In the world of industrial facilities construction, effective space planning for the installation phase can prevent component clashes which can cause major schedule and cost problems. The new class of building CAD software called BIM, or Building Information Modeling, helps before the construction phase to prevent such occurrences of clash and other space problems. Essentially, the building systems such as MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) are modeled in a 3D digital environment to prove out the design, construction, and operation of the project – especially space planning.
However when retrofitting or modifying an existing facility, the architect must take into account the as-built structural and MEP components into the digital model. At this point, 3D laser scanning is fast becoming the accepted accurate method to dimensionally document existing and often complicated spaces quickly. These scanners are moved throughout the spaces to capture millions of 3D points, forming a high resolution ‘point cloud’ of the areas the spherical scanners can see.
But what about the areas these scanners can’t effectively see? What about the tight spaces behind, under, and above complex structural and MEP components?
A new 3D imager, called the Mantis Vision F5, enables surveyors and engineers to create the same high-resolution high-accuracy 3D point clouds of complicated spaces by literally walking through these areas and taking video scans with a handheld device. This way you can not only fill in areas left blank by the spherical scanners, you can capture many more areas faster just by walking around.
The new F5 handheld scanner is simple to use, requires no set-up, no tripod, no external power, and even no external lighting. Walk into the space of interest, power up the integrated ultra-mobile mini-computer and battery-powered imager and start recording the scene. Within seconds of moving and panning, as you would with a regular video camera, you’ve captured large areas within the 15-ft dynamic imaging range. With a capture rate of 10 frames per second, each image contains up to 50,000 points yielding up to 500,000 per second. So in just a few seconds, the F5 creates a very high resolution 3D point cloud.
The F5 comes complete with post-processing software, called MVP. MVP functions similar to video editing software: you read in the captured video, mark the start/stop points, convert into points, and composite the various captures into a single aligned point cloud. Depending on the nature of the captured scene, the process can be quite simple and rapid, taking only a few minutes. Inadvertent points from neighboring objects are easily removed using the typical circle-select tool. Once aligned and cleaned as desired, the point cloud can be output as ASCII with intensity (extremely valuable for downstream visualization and modeling), or the cloud can be meshed and output as a PLY file. Either output format provides for industry-neutral import into virtually all 3rd party 3D point cloud processing softwares including Pointools, Cyclone, Geomagic, PolyWorks, and Rapidform, among others.
The Mantis Vision F5 brings an entirely new 3D imaging capability into the hands of surveyors, engineers, and problem solvers. Imagine needing to capture the complex as-built geometry of a loaded industrial space in order to layout and plan the installation of a large new component. Now you can pull the F5 from your tool belt, scan around the area, and process the 3D capture back in the office into an accurate CAD model ready for import into your favorite BIM software. Or you can extract complex dimensions directly from the 3D point cloud, create a visualization, animation, or perform various analysis.
The Mantis Vision F5 was created in Israel for rugged terrain and field applications. It is ready for industrial use for facilities measurement today. Contact Direct Dimensions, Inc. for more information about this amazing new 3D tool.