The devil is in the detail, as they say and in the engineering world every detail is unique.
Providing specialist engineering solutions to suit our client's needs means getting the right information, in the right time at the right cost. This means constantly improving and reinventing the way we work to deliver feasible solutions that our client's can trust.
Our latest undergoing reinvention incorporates 3D scanning into our design workflows. We are currently testing several new pieces of technology and the one we are most excited about is the DPI8X handheld 3D scanner, by USA based software solutions company, DotProduct.
3D Scanning History & Developments
Commercial 3D scanners have been around for almost 20 years but have always been expensive and difficult to use, with the ability to scan in mm accuracy at distances of up to 9km weighing in with a hefty price tag, ranging between R50 000 to over R1 million each.
While these scanners pack a punch, we tend to see more instances where structural members and equipment need to be scanned at close range. That's where we've found that the use of range sensing 3D scanners like the DPI8X, which are lower in cost, more portable, and easier to use really come into their own. These scanners can be used on their own for short-range scanning with a limited budget, or used to supplement large scanning efforts, scanning tight areas without the need for additional setup by larger, more expensive equipment and teams - saving you time and money.
DotProduct & ET’s New Workflow DotProduct have developed end-to-end 3D reality capture systems. Their 3D scanners are suited for interior spaces or individual components, with good close range accuracy. DotProduct's system comprises of a handheld 3D scanner integrated with an Android tablet for capture and processing and both systems are tightly integrated with ReCap and other Autodesk software solutions.
ET have been testing these handheld scanners to capture 3D point cloud data of mining structures, equipment and assets to assist with the following workflows:
Capturing as-built conditions to assist with Structural Safety Audits and Forensic Engineering
Allowing off-site fabrication of design strategising
Virtual clash detection of modifications/new designs in existing areas
Speeding up turnaround time for producing refurbishment solutions
3D scanning is often used by design firms and contractors to capture existing conditions. For building design renovations, point clouds can be used to verify or supplement documentation for the existing structure and brought into design tools to guide the design effort. For construction, scanned point clouds are used to document and assess ongoing construction progress, record as-built conditions, or for off-site fabrication strategies. Easy-to-use, affordable scanning systems can also be used by on-site construction personnel without specialised training to capture construction conditions. We look forward to sharing the results of our tests with you in future newsletters, however, should you require more information now, please contact our Projects Coordinator, Chris Els: firstname.lastname@example.org