November 17, 2017Why Using Low-Cost 3D Scanners in Professional Applications Can Be a Costly Mistake See the article
I just completed what is probably my largest benchmark project so far. I had to fly “down” to the South Pacific where I met up with Ricardo Mauer from Metronom Pacific (one of Creaform’s local agents) to take measurements on boats that measure 50m+ in length. Our scanners are relatively small (I had a MAXscan, more on this later) so flying over there with my equipment was a painless experience. Jetlag wasn’t really a problem either since by now I’m used to functioning with it; and in any case it’s nothing caffeine can’t fix.
Once we got on location we were tasked with measuring the window frames of a multi-million dollar private yatch. Now these things look big from afar, but when you step on one of them as its being built around you it’s quite an experience. It’s essentially like being dropped in the middle of an ant hill with everyone doing there own little thing while keeping track of where it is in relation with the whole lot. And here we are in the middle of this truly massive work area, with people walking everywhere, with our high tech 3D laser scanners. We are doing our very best to acquire data to ensure that windows can be built to properly fit the as-built boat while at the same time not being in the way of people who’s job it is to build this same boat. Quite an experience!
Having only a relatively rough idea of what the working conditions were going to be like ahead of time, we were initially taken aback by the scale of things. It’s one thing to see pictures and a completely different one to stand 4 stories above the ground floor on this massive boat inside of an inconspicuous looking warehouse.
Before pushing ahead with the project we decided to “regroup” for a few minutes and figure out just how the heck we were going to achieve everything required of us in the allotted time (2 days with only day shifts to scan over 1.5m x 30m area!). Fortunately I’ve done this sort of thing before and I know that the most important part of any project is proper planning! So coffee in hand we divided the work so that there would be little to no idle time.
Using my MAXscan we first measured the location of all the markers in the different areas that needed to be scanned. Sharing the marker file between our 2 scanners we then simultaneously scanned different portions of the work area so as to cut the time required to measure everything in half.
When we put everything together I must admit I was simply amazed at the results. Now, I know our technology is good but WOW! We basically put all the data on one computer, ran the merge command in the post-processing software and 2 minutes later we had a single file with the whole thing, overlapping regions and everything gone without the slightest glitch. Learn more about the manufacturing applications of our 3D Solutions.