Tuesday, March 31, 2015

20th Anniversary: 1998-2003

Last week we began tweeting an image/year a day (@dirdim, #DDI20) in honor of our upcoming 20th anniversary. You can revisit the first few days here or on twitter.  As promised, we're recapping on our blog for those who don't tweet. So without further ado - Direct Dimensions 1998-2003.

1998 - we scanned an original Wright Brothers Propeller for an episode of NOVA. You can read more about the Wright Brothers Scan on our website.

1999 - We began using 3D scanners to help create custom prostheses. For more click here.

2000 - Our 5th year, we were already 3D scanning complex castings for CAD-based dimensional inspection.
2001 - The National Park Service asked Direct Dimensions to demonstrate how 3D scanning can help preserve our nation's monuments and important sites. We scanned the Lincoln Memorial as an example.
2002 - We 3D scanned a unique life-size sculpture inspired by Renoir to make a monumental scaled version.
2003 - Direct Dimensions digitally captured Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis to help make a lifesized bust for a charity auction.

Check back this weekend for 2004-2010 or follow us on twitter to see #DDI20 images daily!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Promoting 3D Scanning: 98Rock and SPAR 2015

We've been in the 3D scanning business for twenty years but it never gets any less exciting to us. We love opportunities to educate new comers to the world of reality computing and 3D printing.

Last week our very own Michael Raphael and Harry Abramson had the chance to introduce 3D scanning to  Baltimore commuters when they appeared on the 98Rock Morning Show and shared incredible (and funny) stories about our favorite disruptive technology. Check out the video below to see a short segment of the show.

This week we are attending SPAR 2015 where Michael will be giving a presentation on using 3D scanning for film vfx: Scanning the Stars: Making Digital Assets for Hollywood VFX.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Counting Down to Our 20th Anniversary

If you don't follow our twitter feed (@dirdim) you might have missed our announcement that we're just weeks away from Direct Dimensions' 20th anniversary.

On the 19th we tweeted a picture from 1995 of founder and president Michael Raphael using one of the very first FaroArms. We'll continue posting a picture/project per year until our anniversary. It should be a fun look, not just into the history of Direct Dimensions, but at the history of 3D scanning. If you aren't on twitter we'll recap here every week.

Here's what we covered this week:

Michael Raphael using one of the first arms from Faro.

Year 1: 1995. One of our very first projects was to help create a monumental sized sculpture for the Olympic Games in Atlanta. You can read more about the project here.

Year 2: 1996. Here is Michael our 2nd year, using a FaroArm to inspect trimmed edges to 3D CAD in real time.
Year 3: 1997 We 3D digitized a serious collector car called a Cunningham C-4R.

Follow us on twitter or check back here to see 1998-2003 next week!


Monday, March 9, 2015

REAL2015 Recap for LiDAR News

Direct Dimensions Founder and President Michael Raphael is a regular contributor to LiDAR News where he discusses interesting trends and stories from our world of 3D Laser Scanning. He recently attended AutoDesk's REAL2015 event and recapped it for those who could not attend.

Last week Autodesk quite successfully staged the “REAL2015” conference in San Francisco focused on how we are increasingly using 3D to Capture (scan), Compute (design), and Create (fabricate).  The event was definitely different in many ways from the more traditional industry conferences many of us regularly attend, such as SPAR, Autodesk University, RAPID, or the Hexagon, FARO, ESRI, and Trimble user events.  The line-up of speakers, for example, was not your usual industry faces.  Most of the speakers presented on aspects of 3D, such as 3D scanning, 3D design, or 3D printing.  Although many were not necessarily expert or even hard core 3D users per se - most really had compelling stories about how they leverage 3D to create incredible products, artwork, designs, structures, exhibitions, visualizations, or something else that was likely pretty interesting to hear and see.

Staged at Fort Mason, a former Army base now managed by the National Park Service near Fisherman’s Wharf, in long barrack-like building on a pier over the water, the event clearly had flavors of a “TED” conference.  Design elements even included large, in this case blue, block letters on stage forming the word “REAL”, a very large presentation screen, a set of cushy lounge chairs, and even the trademark carpet circle with no podium.  In all the venue seemed about perfect for this inaugural event.  It never felt too small or too large, the exhibition space was perfectly sized also, and it also seemed by most that the event logistics ran nearly flawless.  Hats off to Autodesk and especially to the REAL2015 co-organizers:  Robert Shear, Autodesk’s Senior Director and GM of the Reality Solutions group, and Alonzo Addison, former Cyra VP, UNESCO advisor, professor, and entrepreneur brought on specifically for this project.

The conference started off with several fantastic international speakers including Eythor Bender of UNYQ about the design and fabrication of artistic custom prosthetic leg fairings, Stuart Brown talking about how they use 3D to reproduce exotic classic cars, and Tim Zaman of the Delft University reproducing famous master paintings with incredible 3D scanning including works by Rembrandt.  The highlight of this first session was Sarah Kenderdine of the University of New South Wales in Australia showing example after example of absolutely amazing implementations of interactive visualizations for various museum exhibitions.  This kickoff session, aptly entitled “REAL Stories,” lived up to its name with each providing thoughtful contemplation of how 3D can if not change lives, certainly improve lives.

You can read the rest of the REAL2015 summary over at LiDAR News.