I met an interesting new customer last week: Texo Drone, they have the capability to scan large structures, such as power stations, oil rigs, wind turbines etc., to sub-millimetre precision, both inside and outside the structures.
Once they have all this data refined, they can give the customer an accurate 3D model of what is actually there (not necessarily what was drawn originally) and then let the customer walk through and interact with that life-size model in VR.
Once you see the results, your mind immediately jumps to all sorts of use cases, from scanning nuclear plants during decommissioning, to scanning wind turbine blades regularly to look for damage or wear. The level of detail the scan delivers really does allow the engineers to make more intelligent decisions.
Scanning has come such a long way. The hardware has gone through a rapid development cycle to produce smaller, better, faster cameras and in tandem the software algorithms to stitch all those points together has also made amazing progress. This means that raw point cloud data can be used to generate 3D surfaces rapidly.
Many times, I have sat with customers who have asked us to model a room or an environment, especially one for reference, and I smile and ask, “Why don’t you just scan it?”
The Benefits of 3D Scanning to VR
Point clouds or scanned data into VR is a great workflow with our Visionary Render VR software, and once loaded it gives you that ability to walk through the data, measure, cut, interact with the model as though you were standing in the real world. These are all big advantages, especially if you are dealing with a hazardous environment.
Seeing the actual data, or even better, seeing the scanned data mapped over the 3D CAD model, nicely shows engineers the differences between the two and enables decision making prior to going on-site.
Moving this amount of high-res data once needed a super-computer; now it’s just a well spec’d laptop with a decent NVIDIA card. Couple that with portable, cost effective VR hardware, like our ActiveMove or CVR system and you are up are running with a credible 3D experience. Soon, everyone will be doing this – you read it here first!