laser Scanner to ensure the capture and recording of the entire scene in 3D. However the capturing of details in narrow or not easily accessible areas where scanning with a tripod can be difficult.
Providing the highest efficiency in its field coupled with the added time saving, due to both the mobility of the scanner and its intuitive acquisition of gathered data the FARO Freestyle3D really is a perfect accompaniment to our FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner.
Not only can police officers and investigators rapidly capture any event scene in great detail, allowing for delay minimization, the FARO Freestyle3D scan data can be easily transferred to a computer for further processing and the merging with other point clouds to deliver an absolute 3D .
The new FARO Scanner Freestyle3D, a handheld scanner for professionals provides a fast and easy to use scanning solution with verifiable accuracy of the 3D colour scan data.
Moreover, the handheld 3D scanner maximises your productivity offering fast data acquisition, real-time visualisation and the largest scan volume on the market. With this the scan time in the field is reduced enormously during the point cloud acquisition as well as with the processing of your scan results.
The 3D scan data can easily be imported into all commonly used software solution to aid crime scene and forensic reconstruction.
The FARO Freestyle3D ensures a high degree of confidence on acquired data required by crime scene and forensic investigation, whilst it effortlessly captures the 3D data of almost any type of surface. The ability to quickly record a detailed point cloud of the scene and visulise the results on the tablet in real time really sets it apart from conventional measuring techniques.
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.