In an interview with Jörg Braunes, product manager at FARO, we discuss the new features and how various groups of professionals can benefit
SCENE WebShare Cloud is a modern cloud-based hosting platform from FARO®, offering real-time access to highly accurate 3D reality data in real-time. This service allows data of unlimited size and independent of their source of capture to be stored, viewed, evaluated and safely shared anywhere and anytime, simply using a web browser.
The first noticeable difference, says Jörg, is that FARO “has launched a Pro Package that now includes the ability for users to download point cloud data. Users can specify an area of the point cloud (or the whole point cloud) and are then given the option to download a file in any one of five standard industry formats (Autodesk ReCap *.rcp, Bentley Pointools *.pod, *.xyz, *.e57 or FARO *.cpe), which then allows the user to further process the information in their chosen modelling, drawing or analysis tool”. As an added benefit, high-resolution panoramic photographs can also be downloaded.
This is the main difference between the Pro Package and the Base Package, although there are further choices to be made depending upon the amount of storage required.
Both packages have unlimited users and unlimited data traffic, meaning no surprises for democratising your data!
Jörg describes three specific use cases where clear and identified benefits can be quickly realised.
Firstly, the scanning service provider – the companies that use scanning hardware to collect the data
Handing over the large datasets has often been an issue in that “fragile” methods were often employed, sometimes multiple hard drives or many discs were delivered to the client, who may then pass them on to others who needed to copy and use the data, resulting in many copies of the same data.
FARO SCENE WebShare Cloud enables the scanning service provider to create as many users as are required to access the very same data once it is uploaded. It’s fast, efficient and enables users with access to measure, view and annotate the measured data. Some forward-thinking scanning service providers are already offering this an additional deliverable/service and forms part of their standard business model.
Secondly, construction companies or general contractors and asset owners, operation or management companies
Construction companies that are working in the modern world and are required to demonstrate what is built is what was designed find the scanning process with SCENE WebShare Cloud invaluable.
Jörg states: “Technology now allows the capture, uploading and sharing of construction progress scans to happen with in an incredibly short space of time.”
The sharing of vital information with those who need it to make critical decisions allows them to base those decisions on facts about what is happening on-site – even if they aren’t on site themselves.
Additionally, with the ability to download the data, they can run analysis of as-design versus as-built using FARO’s BuildIT Construction tools.
When asset owners or operation/management teams are discussed, Jörg is particularly excited. SCENE WebShare Cloud can be used as a connector of geometric data as part of a digital twin. An often over-used term, FARO is clear on where they fits into the digital twin landscape – they enable a link between the physical and the virtual, with accuracy and frequency determined by the functional requirements.
Visualising and accessing asset management data based upon the very latest physical on-site measurement data enables decisions about operational aspects to be more accurate.
Added to this, SCENE WebShare Cloud can link to data held in other cloud repositories via a unique URL – extending the access to data from a visual user interface. Users can now access the scan data through direct integration to services such as Autodesk’s BIM360 platform and can integrate the FARO cloud services into their dashboard.
Finally, the “as-built” documentation creator
Jörg notes that “while the scan data will currently be a more accurate representation of reality than a model, in today’s industry, as-built documentation often requires a user to extract features from the scan data for the preparation of 3D models or drawings that represent the as-built situation”. FARO WebShare Cloud assists these users by enabling them to access the very latest captured data, measure or download a specific area for further modelling in their chosen software.
These expedited workflows, when used with software such as FARO’s As-Built Modeller, enables the extraction of highly accurate models at an accelerated rate of production.
Another unique feature, Orthophotos, allows accurate, scaled, orthographic images to be extracted from scan data with SCENE WebShare Cloud, these are hugely valuable for workflows using devices or software that don’t have the capability to use or process point clouds.
Jörg mentions at this point that “SCENE WebShare Cloud is NOT limited to terrestrial scan data. The platform is built to allow the upload, use and download of terrestrial static scanning, mobile scanning, photogrammetry or a combination of the three. Indeed, anything that can be processed in the core SCENE software can be shared with SCENE WebShare Cloud”.
He continues: “The importance of mobile scanning technology is increasing, so it was important that we addressed this at the outset – SCENE WebShare Cloud is already prepared to take this data.”
This is boosted by FARO’s recently announced Focus Swift system, which enables their static terrestrial Focus scanning hardware to be used as mobile devices – with proof that it can be up to seven times faster than similar static scanning methods.
In looking to the future, Jörg says: “FARO obviously see high potential in cloud-based solutions that are being developed, with additional tools in the pipeline that enable greater workflow efficiencies for all users.”
The coming of 5G networks could transform the industry’s ability to gather and share large quantities of all types of site data. For now, though, the obvious benefits would be faster upload/download times of scan data, reducing site and office downtime of multiple parties in the design, construction and operation chain.
Jörg says: “Given that viewing data on the platform is already optimised for mobile access, we would expect to see an increase in performance with 5G, but it very much depends upon the hardware and obviously the connection speed.”
It’s clear that if you’re using, or likely to be using, point cloud data, the SCENE WebShare Cloud platform is a great place to begin for storing, accessing, analysing, downloading and linking your measured site data. FARO is again making steps to remove perceived barriers to working with these large, hugely valuable datasets.
Content Marketing Manager EMEA
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