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.

faro_scene_01

 

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
21
2014

F-35 Lightning II Fighter Jet Production Line – FARO Laser Tracker Vantage

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.

 

F-35 FARO Laser Tracker Vantage

 

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.

 

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

IMG3_US_1311_Uni-Marche

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.

fig02

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.

04REF203-246-EN - Magazin Process Industry

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!

Oct
27
2014

FARO UK @ Engineering Testing Show

The Engineering Testing Show 2014 will bring together professional engineers across a wide range of disciplines and industrial sectors who share a professional interest in the practice of engineering testing.

Engineering Testing Show

FARO UK will join the Engineering Testing Show on 28th October 2014 at Derby Roundhouse, Derby

During this event FARO will present its cutting-edge metrology products such the FARO Edge touchscreen computer for basic measurements, the recently launched FARO Laser ScanArm HD with the lightest laser line probe for non-contact measurements and the FARO Gage with barcode scanner.

To register  and get directions to the event click here, or find out more by visiting our website for a look at our innovative product range. 

Oct
20
2014

FARO @ the Large Volume Metrology Conference & Exhibition 2014

FARO UK invites you to the Large Volume Metrology Conference & Exhibition (LVMC), the only European event solely dedicated to portable and large volume 3D measurement technology.

We will be presenting our cutting-edge metrology products: the FARO Edge ScanArm HD, with a built-in touchscreen computer and new Laser Line Probe HD; the FARO Gage with the barcode scanner, the revolutionary FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D, as well as our latest and most accurate FARO Laser Tracker Vantage for large volume measurements.

The LVMC offers you the unique opportunity to see presentations from industry experts, view the latest equipment from the world’s leading suppliers, network and share ideas, talk to suppliers and increase your awareness of the European and worldwide industries.

Date: 19th November – 20th November 2014.
Location: Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

Visit the official exhibition website to register your visit!

Logo event

Dec
22
2013

High accuracy requested for machine calibration of injection molding machines

The Laser Tracker has become virtually indispensable in the assembly of large machines.The large Frech die casting machines are twelve-metre-long giants but even so, extreme accuracy is required in their manufacture. Conventional measuring tools such as spirit levels and alignment telescopes were occasionally no longer enough. Finally the Swabians opted for a Laser Tracker from FARO. From then on there were no more problems, only solutions.

Oskar Frech GmbH + Co. KG is currently the global leader in hot chamber die casting machines. Materials such as zinc and magnesium are cast using their machines. The components manufactured include metal fittings, laptop and mobile phone housings and toys such as the world-famous Märklin model railways. The Swabians also hold second place in the equally hotly-contested market for cold chamber die casting machines. These machines are used to manufacture whole engine blocks from aluminium, such as the Daimler V8, and structural body parts for Audi. Other typical products include gearbox housings, dashboards and steps for escalators.

Giants
Frech machines are true giants. The cold chamber version can be up to 17 metres long and weigh up to 250 tons and create a closing force of 4,100 tons. The machines take around 11 months to build and the individual parts are delivered to the customers by heavy load transporters. The route to the final destination is therefore a kind of one-way street. Returning faulty machines to the factory in Schorndorf is not an option, due to the enormous costs. It would also not be certain whether there would be sufficient space in the production hall.

The individual parts have to be stored in the production shop when they reach the customer, in order to acclimatise before assembly. Only then can you ensure that all the parts will fit together and there is no unnecessary wear. This procedure demonstrates that a high level of accuracy is required for the manufacture of these enormous machines.

3D measurment systems
A FARO Platinum measuring arm has been in use at Frech since 2006. This year, those responsible have ordered another measuring device from FARO, the Laser Tracker Vantage. The determining factor was a customer from the automotive sector, who repeatedly reported problems with his machine. After re-equipping with a new casting mould the machine symmetry was no longer correct, the guide rods could no longer be guided accurately into the socket and were colliding early. Frech technicians examined the machine repeatedly but, due to the complex installation conditions, they could not find a cause for the fault with the usual measuring equipment. When inserting the rods after the change of mould they repeatedly seized. In the end a technician was called in from FARO to discuss the dimensions to be measured and the practical interaction between the mould and geometric tolerances. He was able to detect the fault within a short time using the FARO Laser Tracker. This made a lasting impression on Frech and the FARO Laser Tracker was instantly on the shopping list.

The combination of FaroArm and Laser Tracker enables extremely flexible measurement.Best of both worlds
FARO measuring systems are meanwhile used not only at Frech and its suppliers but also during the installation of the machines on the customer’s premises. The space around the machine is usually very limited here and there is very little space for measuring or for measuring equipment. Because of this, the combination of measuring arm and Laser Tracker into a new system, known as the TrackArm, is currently under consideration. This would give Frech the best of two worlds, so to speak, as the TrackArm combines the great range and high level of accuracy of the Laser Tracker with the flexibility and reliability of the FaroArm. The great advantage of this is that the measuring arm can be quickly repositioned at will within the measuring range of the laser tracker. In doing so the arm always remains in the same coordinate system, and points can also be reached that do not lie in the visual range of the tracker.

Finding deviations
The technicians can virtually measure around corners and in this way can inspect even very large components with no difficulty. Wolfgang Schöben, responsible for quality management at Frech, could no longer do without the Laser Tracker: “We have to find and rectify faults and inaccuracies on site, because we take the machine to the customer by heavy goods transporter. There’s no going back.” For this reason, in Spring 2013 Frech also launched a quality initiative together with its suppliers and defined comprehensive, standard measurement methods in order to remedy recurring quality problems. FARO measuring equipment is the constant element in this, because Frech demands that outsourced parts are also measured using FARO equipment. If that is not possible, the Schorndorf-based company offers measurement as a service.

Now every area of production at Frech is measured quickly and accurately. This actually happens during production. This means corrections can be made before it is too late and costly reworking would be necessary. “This is crucial because any deviations in a component can affect the whole machine,” stresses Schöben. “Subsequent components may then have to be adapted to the deviations.” This jigsaw puzzle is costly and can seriously affect the interaction between components.

Inspection reports
In the past, Frech measured and adjusted the components using conventional measuring equipment such as spirit levels, micrometers, external micrometers or alignment telescopes. “With FARO measuring equipment we save many man hours,” states Schöben. “In addition, customers in the automotive industry demand detailed inspection reports. With FARO systems we can produce these in an instant.”

More about the FARO Laser Tracker

Request an on-site product demonstration

OSKAR FRECH GMBH + CO. KG
Passion has played a crucial role from the outset at Oskar Frech GmbH + Co. KG. This is the only reason why the Swabian tool-making company based in Schorndorf-Weiler near Stuttgart has become a leading global supplier of die casting technologies, with 700 employees. The Frech range leaves no customer requirement unfulfilled. For suppliers of zinc, magnesium or aluminium die casting, Frech have customised solutions for the production of the smallest die cast parts, right up to engine blocks and body parts.

Nov
14
2013

Laser trackers shrink aircraft-sized manufacturing problems

Laser trackers shrink aircraft-sized manufacturing problemsBuilding aircraft has always been a struggle between the size of their components and the need to craft them carefully. More than any other device, airplanes epitomize the concept that ‘the devil is in the details’ because in small errors lies the potential for great mischief such as increased drag and decreased range.

In the past, large structures such as wings, fuselages, or vertical stabilizers were difficult to make alike because there was no good way to measure them. The traditional measuring standard for objects over 20 feet was the theodolite.Although theodolite measurements can be fairly precise, they are subject to interpretation and as such are not always reproducible.With the advent of the laser tracker, precise, rapid, reproducible measuring over great distances finally became a reality.

Although laser trackers are used to align large industrial equipment such as metal rolling mills, printing presses, and power generation equipment, one can imagine that they were created expressly for the aerospace industry. A laser tracker can be set up anywhere, in a design studio or factory, and its vast operating range is large enough to capture the wing of the biggest planes ever conceived.

For the aviation industry a laser tracker provides the greatest benefits to mechanical engineering; calibrating machine tools and process monitoring. How this is done you can read in this white paper about mechanical engineering in the aerospace industry.

Learn more? Ask for an onsite product demonstration.

May
14
2013

FARO Chopper LIVE @ CONTROL

FARO Chopper at Control FairCONTROL, the major European exhibition dedicated to metrology, opened its doors this morning in Stuttgart, Germany. Every day, visitors will have the opportunity to discover the latest trends in quality control and attend events organized by the exhibitors.

See the photos of FARO’s chopper designed by Paul Jr. Designs, of the televisionshow American Chopper on our Facebook Page. Visitors at the FARO stand have the opportunity to be photographed on the powerful machine that was created exclusively for FARO’s 30th anniversary.

As with most custom choppers created by Paul Jr. Designs, the FaroArm was used to manufacture the birthday bike. It is important for PJD to be able to create unique pieces with speed and efficiency. Some elements, including the fuel tank, the seat pan and the cover of the primary belt give a glimpse of the real talent that goes into the design of each piece. All these elements have complex shapes and contours difficult to understand or replicate by hand.

The FaroArm scans the exact shape and location of the parts. The design and creation of cardboard templates are thus basically useless. The data collected by the arm can immediately be imported to a CNC machine or waterjet cutting tool to produce parts with high precision in perfect shape from the very start. The FaroArm therefore reduces waste, saves time and increases overall efficiency.

For more photos of the FARO Chopper visit our Facebook Page or come and visit us at Control and get your photo taken!

Stuttgart Trade Fair, 14-17 May 2013
Booth 3404 in Hall 3

Feb
28
2013

Aligning a particle accelerator with maximum precision in 3D at ESS Bilbao

FARO Laser Tracker integrated into the ESS Bilbao particle accelerator ESS Bilbao is a technical scientific facility facing the challenge of constructing the first high-intensity linear accelerator in Spain.

At ESS Bilbao, laser tracker technology is integrated into the entire accelerator system to measure the components and mechanical parts of the accelerator and to align all of its sections.

Carlos Martínez de Marigorta explains: “with regard to applications in the area of generated neutrons, the ones that stand out are laboratories that work with neutron ‘scattering’ (which would be used by the scientific and industrial community) and neutron time of flight. The FARO Laser Tracker is an essential system in any accelerator in order to be able to align its components.”

>>Read the full story



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