Monday, July 27, 2015

USIBD Digital Reality Symposium 2015

We've been using 3D laser scanning to document as-built conditions for AEC for a long time and think that this technology is a perfect fit for AEC.

Applications for 3D scanning include mechanical documentation of an existing MEP conditions - regardless of how crowded the existing space, models compatible with REVIT and Navisworks, comprehensive 3D documentation of As-Builts into BIM-ready CAD for Pre-Construction Job assessment, structural analysis, spatial relationships, facility layout,virtual fly-throughs and 3D prints.

We are encouraging interested folks to attend the USIBD Digital Reality Symposium 2015 this fall in Las Vegas to learn more about 3D Scanning and 3D printing for AEC.

We'll be there speaking about 3D printing. Learn more about the symposium here.


Monday, July 20, 2015

The Rosetta Stone: Creating a Digital Replica

In 1798 Napoleon sent a large corps of scientists and scholars to accompany his troops in Egypt. Intended to establish his Enlightenment cred, these scholars sent back various reports to France. On July 19, 1799, one of those experts sent a letter detailing an ancient stone that contained writing in three languages:  undecipherable Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Demotic, and ancient Greek. That find, the Rosetta Stone, was the key to understanding ancient Egyptian writing and an entire civilization.

In an early 19th century form of competitive crowdsourcing, many casts and lithographs of the stone were made and a diverse field of scholars used them to spend the next twenty years deciphering the unknown Egyptian languages.

Direct Dimensions joined that community of scholars, lithographers and cast makers when we 3D scanned one of the original casts of the Rosetta Stone to make a digital replica (without touching the precious original artifact).

The final 3D model is a 21st century digital copy that is 3d printable and will allow scholars and Egyptophiles to continue to analyze (or even own) an exact copy of the original.

Read more about the 3D scanning of the Rosetta Stone on our website.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

How to Print a Brain

When the creators of the "Your Brain" exhibit at The Franklin Institute tried to make a 3D print of a brain model they were turned away by every 3D printing company they approached. The companies all said the intricate 3D model would be impossible to print.

Then they came to Direct Dimensions.

Having been in business for twenty years, we are always excited to solve "impossible" problems. As experts of 3D model creation we went back to the beginning and approached the problem from a data perspective.

According to Direct Dimensions' Art Director, Harry Abramson: "Fortunately Dr. Voss provided an amazing data set for us to start with. In order to print this at large scale, each of the thousands of strand models would have to be fused to create a single brain model that could then be sliced into printable parts that fit in the build envelope. The whole model would then need engineering and design modifications to ensure that it could be assembled precisely and support itself on its custom mount.
To collaborate on the printing we contacted our friends at American Precision Prototyping. “We went over the size constraints of the build envelope, the volume of the object and our lead time, and very quickly I had a price and APP's guarantee that they could build the brain as long as we could prepare the files,” said Abramson. “What we lacked in budget, we made up with having a long lead time, so the project was a go!” 
The final, giant brain print is the centerpiece of the exhibit.
From APP's story on the project: "It has really become one of the iconic pieces of the exhibit. Its sheer aesthetic beauty takes your breath away and transforms the exhibit space," said Dr. Das. "The fact that it comes from real data adds a level of authenticity to the science that we are presenting. But even if you don't quite understand what it shows, it captures a sense of delicate complexity that evokes a sense of wonder about the brain."
You can read more about this incredible example of 3D printing on the Weill Cornell site or on American Precision Prototyping's page.