A popular technology that has mushroomed in the past couple of years has been the ability to use your smartphone or tablet as a 3D scanner. Easy to use apps let you capture, share 3D scans and apply 3D models easily.
itSeez3D’s app lets you capture, share and apply 3D models on your mobile device powered with Structure Sensor or Intel RealSense 3D camera.
Victor Erukhimov, CEO and co-founder of itSeez3D, said that the Occipital Structure Sensor for IPad has changed the landscape of information gathering by way of 3D scanning.
Jeff Powers co-founder, Occipital, said the Structure Sensor is designed to gather tons of information from the world around us and the itSeez3D scanner puts that information back together to create incredibly beautiful 3D models.
“Our goal was to create a 3D scanner that could create models so realistic that you can’t tell the difference between the visual object and the rendered computer model,” said Powers. “To scan a tabletop object, you scan around it with your mobile device. After your scan data is captured and synthesized in the cloud, you can visualize it on the iPad, or export it as a 3D model. Structure Sensor measures to hundreds of thousands of points by admitting a spectrum of infrared light. itSeez3D scanner takes that data to reconstruct a point cloud of the object. Then it creates a mesh wireframe and applies a texture layer mimicking the surface of the original object. It will also isolate the object from the background as you circle around it.”
The calculations necessary to do this are quite complex for an iPad so the software downloads quickly in the cloud, so you simply download the 3D model in a number of formats. itSeez3D software has incredible texture. Color 3D prints come out beautifully as well.
Face scanning and soon entire room scanning will be available. This app can be downloaded from the App Store.
With the Scandy iPad App with an attached Structure Sensor, you can scan an object or person in 3D. The Structure Sensor talked about for the itSeez3D scanner can use the iPad camera to overlay image data, and picks up depth data. With this combined information, they can create a 3D scan. The Scandy App is designed for the 3D scan to then be used for 3D printing. You can upload an existing 3D scan to Scandy.co that was created in another program. This app can be downloaded from the App Store and is also available for Android devices.
Trnio is another free iPhone or iPad, or Android app that allows you to do mobile scanning. Users must make sure they do their scan in bright, even lighting and keep an equal distance from the object as they position themselves around it. It is suggested that you get different angles so you get a more complete scan. The tutorial is extensive and gives you advice on what types of objects to avoid, such as thin or stringy objects, plain objects, transparent items like glasses or ones that move around. Face scanning is also possible with this app. Two types of guided scanning are available, accessible through the center camera button. The first, object mode, guides a user around an object if the user is moving in a circular pattern around the object. Scene mode allows for free scanning outdoors and for scanning larger items. There are several options for error handling, processing and trimming your scans. This app can be downloaded from the App Store.
Australian company Scann3D provides something a little different from the previous offerings: the Matterport Pro Camera to transform 2D media into interactive and immersive 3D content. The camera is popular for planners, floor plan providers, real estate agents and others working with interiors and exterior landscapes.
Matterport Pro collects accurate visual and spatial data to map entire commercial, construction, and functional spaces. From this collection professionals can produce immersive 3D content easily. All of the images captured are processed, hosted and organized in the Matterport Cloud, so you know where they are and can access them easily. No photo editing skills are required because the panoramas are automatically processed and optimized for color balance. Measurements can be collected using the Matterport Workshop. Accurate dimensions are within 99%. It has been used a great deal in real estate but its value to construction and design are intriguing.
AECCafe SIGGRAPH Sweepstakes Winner, Duncan Chen, senior principal Technology R&D at CoreLogic has been a vital leader and influence on FNC’s overall technology strategy and system development since joining the company in 1997. Chen works to define and bring to development innovative technology solutions for FNC’s clients. Chen designed and architected the AIXML concept and led production of FNC’s flagship products CMS® and AppraisalPort®, which have become one of the largest platforms for both retail and wholesale loan organization. Chen also developed the high performance Rule Engine, which serves FNC patterned GAAR (General Accepted Appraisal Rules), an automatic appraisal risk assessment tool.
Chen is currently leading the strategic plan to bring FNC’s technology to the Brazilian market. He also actively serves the mortgage technology industry through his work with GSE and MISMO standard committees. He is a noted guest-speaker for numerous internal and international conferences.
In a webinar prior to announcement this Tuesday, HP executives talked about the exciting new approach and commercial solutions for virtual reality (VR). As part of this strategy, the company has unveiled what appears to be the first professional wearable VR PC– the new HP Z VR Backpack. Crafted to bring the full potential of VR to-life, it is designed to be a secure and manageable wearable VR PC.
Aviad Almagor, director, Mixed Reality Program, from Trimble spoke recently about one of their prototype products, SiteVision, used for accurate outdoor augmented reality using GNSS, that is currently only available for pilot customers.
Leica introduced its BLK360 3D scanner at Autodesk University 2016, which was met with great awe when attendees saw how small it is. It is 6.5 inches tall and four inches in diameter, weighing 2.2 lbs., and has one single button on its housing, giving the impression of a Star Trek device.
Recent advancements in reality modeling have made the technology, which was once limited to highly skilled, well-trained individuals and costly equipment, now accessible to everyone. Faraz Ravi, a Bentley fellow and project manager for reality modeling spoke with AECCafe Voice about Bentley’s new innovations in reality modeling technology which greatly simplify the process of capturing, processing, and using data to create engineering-ready 3D models.
A 3D engineering-ready reality mesh created in ContextCapture comparing (left to right) photogrammetry, LiDAR, and a hybrid input. (Image courtesy of Bentley Systems and City of Strasbourg)
Carl Storms, Senior Applications Expert, for Rand IMAGINiT and Matt Mason, director of Software Development, for Rand IMAGINiT spoke with AECCafe at Autodesk University in November 2016 about the direction of the AEC industry. Rand IMAGINiT is a consulting and software development firm and Autodesk Partner. Carl Storms is “out in the trenches,” working with real world problems in AEC while Matt Mason is behind the scenes in the software development department, realizing the solutions to those challenges.
When asked about popular products and trends in AEC, Storm said, “Dynamo and visual programming are still a big thing. It’s been around a couple of years and now people more comfortable with it. Autodesk’s latest release of Dynamo Player is for people who are maybe not well versed in technology. They can just hit a button and play something. It’s like a playlist, you can pick a track you want to play. It accesses the information inside of your Revit model. It will, for example, have your text go from lower case to upper case with just the click of a button. It really gives people the benefit of using the technology without spending a lot of time learning the programming.”
According to Matt Mason, “Dynamo is still used by the power users, but to make it available to the rest of the people in the firm it needs to be more approachable. It’s been a challenge historically because you had to open the power users’ big complicated graph and understand it. From a usability standpoint, for the other 95% who aren’t at the level of doing Dynamo, it really helps democratize and leverage the Dynamo concept. The players can take advantage of the power users’ skills and have pretty much on-demand access.”
“Another big thing is augmented and virtual realities,” said Storms. “It’s now in more client and consumer based products. You have things as simple as Google Cardboard where you spend $12 to get the little lens and use your own smartphone, to high end devices, but they all allow you to immerse yourself in the data. Whether it’s a virtual reality type of device where you get immersed in the world of your model, you can walk around in your model and see what’s going on. Or you bring the reality into your reality so you can still see people and have conversations. You can see your interaction. People have been talking about it and have lots of thoughts and ideas for using it, and it will become more mainstream.”
British company 3D Repo, known as a multi-award winning provider of cloud software solutions for collaborative Building Information Modelling (BIM), has begun development on a mobile platform for Crossrail in the UK, designed to manage lifecycle assets. Among the company’s other solutions is a health and safety virtual reality app designed for the Zero Harm Health and Safety Training that is part of the Smart Motorway programme, to make highway and construction projects safer through improved training.
AEC technology company spokespeople weigh in on what their predictions are for 2017, with their thoughts on “going digital,” virtual and augmented reality, smart cities, “assembled architecture,” drones, self-driving cars, big data and much more.
Stay tuned for some very insightful comments on the state of industry going forward this year.
Self driving electronic computer car on road, 3D illustration (courtesy Bentley Systems)
City of Helsinki – Helsinki 3D+ Helsinki, Finland. Image Courtesy of City of Helsinki
“A smart city is a visionary statement for urban development that aims to converge information technology, operational technology, and engineering technology to better manage a city’s assets, and ultimately improve the quality of life for all. Technology is the enabler for smart cities around the globe, spanning mega projects to smaller scale initiatives that focus on streamlining processes, realizing efficiency gains, and improving services to its citizens. To realize the potential of a smart city, a concerted focus is being placed on a digital strategy that will enable comprehensive project delivery and enhanced asset performance for the supply chain and asset owners that build, construct, and operate and maintain infrastructure.” — Aidan Mercer, Industry Marketing Director, Government, Bentley Systems
In an AECCafe Voice interview with Paul Burden of ASCENT Center for Technical Knowledge, the courseware segment of Rand Worldwide, he spoke of the trends he saw in the provision of technical training for their customers.
Most of what AEC professionals need and want is how to get their designs expressed, realized and built efficiently, accurately, quickly and on budget. The solutions to these challenges can be provided with a mix of software, cloud and gadgetry, much of which you will find here.