3D Scanning, Printing & Photogrammetry


3D technologies are transforming industries across the globe - the UK construction sector was slow out of the 'starting blocks' but now innovation is gaining momentum and gathering pace.

3D laser scanning is claimed to accelerate design time by rapidly capturing as-built models with 99%-dimensional accuracy. Laser scanning is not new, but it is now starting to gain serious traction in the construction industry. 3D scanning provides a robust method for surveying inaccessible surfaces as well as complex geometry. All the major providers of CAD 3D modelling and BIM software have built compatibility that allows their systems to import the point cloud data into 3D visual graphics. By emitting millions of laser lights and timing their return, laser scanners can accurately and precisely calculate their 3D locations, to produce multiple high-speed scans, brought together into one system.

3D printing sometimes referred to as Additive Manufacturing (AM) - is the computer-controlled sequential layering of materials to create three-dimensional shapes. It is particularly useful for prototyping and for the manufacture of geometrically complex components. In the last decade it has become relatively straightforward and affordable - consequently viable for a wide range of uses including product design, component and tool manufacture. The first 3D printed house made the headlines. Ground-breaking advances in concrete 3D printing made this 'first' achievable and now this technology is revolutionising the manufacture of architectural components.

Photogrammetry is also on an upward trajectory. During construction this 3D technology can be used to monitor progress and analyse any problems that arise as they occur. A form of 3D scanning that uses photographs and triangulation to create an accurate model of a site or structure -Photogrammetry scanning can be performed at close range, via satellite, or from the air. For construction projects, drones have transformed photogrammetry from an expensive and time-consuming option to a simple and inexpensive solution. Mounted on a drone, inexpensive photogrammetry equipment can quickly take photos of an entire site and structure from multiple angles and triangulate the visual data to create a 3D model that can be used for planning and design.

What does the future hold and what are the emerging applications for 3D Scanning, printing and photogrammetry? Find out on Day 2 from:

> Joshua Mason, Associate Partner - Foster & Partners