Tuesday, July 16, 2013

3D Scanning for Museums

Last month the American Alliance of Museums held their annual conference in Baltimore and a popular topic was how 3D scanning and printing could be utilized by museums and educational institutions.

Of course Direct Dimensions was there (our ShapeShot face capture booth is part of the SuperScan exhibit by Science Visualization) along with lots of our local friends and colleagues to talk about 3D scanning and printing.

The Baltimore Sun wrote a great article about all of our local innovators and the various uses of  3D technology.

The article mentioned our scanning of important Matisse sculptures for the Baltimore Museum of Art and Direct Dimensions' own Michael Raphael was interviewed regarding the rapidly maturing 3D printing industry.

If you'd like to know more about 3D scanning for museums, you should read these additional case studies:
  • Please Touch The Art! - 3D scanning and printing allows museum goers the rare experience of handling Renaissance sculptures.
  • Reconstructing Caligula - Modern 3D technology virtually restores an ancient roman sculpture.
  • Scanning the Matisses -  3D scanning is utilized by the BMA for sculpture conservation, research, and interactive exhibits.


Friday, July 12, 2013

3D Scanning for Film: Grown Ups 2

At Direct Dimensions we continue to be deeply involved in our work for several major feature films.

We love working on VFX for motion pictures because our 17 plus years of experience in aerospace, automotive, and structural scanning, combined with our ShapeShot face and figure scanning, makes us uniquely suited to working on several aspects of VFX for a production. We are essentially a one-stop shop for 3D LiDAR, automotive, character, costume, set and prop scanning for films!

As much fun as we have working during production, it is always equally satisfying to see the finished product up on screen. Today one of our recent projects, Grown Ups 2, opens in theaters across the country.

We will definitely be at the movies tonight looking for our work on screen!

To see what other films we are working on, make sure to check out Direct Dimensions' IMDB page and take a look at our website to see examples of our work.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

In our eighteen years in business we've had the opportunity to scan many important historical artifacts, places, memorials, and buildings that would be fitting to discuss on July 4th. Perhaps most appropriate to share on Independence Day is the R. Charlton Coffeehouse in Colonial Williamsburg, VA.

The Coffeehouse was of significant historical importance, both to the city of Williamsburg and to the Revolution itself. Coffee houses of that time were known for more than their coffee, tea, and chocolate served to the colonials - they were also an important gathering place for political conversation. This activity made Charlton's coffee house one of Williamsburg's political ‘hotspots’ of the time - and therefor a likely spot for discussion and planning of the coming revolution. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Francis Fauquier were often in attendance. In particular, Charlton's Coffeehouse served as the site of Williamsburg's Stamp Act Rebellion which culminated in a standoff between an angry mob and a stamp agent on the coffeehouse's front porch.

DDI worked with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to laser capture what remains of the coffee house’s stone foundation. Of the original structure, only part of the brick foundation and some wooden fragments are still intact. We scanned the exposed foundation and the earthen floor with our Surphaser HSX spherical scanner. This unique scanner captures extremely accurate and high resolution data over a medium-range (2-10 meters). The Surphaser is a non-contact laser scanner so none of the delicate centuries-old foundation was harmed during the data capture process.

The raw 3D ‘point cloud’ data gathered in Williamsburg was then digitally modeled back at the Direct Dimensions facility in Baltimore, Maryland. The final surface mesh model was used to analyze the archaeological features found at the site. The data was used to help plan the reconstruction of the Charlton coffee house, which was rebuilt and furnished in the style of an accurate 18th century structure.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Michael Raphael to be Featured Speaker at Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo

Next week DDI President Michael Raphael will be presenting at the Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo in Chicago. You can hear Michael from 4:15-5:45 on July 10. Keep reading below for a preview of his presentation.

The XYZs of 3D Scanning: Making Reality Digital 
Like 3D printing, the technology for 3D scanning has evolved dramatically over the past 20 years. Today there are dozens of different scanning technologies, scores of different scanning systems, and hundreds of amazing scanning applications. Scanning has become critical in the fields of aerospace, automotive, architecture, and for many other industrial applications. As the digital world continues to drive demand for 3D content, 3D scanning (also known as ‘reality capture’) will play an increasingly important role in the accurate documentation of historic artifacts and sites, monuments and sculpture, and even forensic investigations. Using a series of compelling case studies, this presentation will highlight the evolution, current capabilities, and future possibilities for realizing the potential of 3D scanning. Discussion will also include background and observations on the business of 3D scanning and clues to leveraging the explosion of 3D printing as well as other downstream design, analysis, and visualization demands.