Thursday, September 19, 2013

Recapping the 3D Scanning Event

Last week, I attended the 3D Scanning & Factory Design event in Louisville, hosted by Advanced Solutions. I would have to say, I enjoyed the presentation and learned some new things.

 Ed Martin, a Business Development Manager from Autodesk, touched on the benefits for a factory system integrator to use scanned data instead of hand measurements from the factory floor. One thing I learned from Ed was that the life cycle of an integrated system has four stages: Plan > Design > Install > Operate. The other item I learned from Ed is that the majority of the life cycle is spent in the Operate stage due to changes to the system.

Next, Steve Fudge from FARO showed the group how simple and easy it was to take 3D scanned data and use it with Autodesk ReCap Pro. Steve began by using the FARO Focus 3D laser scanner to scan the current room. He told us that the scanner has the capability to use a wireless connection, in order to receive scanned data files on a PC. After scanning the room three different times, Steve took those individual files and used Autodesk ReCap Pro to stitch the data together creating one point cloud model.

Some things I took from Steve's presentation was that there was no need for registration targets when scanning. After two scans were complete he was able to bring them into Autodesk ReCap Pro and snap them together by selecting a common feature in both scans. Steve also stated that there was no need to select the same exact point in both scans, just to be within a meter of the selected feature. The other item I learned from Steve was that once all the scans were snapped together you can start creating groups of objects. For example, he made group for all exterior walls and then was able to turn off the visibility. This would give him the ability to work just on certain sections of the scans without so much clutter of all the other points in the way.

 Finally, Paul Cetnar from Advanced Solutions and Jim Byrne from Autodesk demonstrated Autodesk Factory Design Suite. Jim started off by show the great tools that come with the factory suite that can be used with AutoCAD legacy data. Then Jim incorporated using the asset library with the 2D drawing.  He also showed us how easy it was to select a AutoCAD Polyline when using the Chained Safety Fence asset to create a whole string of AutoCAD blocks of safety fence. Next, Jim showed us with one command he push the 2D data over to Autodesk Inventor to create 3D models.

Next, Paul Cetnar demonstrated for all of us how easy it was build a factory layout in 3D. Using Autodesk Inventor and the Factory Assets, Paul was able to just drag and drop a conveyor to the factory floor. After the first conveyor was on the floor he was able to add others to the first by using asset snapping. This snapping removed the need to be educated on how to "constrain" 3D models in Autodesk Inventor. After placing and snapping all his conveyors together he was able change the width and height of those conveyors all at the same time. He did not have to go to each conveyor to change the specifications, he just changed one and they all updated. He next selected a new conveyor from the asset library and snapped it to the chain and it updated to match the width and height of the conveyors already placed on the floor.

Attending this event showed me you can always learn something new. I went into this event knowing quite a bit about the Factory Design suite, but I really did not know much about Autodesk ReCap Pro and how to use the scanned data.

The one take away I get from Autodesk; being a former customer and now being in the reseller channel; is that Autodesk listens to the customer and is always trying to make designing easier and faster, no matter what type of design work you are into.

"With great power comes great responsibility." - Ben Parker

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