Thursday, December 31, 2009

3D Scanning Newsletter - December

December's newsletter has been sent out and is also posted on our website.

Articles this month include:

How 3D Imaging is Changing the World: The last decade has seen some amazing advances in 3D imaging technologies, from the introduction of light weight, hand held systems to new advances in large scale scanners. With the technology evolving rapidly, we talked to our President and founder, Michael Raphael, about the current state of the industry and what innovations we can expect to see in the coming years.

VA Medical Center BIM: When Clark Constuction needed to include an existing building into a BIM (Building Information Model) they were creating, they turned to Direct Dimensions to help save time and money.

Football Player Digital Double: When tasked with creating a commercial for the AFL, Eye Candy, a commercial editing firm in DC, decided to use 3D animations based on a real person. Our team utilized many different scanning technologies and software to create a realistic digital double.


Monday, December 28, 2009

3D Scanning an Historic Sculpture

This month saw the completion of major project that began, for us, in 2007.

The Genius of Connecticut bronze sculpture, standing eighteen feet tall, started its life perched at the top of the statehouse in Hartford in 1876. It was damaged in a hurricane in 1938 and subsequently placed in a storage facility, where it stayed until 1942 when it was melted down for the war effort. All that was left of the sculpture was a full size plaster model which was later coated in bronze and displayed in the lobby.

In 2005 the Connecticut State Legislature decided to recreate the original Genius of Connecticut sculpture in bronze and place it back atop the Capitol Building.

Direct Dimensions was brought in to 3D laser scan the eighteen foot sculpture in 2007. A 3D model was created from the scans and the model was used by Polich Tallix foundry to create a new bronze sculpture using traditional casting techniques.

Earlier this month, the completed bronze recreation was installed in its temporary home in the Capitol lobby. Check out the video below for footage of the sculpture being installed.


Monday, December 21, 2009

ShapeShot wins "Best Pitch" Award at First Maryland TechCrawl

On December 16th, the Emerging Technology Center (ETC) of Baltimore held the first Maryland TechCrawl.

According to the ETC, "At the first Maryland TechCrawl, 21 local technology companies presented their products or services. The event drew people from the Baltimore - Washington, D.C. region, bringing startup companies, investors, executives, community connectors and local media together to forge partnerships, increase visibility and showcase the new technologies."

Direct Dimensions took the opportunity to present our new ShapeShot technology. It was a wonderful chance to get some feedback and refine our message.

The event also included a pitch competition where each of the 21 companies had 60 seconds to deliver their best product pitch/demo. At the end of the evening the ETC's board of directors chose the best pitch. We were honored to have ShapeShot chosen as the winning pitch.

It was a great event and we are looking forward to next year!

You can read more about the event here.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Case Study: Reverse Engineering WWII Jeep Frame

Recently, Direct Dimensions had the unique opportunity to scan a 1940’s Bantam Jeep underframe. The Bantam BRC-40, alongside models like the Willys MA and the Ford GP, were among the first Jeeps produced by the U.S. Army. Due to their extensive use in WWII, they quickly became iconic of the war and of the era in general.

This particular Bantam frame, provided by client Todd Paisley, posed a challenging 3D problem, as it had rusted and corroded to the point where it was no longer usable. Direct Dimensions was brought in to reverse engineer the component in order to produce a digital model upon which new underframes could be manufactured.

DDI engineers Michael Lent and John Kelbel completed the scan in one day using a 12’ Platinum FARO Arm paired with the Laser Design SLP 2000 laser line scanner. The SLP 2000 proved ideal for this challenge, as its dual cameras and wide laser range reduce scanning passes, saving time while still ensuring high accuracy.

According to John Kelbel, the heavily warped underframe was scanned in sections from two separate positions, both from the front of the frame and from the back. These scans were then digitally combined using Rapidform software. Using Rapidform XOR software, the data taken from the scan was reverse engineered to produce a CAD model of the original ‘design-intent’ of this part suitable for manufacturing. The final deliverable allows the production of components based upon the historic Bantam underframe for several generations of Jeeps to come.

You can see additional documentation on the Jeep Reverse Engineering Project, including an interactive 3D model on our website.