Dec
08
2014

Do it Yourself Mobile Mapping with the FARO Focus

An essential part of modern 3D Documentation is, of course, Mobile Mapping. A mobile mapping system is the integration of remote sensors and time synchronised navigation. It is an extremely powerful tool for large scale 3D information collection e.g. road mapping or 3D city models.

With mobile mapping systems costing up to £1,000,000, a FARO Focus Laser scanner can be easily converted into a mobile mapping system with minimal investment. saving you time and money.

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‘DIY’ Mobile Mapping

‘DIY’ Mobile Mapping can add a huge amount of extra value to the FARO Focus 3D. This enables the user to gather 3D data in a large scale and to work very efficiently in an outdoor environment. In addition, the FARO Focus is not attached to the mobile mapping system permanently and so it can still be easily used as a regular laser scanner at any time.

TO READ THE FULL WHITE PAPER: Click here

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Dec
03
2014

FARO collect Hardware Product of the Year @ The Construction Computing Awards

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.

Want to find out more about the FARO Focus x330 3D Laser Scanner? Then check out our webiste where you can download User Stories, Tech Sheets and even our very own company COSMOS Magazine!

CC AWARD WINNER9

[Read more …]

Dec
01
2014

Advanced 3D Laser Solutions & FARO – A Winning Combination

Following the completion of a major contract involving the scanning and generation of a large chemical processing site, Advanced 3D Laser Solutions were the recent successful bidder for similar complex projects related to the scanning of five large UK fuel distribution terminals. Advanced 3D Laser Solutions client’s primary requirement was the preparation of precise piping isometrics for all terminal lines, in advance of inspections related to compliance with the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations.

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Two advanced FARO Focus 3D Laser Scanners, supplied by Opti-Cal Survey Equipment, were used to accurately complete the in-depth site survey work. The easy to use FARO Focus Laser Scanner is the smallest and lightest laser scanner on the market and is the ideal tool for fast and exact indoor and outdoor measurements in three dimensions. Used throughout the world within the most demanding of conditions, the ultra-portable Focus Laser Scanner enables fast, straightforward, and accurate measurements of objects and buildings. It records architectural façades, complex structures, production and supply facilities, accident sites, and large-volume components.

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FARO is the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement, imaging and realization technology. 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, documenting large volume spaces or structures in 3D, and more. FARO’s 3D measurement technology allows companies to maximize efficiencies and improve processes.

The Focus3D X 330 offers an extra-long application range of 330m, whilst the Focus3D X 130model is a mid-range device offering precise scanning up.

Both scanner models are equipped with GPS and offer the ability to perform scanning even in bright sunlight. Remote scanning as well as almost limitless scan data sharing via SCENE Webshare Cloud makes the laser scanning solution truly mobile.

By the use of FARO’s Focus Laser Scanners and four sets of ‘Flexi’ spheres for target referencing between scans, Advanced 3D Laser Solutions’ experience in the field ensured that all surveys were completed with minimal impact to the sites’ efficient operation. In total, more than 1000 individual precise scans were completed across the five terminals. Typically, Advanced 3D Laser Solutions completed the site scanning of each terminal in 3-4 days. The collected point cloud files were then quickly converted into easily manageable 3D CAD files.

Fancy reading the full case study? Download it and many others from our FARO UK website!

 

Nov
26
2014

Q&A with Senior Technical Product Manager Oliver Bürkler – FARO SCENE Software

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.

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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.

 

Nov
05
2014

Vietnam: FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D encounters the ancient emperors!

SI2G S.r.l. (which stands for Sistemi Informativi Intelligenti p er la  Geografia, or “Intelligent information systems for geography”) is a spin-off of Marche Polytechnic University established in 2008 by researchers with many years’ experience in the various disciplines involved in the study of terrain and the environment based on computer science and photogrammetry. The company deals with the acquisition, analysis, processing, archiving and distribution of “environmental data” in digital format, using an integrated systematic multidisciplinary approach. It provides services such as remote scanning of terrain, photogrammetry, topography, cartography and ICT.

Eva Savina Malinverni, Associate Professor of Topography at Marche Polytechnic University, explains how SI2G recently came to invest in a Laser Scanner Focus3D, the innovative laser-scanning tool from FARO that provides extremely precise yet simple 3D scanning

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The FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D is actually a very compact device, weighing barely 5 kg and measuring just 24 x 20 x 10 cm. A technician can carry it around wherever and whenever it is needed. What’s more, the WLAN technology makes it possible to start, stop, view or even download scans remotely.

The imperial city of Huế, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, is probably the largest and most famous architectural site in all Vietnam. It was from here that the emperors of the Nguyen dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945. Its design was based on the imperial palace of Beijing and comprises walls, moats, fortified gates, bridges and decorations that make it a truly atmospheric setting of great artistic and historic value. “Scanning it would have been very complex and time-consuming had we used the normal photogrammetry techniques.” The FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D, on the other hand, enabled the SI2G team to complete the work in just a few hours and to obtain truly astounding results with just 17 scans.

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Thanks to the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D, a highly flexible tool that is very quick and easy to use, the technicians at SI2G S.r.l. were able to scan the magnificent East Gate of the imperial Vietnamese city of Huế, capturing every detail of its form and geometry with the utmost precision, despite the difficult weather and operating conditions.

If you want to find out more about the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D or any of our other innovative products, then visit our website.

 

Nov
04
2014

Large-Volume 3D Laser Scanning Technology

Traditionally, measurements for planning and documentation are collected using a combination of tools such as measuring tapes, total stations, digital cameras, and laser range finders, however, the popularity of three-dimension planning and documentation tools through the use of 3D laser scanners is constantly increasing.

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As a turnkey solution, the 3D laser scanner allows companies to gather measurement data while significantly reducing data collection errors and streamlining the overall workflow.

Capturing high resolution 3D images of complex environments, large-volume 3D laser scanners provide a fast, efficient way to capture millions of data points for use in comprehensive 3D models or detailed reconstructions. Applications vary from forensic and crime scene investigation to surveying, facility management and historic preservation. Laser scanners are an extremely versatile and accurate solution, which allows users to obtain data which would have previously been impossible.

Download the full Large Volume 3D Laser Scanning white paper for how laser scanning works, comparison to other methods, applications and industries, and much more!

Nov
03
2014

FARO Raffle – Secure your special Christmas gift!

FARO offers you the unique opportunity to win fascinating prizes, by entering its chritmas prize draw. All you have to do is book a free product demonstration for any of our coordinate measuring machines or 3D imaging devices, choose your preferred Christmas gift from the wish list and you will be entered into the prize draw!

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The best way to truly understand the power of FARO’s 3D metrology and 3D documentation with FARO Laser Scanner, FARO Laser Tracker or FARO Measuring Arm is to see them for yourself, at your premises. We would be happy to come out to your site and demonstrate our products on your parts. This free, customised product demonstration includes a consultation on how to improve your current processes and allows you to witness firsthand what FARO can do for you!

Our prizes include an Apple Ipad mini, Samsung 40″ LED Flatscreen TV, Smoothie Maker, Fujifilm FP S9400 Digicam and a Nespresso Coffee Machine

Want to find out more about the Christmas Raffle or explore our innovative product range? Then visit our website for more details.

 

 

 

Oct
31
2014

FARO @ GeoData Glasgow

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. IMG_20131009_110452 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 Seriesor visit our website and book your demo today. 

Oct
30
2014

FARO UK @ THE 12TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR SENIOR INVESTIGATING OFFICERS

From 3th-5th November 2014, FARO UK will join the National Policing Homicide Working Group as they host the well-established and ever popular annual conference fro Senior Investigating Offices.

The conference brings together experts with wide ranging knowledge in the dynamic field of homicide investigation, allowing us to demonstrate our FARO Focus3D Laser Scanners X Series

By allowing investigators to capture crime scenes in 3D, the  FARO 3D Laser Scanner provides an exact record of the entire scene at the touch of a button and permits the site to be returned to normal use a short time later.

With 3D documentation replacing crime scene sketches, the crime scene reconstruction can be visited multiple times to verify witness testimony or evaluate hypotheses.Forensic scientists can accurately analyze line of sight, blood spatter and bullet trajectories to complement other techniques such as offender’s height estimation from video surveillance.

To find out more about how our FARO 3D Laser Scanner can help you, visit our Faro UK website.

ISO Policng Event

 

Oct
28
2014

10 Benefits of Using Laser Scanning in Forensics

The use of laser scanning in the accident reconstruction and law enforcement communities is constantly gaining more and more respect. With hardware and software having improved greatly over the past few years, capturing great detail in a quick and simple manner has been made extremely easy.

Here are 10, of many, reasons why utilizing laser scanners for forensic applications is the right choice.

1. Ease of use: The operation of a laser scanner has become much easier with the inclusion of a simpler interface, making operating the scanner less like a complicated piece of survey equipment.

[Read more …]



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