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Autodesk Releases Subscription Advantage Packs with Ambercore Point Cloud Technology

Ottawa, Canada, Wednesday, October 28, 2009 – Ambercore is pleased to announce its point cloud technology has been incorporated into the release of AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2010 and AutoCAD® Map 3D 2010, part of Autodesk’s Subscription Advantage Packs. These releases are the first products from Autodesk that incorporate Ambercore’s technology which provides valuable new functionality for importing and visualizing large point cloud data sets.

Point clouds are extremely large data sets with millions of points, and are typically created through the use of laser scanning, high-definition surveying, or LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). They provide accurate representations of existing conditions of terrain surfaces, roadways, bridges, and the interior or exterior of features of buildings.

Some common uses of LiDAR data in AutoCAD® Civil 3D® and AutoCAD® Map 3D include using the point cloud data to create DEMs and contour data, digitizing as-built features for design projects, visualizing power lines and surrounding vegetation for right-of-way management, and developing an understanding of the site context in site surveys.

The Ambercore point cloud technology within the AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2010 and AutoCAD® Map 3D 2010 products enables customers to read, store, index, and quickly retrieve the extremely large point cloud data sets associated with laser scanning and LiDAR. As a result, customers are able to visualize and analyze data in 3D and better build high-precision 3D models.

“The point cloud technology from Ambercore allows Autodesk AEC customers to easily incorporate extremely large and highly accurate LiDAR data into their infrastructure design and management processes,” said Charlie Crocker, Infrastructure Product Line Manager, Autodesk AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) solutions. “The incorporation of this technology into AutoCAD Civil 3D and AutoCAD Map 3D software means that our customers will be able to better plan, design, and manage infrastructure projects.”

“We are very excited about the first release of our technology within Autodesk’s AutoCAD® Civil 3D® and Map 3D products,” said Ted Reeler, Director, Projects & Technology at Ambercore. “We are confident that this new functionality for point clouds will be a significant asset to their customers, and we look forward to our ongoing collaboration with Autodesk.”

About Ambercore
Ambercore is the 4D Company. We make innovative mobile LiDAR technology, we provide LiDAR data collection services, and integrate and extract knowledge from 4D data. Ambercore’s 4D-iQ provides enterprise-scale software and service solutions for Energy, Mining and natural resource sectors. With its powerful spatial modeling and simulation software, 4D-iQ helps clients make important business decisions by collecting, integrating and analyzing spatial information in 2D, 3D and in 4D (over time).

TITAN® is a revolutionary technology that produces high accuracy survey and mapping products for corridor and infrastructure projects across a number of vertical markets. Travelling at highway speeds – or on rail or vessel – the system uses state-of-the-art LiDAR, imaging and positioning technology to provide feature rich 3-dimensional data, from which intelligent information is extracted and delivered to clients. TITAN® has been deployed on projects throughout the world since 2003.

Ambercore’s Terrapoint Division has provided LiDAR and other digital mapping services for a diverse clientele in over forty countries for the past twenty years. Terrapoint’s primary focus is to find solutions that fit client needs, and to continue a reputation for meeting and exceeding client demands in the delivery of digital elevation and image data. Service and product offerings include complete airborne LiDAR, and digital imaging for engineering, survey and mapping applications. Terrapoint is considered a leader in aerial LiDAR services, and owns one of the largest fleets of sensors in the world. Best of breed solutions comprised of software, hardware and services have been deployed internationally with tier-one clients. Ambercore is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada with offices in Houston, Calgary, South Africa and Europe.

UPDATE: GSA Nationwide Laser Scanning Services Contract Awards

GSAlogo

The General Services Administration (GSA), Public Buildings Services (PBS), has officially awarded six individual $30 million Nationwide Laser Scanning IDIQ Contracts to the following firms (source: https://www.fbo.gov/spg/GSA/PBS/PHA/GS-00P-09-CYD-0137/listing.html):

Some firms were awarded contracts in their specific region(s) and others were awarded a contract covering all of the GSA regions.

Congratulations to all! These firms include some of the most talented individuals in 3D laser scanning. It will be interesting to see how much work actually comes out of this contract and how it will impact the laser scanning industry. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to get the latest updates on this monumental contract award.

REVIEW:: ClearEdge3D EdgeWise™ – High Definition CAD Models Automatically From Point Clouds

EdgeWiseCompany: ClearEdge3D
Software:
EdgeWise™
Website: www.clearedge3d.com

Quick Pitch: Automatically extract vector planar surfaces from point cloud data.

Overview:
Having used just about every piece of software on the market related to processing and extracting vector information from point cloud data, I am always looking for the next best thing that will make my life and my team’s life easier. We have seen the hardware side of laser scanning come a long way in a very short period of time; however, the software side has not improved at the same blistering pace.

When the availability of ClearEdge3D’s EdgeWise™ software was announced here back in June and webinars were hosted to demonstrate the abilities of the software, I was anxious to get my hands on a copy of it to test it out for myself. While a little reluctant to offer demo licenses in the beginning, ClearEdge3D quickly began to realize that skeptics like myself were not willing to spend $5,000.00 on a piece of software that we have not had a chance to try out for ourselves, especially in this economy. They quickly began to recognize the needs of the market and responded accordingly by providing time-based pre-release beta trials to highly interested parties.

Installation:
The pre-release software I received (v. 1.0.2b) was easy to install, although there was an issue with the hardware lock driver on my Vista 64-bit laptop. This was quickly resolved by downloading the correct driver from the SafeNet website (Note: the updated drivers will be included on future distributions).

First Impression:
Right out of the box (figuratively speaking, as the software was downloaded from their website) I was very impressed with the overall look and feel of the software. ClearEdge3D was obviously interested in making their software easy to use and graphically pleasing-to-the-eye because they certainly did accomplish that. The UI is based on the latest Microsoft Office-type menu structure which made it very easy to jump right in.

EdgeWise-CaptureEase of Use:
ClearEdge3D insisted that I attend a 1-hour web-based training session and, while not necessarily needed due to the exceptional design and layout of the software itself, it did prove to be very beneficial and probably saved me the headache of learning by trial and error. With exception to a few terminology questions, I found the software’s left-to-right workflow very easy to use. Every step of the software’s conversion process was very well thought out and the routines made sense, technically speaking.

Technical Aspects:
While the software was primarily designed for the Architectural/BIM workflow, I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about the benefits of automatic conversion vs. the time needed to export the point cloud data to a format EdgeWise™ would accept (non-gridded PTX was the format of choice). Having been in the terrestrial laser scanning business over nine years, I know that point cloud data can be very cumbersome to deal with, especially when having to export to different formats. However, I was pleasantly surprised with EdgeWise’s ability to quickly import the various PTX files that I wanted to test.

NOTE: For those Cyclone users out there, EdgeWise™  is an automated “region grow patch, extend patch to all” batch routine. It really does a great job of quickly identifying planar surfaces and extending the edges to meet adjacent planes. The data import and processing time was a lot faster than I expected, but I did drastically reduce the number of points (to about 1 million).

Workflow:

  1. Export point cloud data (individual scans) to format accepted by EdgeWise™ (see FAQ on company’s website for more information on formats)
  2. Import individual scans into EdgeWise™
  3. Follow a few simple steps to identify the location of the scanner
  4. Extract ground surface (TIN)
  5. Let the software work its magic – it really is as simple as that!


Summary:
If you have a significant amount of basic models that need to be created from point cloud data, EdgeWise™ would likely be a good investment. Keep an eye on this product, because they are definitely on to something and, with a little direction from qualified users, they are on track to change our typical workflow.

Leica Geosystems Announces the Release of Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D

Leica Geosystems Announces the Release of Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D

(Heerbrugg, 21 July 2009) Leica Geosystems announces the immediate availability of Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D. This powerful and easy-to-learn point cloud solution is designed for Intergraph SmartPlant 3D users who want to take full advantage of accurate, laser scan as-built data directly in SmartPlant 3D.

Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D is the latest addition to the Leica CloudWorx suite of products that enable professionals to use rich, as-built point cloud data directly in their native desktop design and visualization platform. SmartPlant 3D is Intergraph’s next generation plant design platform.

Key features and capabilities of Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D
– Measure – using SmartPlant 3D’s own measuring tools
– Automated clash checking – using SmartPlant 3D’s built-in clash management and reporting tools
– Pipe centerline routing tools and exact tie-point location tools – for finding face of flange at pipe center; supports creation of intelligent as-built models directly in SmartPlant 3D, using catalog components and objects
– Leica Geosystems’ unique Key Plan features – for visual fast navigation within point cloud project data
– Leica Geosystems’ unique TruSpace viewer – delivers improved comprehension of point cloud data and ease of driving exact viewpoints in the CAD system
– Easy point cloud management – by Scan, “Limit Box”, “Cutplane slices and sections”, and “Hide Region”
– Supports a variety of laser scanners – including native data formats from Leica Geosystems scanners, the industry’s most popular scanners
– CloudWorx toolbars – access CloudWorx operations easily, conveniently, and fast;
visualize a new design concept directly in context with reality

High Accuracy Plus High Performance
Leica CloudWorx for SmartPlant 3D is based on Leica Geosystems’ long proven database-centric Cyclone™ point cloud foundation, which allows users to simultaneously benefit from state-of-the-art spatial accuracy and high performance point cloud management.

Powerful Point Cloud Management & Measurement in SmartPlant 3D
Leica CloudWorx for SmartPlant 3D provides several ways to quickly, efficiently, and effectively manage vast amounts of point cloud data. User named and defined “Cutplane Slices and Half-Space Sections” and/or “Limit Boxes” provide a quick and easy way to navigate point cloud data. These selections can be recalled as needed on demand. The Key Plan and TruSpace viewpoint management tools provide unsurpassed ease-of-use and improved visual comprehension. Measurements are taken using familiar SmartPlant 3D measuring tools.

Automated Point Cloud Clash Detection and Reporting Using SmartPlant 3D
Clash detecting against point clouds with Leica CloudWorx is performed using SmartPlant 3D’s own automated clashing and reporting tools. Users can automatically detect clashes between modeled objects and point clouds, based on a user’s own defined tolerance settings. All interfering points within a user-defined region are visually highlighted and itemized.

Supports Multiple Scanner Formats
Leica CloudWorx for SmartPlant 3D lets Intergraph’s users take advantage of spatial scan data from any laser scanner via industry-standard ASCII-based data formats. In addition, Leica CloudWorx for SmartPlant 3D directly accepts, without any data format conversion, compact native data formats from the industry’s most popular scanners. These include all models of Leica Geosystems High-Definition Surveying™ (HDS™) time-of-flight and phase-based laser scanners, and selected scanners from other vendors. This capability to accept native formats from the industry’s most popular scanners provides users with even higher overall system efficiencies and simpler workflows.

Pricing & Availability
Leica CloudWorx 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D is immediately available from Leica Geosystems. Pricing information is available through appropriate Leica Geosystems representatives and dealers worldwide.

Leica Geosystems – when it has to be right
With close to 200 years of pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems products and services are trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyze, and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.

Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 3’500 employees in 28 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.

For further information please contact:

Leica Geosystems AG
Bill Wallace
Sr. Product Manager, Software

Tel (direct) 1-925-790-2356
Tel (central) 1-925-790-2300
Fax 1-925-790-2309
E-mail: bill.wallace@leica-geosystems.com

www.leica-geosystems.com/hds


Autodesk Announces Availability of Autodesk Navisworks 2010 with Point Cloud Operability

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — WHAT:

Autodesk Navisworks 2010: – Autodesk, Inc. , a world leader in 2D and 3D design and engineering software, announced that it is shipping new releases of Autodesk Navisworks 2010 software for managing, simulating, and reviewing design and engineering projects in 3D. Autodesk Navisworks 2010 provides new capabilities that manage multi-disciplinary plant design and engineering workflows and enhance coordination across distributed teams. New plant-relevant features include:

Clash grouping and detection – Autodesk Navisworks combines precise faultfinding with hard, soft, clearance, and time-based clash management. Engineers can more quickly review and cross-check geometry created by most 3D authoring software; maintain a complete record of all clashes found throughout a project; check time and space coordination; and resolve site and workflow issues at the planning stage.

Multi-format support – Compatible with most major 3D design and laser scan formats, Autodesk Navisworks can combine 3D data from multiple formats, regardless of file size, into a comprehensive, dynamic information model, which can be shared with all stakeholders. Autodesk is committed to providing multi-format support and will work to provide compatibility with new file formats as they emerge.

Collaboration – Autodesk Navisworks enables design teams across engineering disciplines to view, annotate, expand, revise, and analyze one comprehensive information model for informed, timely decision-making. All project review files saved in Navisworks format are compressed, more secure, and streamable, and can be easily viewed with the free* Navisworks viewer.

In addition to these engineering design capabilities, Autodesk Navisworks 2010 will be compatible with the forthcoming AutoCAD Plant 3D product.

  CUSTOMER REFERENCES:

  Unison Engineering & Consultants GmbH, Germany

“Navisworks’ point- and line-based clash detection allow us to coordinate laser-scanned as-built environments with virtual models,” said Leandros Zeppos, managing director at Unison Engineering & Consultants, an independent engineering company, providing a wide spectrum of engineering services for the plant industry. “The easy visualization of 3D point-cloud models with the integration of 3D CAD models provides a powerful design review solution for any project. Engineering solutions can be easily analyzed against existing, accurate on-site data.”

Lenzing Technik GmbH, Austria

“Navisworks has simplified our job immensely,” said Gerd Bergner, an engineer at Lenzing Technik, a global industrial partner specializing in Engineering and Contracting, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Services, and Automation and Mechatronics. “The planning and design processes needed for steel-erection and plant-engineering work can now be combined into a single model. As a result, the plant project can be reviewed, and those involved now have a much better feeling for the installation they are creating.”

MORE INFORMATION:

For more information and a free* trial version of Autodesk Navisworks software, please visit http://www.autodesk.com/navisworks-plant.

*These products are subject to the terms and conditions of the end-user license agreement that accompanies each software product.

  CONTACT:
  Brett Smith
  brett.smith@autodesk.com
  (415) 547-2405

  Carey Godbee
  cgodbee@b3communications.com
  (760) 758-4406

  About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a world leader in 2D and 3D design and engineering software for the manufacturing, building and engineering, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art Digital Prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate, and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality, and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit http://www.autodesk.com/.

Occasionally, Autodesk makes statements regarding planned or future development efforts for our existing or new products and services. These statements are not intended to be a promise or guarantee of future delivery of products, services, or features but merely reflect our current plans, which may change. The Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect any change in circumstances, after the statements are made.

Autodesk, AutoCAD and Navisworks are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

Pointools Launches new Software: Pointools Edit

Written by: Pointools

The challenges of managing and working with large point cloud datasets efficiently and maximising their value has been the primary concern of point cloud software specialists Pointools who have recently announced the availability of the eagerly-awaited flagship product Pointools Edit.

Key Features
Pointools Edit builds on the features of the successful Pointools View Pro, adding a new set of tools and enhancements in key areas without compromising performance. Like View Pro, Edit is also based on the Vortex point cloud engine designed to deliver productivity with huge datasets. Pointools say their focus with Edit has been to provide a post-registration toolkit that prepares point cloud data for production of deliverables reducing the overall project production time. Edit has been tested rigorously in production environments to ensure it delivers, even for most demanding projects.

Layers
Point layers are one of Edit’s most unique and powerful features. For example cleaning noise from an interior scan is made easier by moving the walls into another layer, allowing the user to focus on the interior. Once complete, the walls can be moved back to the original layer. Layers can also be locked effectively acting as a mask. Once a user grasps this methodology, editing that may have in the past taken many hours can now take minutes to complete with fewer commands needed.

Editing
In addition to the standard rectangle and polygon selection tools, Edit provides a 3d brush tool for easy selection of objects in complex environments. Selections are fast and utilise multiple CPU cores if available. When working with huge point datasets, density can be reduced for faster operation and on export the editing will automatically be reapplied to every point.

RGB Retouching
RGB values in point clouds can be re-touched using a colour matching and 3d brush with layers for masking and precise control. Photo editing filters such as brightness/contrast, hue/saturation can also be applied and the results saved to the point cloud file. Where the presentation of the point cloud data is important, this can fix mis-mapped obstructions or sky areas on scan data as well as scanner ‘circles’ not covered by photography.

For more information visit www.pointools.com

About Pointools
Pointools Ltd are a specialist software company producing a range of products for working with point cloud data. A UK company founded in 2003, Pointools products have thousands of users across the world. Pointools software accepts data from almost any laser scanner with many manufacturer’s native formats supported. Pointools Edit follows on from Pointools View Pro, Pointools Model for AutoCAD and Pointools4Rhino. Pointools products can be purchased from a network of resellers worldwide.

Autodesk to Incorporate Point Cloud Capability in Future Releases of AutoCAD

This is old news, but it is worth posting here for users thinking about purchasing point cloud software in the near future.

Ottawa, Canada, Tuesday, September 23, 2008 — Autodesk, Inc. has signed an agreement with Ambercore Software to license its point cloud technology and incorporate

it into future releases of Autodesk software. Point clouds are extremely large data files usually created through the use of laser scanning, high definition surveying, or LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). They provide a more accurate representation of existing conditions whether of a terrain surface or urban center, a roadway or bridge, or the interior/exterior of a building.

The Ambercore Software point cloud technology will enable customers to read, store, index, and quickly retrieve the extremely large data sets associated with laser scanning and LIDAR. As a result they will be able to visualize and analyze data in 3D and better build high-precision 3D models. Examples of customer benefits include:

• Local government, utility and telecommunications customers will be able to maximize the return on their investment in large-scale LIDAR mapping and infrastructure projects.

• AEC customers will experience the power of Building Information Modeling (BIM) earlier in the project lifecycle. By providing the capability to incorporate highly accurate LIDAR data into the design process, we will provide a foundation for creating more accurate designs faster. This will be particularly beneficial to our civil engineering customers involved in road and highway design.

“The point cloud technology from Ambercore Software will allow Autodesk customers to easily incorporate extremely large and highly accurate LIDAR data into the design and infrastructure management process,” said Lisa Campbell, vice president, Autodesk Geospatial. “The incorporation of this technology into Autodesk’s portfolio of Geospatial and Building Information Modeling software means that our customers will be able to start with a digital model earlier in the design process or expand the precision and detail of existing infrastructure databases. As a result they will be able to create more accurate design and mapping information and use that information to visualize, simulate, and analyze projects before they are built.”

“Ambercore’s point cloud software has been engineered to efficiently manipulate extremely large spatial data,” said Martin Sendyk, President and CEO of Ambercore Software. “With the increasing proliferation of 3D sensing equipment and resultant point cloud data, the ability to extract intelligence from massive 3D data sets is more important than ever. We are very excited to be solving this challenge with an innovative company like Autodesk.”

About BIM
BIM is an integrated process built on coordinated, reliable information about a project from design through construction and into operations. By adopting BIM, architects, engineers, contractors and owners can easily create coordinated digital design information and documentation; use that information to more accurately visualize, simulate and analyze performance, appearance and cost; and reliably deliver the project faster, more economically and with reduced environmental impact

About Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc. is the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit http://www.autodesk.com.

About Ambercore
Ambercore provides enterprise-scale software and service solutions for Energy, Mining and natural resource sectors. With its powerful spatial modeling and simulation software, Ambercore helps clients make important business decisions by collecting, integrating and analyzing 2D and 3D spatial information. Ambercore’s Terrapoint Division has provided LiDAR and other digital mapping services for a diverse clientele in over forty countries for the past twenty years. Terrapoint’s primary focus is to find solutions that fit client needs, and to continue a reputation for meeting and exceeding client demands in the delivery of digital elevation and image data. Service and product offerings include complete airborne LiDAR, and digital imaging for engineering, survey and mapping applications. Ambercore’s TITAN® Division develops leading edge mobile LiDAR systems for ground based high accuracy applications. Best of breed solutions comprised of software, hardware and services have been deployed internationally with tier-one clients. Ambercore is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada with offices in Houston, Calgary, South Africa and Europe. For more information please see www.ambercore.com

Ambercore, Terrapoint, and TITAN are registered trademarks or trademarks of Ambercore Software Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates, in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Ambercore reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

Autodesk and AutoCAD are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates, in the USA and/or other countries.

Press Information:
Samantha Mabey, Ambercore Software
Tel.: 613-216-0082
E-mail (press only): press@ambercore.com
General Information: contact.us@ambercore.com
Please visit our website at www.ambercore.com

Hexagon Metrology Launches PC-DMIS Reshaper

Note: Hexagon Metrology is owned by Hexagon AB Group which also ownes Leica Geosystems. It will be interesting to see if any of this functionality will end up in Cyclone.

North Kingstown, RI – June 2, 2009 – Wilcox Associates, a Hexagon Metrology company, announces the immediate availability of PC-DMIS Reshaper software as a standlone application. PC-DMIS Reshaper is a comprehensive 3D point-cloud processing program that can be used to collect or import large quantities of 3-dimensional point data for manipulation and processing for downstream processes such as CAD modeling, Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) or rapid prototyping.

PC-DMIS Reshaper operates as a fully functional application in an online or offline mode. Data collection can be accomplished “live” via a direct connection to a digitizing device, such as a ROMER portable measuring arm with a laser scanner, or offline via file import from more than a dozen 3D data file formats, including STEP, IGES, ASCII, DXF, DMIS, ISO and RAW.

Point clouds, which can be imported with no file size or point quantity limitations, can be cleaned, merged, and edited from the streamlined user interface, and then rapidly converted into a polygon mesh model. The conversion from cloud to mesh is extremely rapid, utilizing proprietary alogorithms for polygon organization that results in highly accurate, yet lightweight file size models. Further manipulation of mesh models, including hole filling, deformation, and smoothing is rapidly accomplished with point-and click simplicity. Final export of meshes is possible to a dozen file fomats.

“PC-DMIS Reshaper is an excellent package for the user who wants to do a relatively discrete set of tasks, namely collection and cleanup of point clouds, and quickly getting them into a format that can be taken to the next stage in the development process. It has a short learning curve and is very intuitive to use,” said Ken Woodbine, President of Wilcox Associates, Inc. “At the moment, PC-DMIS Reshaper is a standalone module, but in time, we will be incorporating elements of the technology into the core PC-DMIS product suite.

A basic set of point cloud to CAD comparison dimensional inspection is also possible with PC-DMIS Reshaper. A point cloud can be aligned to an IGES or STEP CAD model, and deviations from nominal shown in a colored graphical “weathermap” format. This function is ideal for users who wish to compare a physical object, such as a mold cavity, to its virtual CAD counterpart. Deviations indicate areas of variation to the original model.

PC-DMIS Reshaper software benefits functional areas such as product development, rapid prototyping and reverse engineering, plus industries that create or use molds and dies, or produce parts with complex surfaces. Even heritage preservation can benefit from using PC-DMIS Reshaper software to collect 3D models of priceless artifacts for archival or copy purposes.

Wilcox Associates (PC-DMIS)

Wilcox Associates is a Hexagon Metrology company. Founded in 1990, Wilcox Associates, Inc. is the developer of PC-DMIS, the world’s leading CMM software, and Enterprise Metrology Solutions (EMS), a tightly integrated suite of software products focused on the collection, evaluation, management and presentation of manufacturing data. These products allow manufacturers to quickly capture dimensional data, analyze it and act on it to reduce scrap, improve throughput and reduce costs.Wilcox Associates, Inc. employs over 100 talented software engineers located worldwide working in a collaborative environment. They are dedicated to bringing our customers the best metrology software technology possible. More information can be found at www.PC-DMIS.com

Hexagon Metrology

Hexagon Metrology is part of the Hexagon AB Group and includes leading metrology brands such as Brown & Sharpe, CE Johansson, CimCore, CogniTens, DEA, Leica Geosystems (Metrology Division), Leitz, m&h, PC-DMIS, QUINDOS, ROMER, Sheffield and TESA. Hexagon Metrology brands represent an unrivaled global installed base of millions of CMMs, portable measuring systems and handheld instruments, and tens of thousands of metrology software licenses. Hexagon Metrology empowers its customers to fully control manufacturing processes that rely on dimensional precision, ensuring that products manufactured precisely conform to the original product design. The company offering of machines, systems and software is complemented by a wide range of product support, aftermarket and value-added services. More information can be found at www.HexagonMetrology.us

Mount Rushmore to add laser scans, digital mapping in preservation efforts

Source: http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2009/05/23/news/local/doc4a1702bb8841b911374516.txt

Officials at Mount Rushmore National Memorial have added new tools in the constant effort to preserve the national icon.

While crews traditionally use silicone sealant, fracture-mapping techniques and other technology to preserve the faces, they have added laser scanning and digital mapping to tools use to keep the 68 year old in good condition.

Duane Bubac, director of cultural resources and facilities at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, said the mapping project will give the National Park Service detailed information about the features of Mount Rushmore. And the data could later be used to create virtual, up-close tours of Mount Rushmore.

In the past, maintenance was mostly a once-a-year event. Each fall, rope-access crews descended from the top of the memorial to inspect the granite and caulk the surface cracks. The fall maintenance work still takes place every September, Bubac said, but it’s now part of a much larger, year-around effort to monitor and preserve Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

“The process involves a lot more than sealing cracks now,” Bubac said.

Under the National Park Service long-range preservation plan, crews are fracture-mapping and crack-mapping the granite surface. They are also removing vegetation, cleaning and sealing cracks, removing hazard rocks and testing the next generation of sealant materials.

Mount Rushmore’s biggest threat is water. It seeps into cracks, freezes and expands. That freeze-thaw cycle could eventually degrade the surface of the granite. Dirt and vegetation could also be a threat. If dirt can accumulate in a small hollow, it gives opportunist weeds, bushes or trees the foothold they need to take root.

NASA Uses Laser Scan Data and Photosynth to Evaluate Shuttle Damage

By Adam Sheppard
Source: http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/chrisckemp/posts/post_1242080940877.html

In October 2006 I was sitting in my office at Microsoft trawling through a backlog of email and voice messages. It had been a busy couple of months leading up to the Technology Preview of Photosynth at San Francisco’s Web 2.0. We’d brought the house down with our on stage demonstration of Photosynth’s ability to take a large number of digital images and automatically assemble them into a high resolution, 3D environment that anyone could explore at home from within their web browser.

Around the same time, Chris Kemp (Currently CIO at NASA Ames) had just joined the Agency and was leading their business development efforts to seek out new and emerging technologies coming out of the private sector that could help NASA’s mission. He had seen the Photosynth demo and was eager to learn more about what he’d seen. He was full of ideas and saw the potential for Photosynth to bring the public closer to the space program than they had ever been before. They could follow in the tracks of the Mars Rovers, see every nut and bolt of a shuttle on the launch pad and experience first hand life onboard the International Space Station (ISS). At Microsoft Live Labs we were bringing some of the top computer scientists in the world together with talented engineers to explore new ground on the web. We couldn’t have asked for a more kindred spirit than the men and women of NASA who, through their own genius and engineering skills, were exploring our universe for the benefit of mankind.

Throughout 2007 we began planning and experimenting with images provided by NASA. Together with Microsoft Researcher Drew Steedly (one of our lead scientists on Photosynth) we visited Kennedy Space Center as preparations were underway for Shuttle Endeavor STS-118’s mission to the ISS. Chris had arranged unprecedented access to for us to photograph and document the Shuttle as tiles were being replaced, in the Vehicle Assembly Building, and on the launch pad itself. We were really eager to get some aerial shots of the shuttle awaiting launch, and Drew was lucky enough to sit with a SWAT team in one of those ‘Men In Black’ NASA helicopters as they flew a security fly-by around the shuttle on the pad, producing some amazing 360 degree shots we would later include in the synth. (video)

For the launch itself, we sat with the families of the astronauts, and one couldn’t help but remember the footage of the Apollo missions with people watching from the same bleachers as their loved ones journeyed to the Moon. A few days later, back in Seattle, we were proudly sharing our unique stories with our colleagues, when a call came in that had us jump into action. Since the Columbia tragedy occurred three years prior, many new safety procedures were instituted to help ensure the safety of the crew. One such measure was the detailed inspection of the underside of the shuttle from the ISS using both photography and a laser scan to assess any potential damage. Some damaged tiles had been found on Endeavour while in orbit and NASA was scrambling to make a decision on whether they should attempt a repair. During our previous discussions with NASA engineers, the idea of using Photosynth for safety procedures had been discussed and this was the perfect test case for us. Each tile is unique, carefully cut and individually serial numbered before being adhered by hand to the underside of the vehicle. Typically a specialist would have to trawl through thousands of close up images, cross-referencing against plans to visualize where on the shuttle the particular tile was. To help the specialists, we took all the images downlinked from the ISS while it was still in orbit, and used Photosynth to reconstruct the bottom of the shuttle, automatically placing the images together. We were all amazed at the results as we zoomed into the damaged tile. And while the decision had already been made to proceed without a repair, the value of this new technology had certainly been demonstrated.

Shortly afterwards I found myself at NASA headquarters in Washington DC demonstrating the synths to the Associate Administrator for Space Operations, William H. Gerstenmaier. He immediately saw the potential to share life onboard the ISS using Photosynth, and we soon found ourselves on our way to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to help train the astronaut on creating a full-size synth of the International Space Station. (video)

As we worked with the astronaut trainers, we soon realized that there were some unique challenges to consider in zero gravity. For example, Photosynth makes some assumptions on which way is ‘up’, but when you’re floating in space there is no ‘up’. With barely enough room to stand up, and every available space full of equipment, we also had to consider what technique would best capture both the panoramic views and detail shots that would lead to a successful synth. Towards the end of the day we got to meet some of the astronauts being trained on emergency procedures on a life-sized mockup of the Shuttle and finally had the chance to sit in a real Russian Soyuz capsule also used for training.

Needless to say it was my life long dream to be crawling through a space station and meeting the men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes at NASA.

I personally moved on to other projects mid 2008, just when the flight plan for the new ISS Photosynths was coming together. All I can say is the resulting synths have turned out better than I could have ever imagined. I’m delighted to think that somewhere there’s a child exploring them right now who will one day walk on the surface of the Moon or even Mars.