Drones Assist in Creating 3D Models of Homes

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810In the 16th century in the Netherlands, better off members of the newly emerging merchant class often had perfect wooden replicas of their homes made. These miniature houses weren’t created to be left in the hands of grubby handed children as dollhouses, but rather were symbols of the pride that people took in their homes and were often on display within the houses themselves. As a historian of interior design, these models provide a detail rich piece of evidence to study in order to understand how these houses were lived in, perceived, and put together. They move beyond floor plans to allow for an understanding of the 3D space and its objects that has made this time and place one of the most fruitfully studied and fully understood.

The painstaking craftsmanship that went into the models took many hours and came with a relatively high price tag. Now, however, with the introduction of drones and software designed to turn photos into 3D models, there is a new way of creating house models. Currently, the focus is on capturing the outside of the residence through photos collected by the flying quadcopter so that a 3D model can be created which, in turn, can then be 3D printed, creating a physical model.

810The idea behind this goes beyond the creation of a model for personal enjoyment and has been recognized by those in real estate as a powerful tool for portraying salable properties to potential clients. If you want to use this technique to create a model, the drone itself, called Bebop 2 Real Estate Advanced Edition, is for sale for just under $900. The price also includes a year-long license to the software Pix4D that converts the images into a model ready for printing. This opportunity was created through the combined efforts of Parrot, a tech company that has benefited from 3D printing in drone design, and the software creators Pix4D.

The drone itself can fly for up to 25 minutes, capturing full HD videos or 14MP photos of the structure and surrounding property. Those images are uploaded to the cloud where they are built into a 3D model that is ready to be uploaded to a website or used to create a 3D printed model. In this, we see yet another use for the quadcopter drones which we’ve already seen hard at work this year assisting in disaster areas, delivering packages, and providing data for marine research.

This will most likely not be the kind of thing that your average homebuyer is expecting as part of their real estate experience, but it will provide an interesting source of information about architecture for those looking back on the remaining models in 500 years. Discuss in the Parrot forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: WIRED / Images: Parrot/Pix4D]

 

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