3D measurement and imaging solutions provider FARO, whose valuable services in the field of forensics we’ve written about before, recently announced its acquisition of German augmented reality (AR) solutions company mwf-technology GmbH. Technology from mwf allows for large, complex 3D CAD data to be transferred over to another device, like a tablet, and used for a mobile visualization and comparison to conditions in the real world. It facilitates real time, actionable manufacturing insight that can be used for in-process transition, positioning, assembly, and guidance. The technology will be extremely helpful as FARO, which also provides solutions for factory metrology, construction Building Information Modeling (BIM)/Civil Integrated Management (CIM), and product design, works to increase its footprint in mobile virtual and augmented reality.
FARO, with headquarters in Florida and a large technology center/manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania, develops and markets computer-aided measurement and imaging devices and software, like their SCENE 6.1 3D scanning software and Forensic ScanArm, and has used their technology to assist with projects like the first 3D scan of the Roberto Clemente Bridge, used to create 3D printed mini replicas as puzzle pieces for RAPID 2017 in May (which 3DPrint.com will attend). Their acquisition of mwf-technology, headquartered near Frankfurt, will add to their presence in Germany, as FARO’s European regional headquarters is located in Stuttgart.
mwf’s mobile AR solution, FARO AR Inspect, has been used by some of the world’s leading aerospace and automotive companies to significantly reduce cycle time and manufacturing costs in their assembly workflows. It includes both a hardware kit, with a 3D ready iPad and alignment tools, and a compression software tool that is used to convert 3D CAD data into a mobile format, allowing users to intuitively navigate their 3D data. It’s similar to their jipConnect tool, part of the jipSystem, which includes the jipBase 3D system used to display CAD data on an iPad, the jipTop, jipCheck, and jipAR, the AR system for the iPad.
Coupled with the FARO Tracer guidance and positioning technology, productivity for their factory metrology and construction BIM/CIM customers will be dramatically increased with FARO AR Inspect, as surrounding real world information becomes interactive and is able to be digitally manipulated.
Dr. Simon Raab, FARO’s president and CEO, says, “We are very excited about expanding our portfolio of virtual reality solutions into actionable, mobile Augmented Reality with mwf. With the introductions of Mobile AR and VR solutions, we are at a seminal moment where we can enable our customers to evolve their thinking and actions beyond doing it the right way to doing it the best way every time. They will benefit from error detection at even earlier stages of the production, construction or design process. As an industry pioneer, FARO continues to be committed to driving technological innovation that creates increasingly more value for our customers.”
FARO AR Inspect complements the FARO Virtual Reality Viewer, which was showcased at the Intergeo Conference this year. The Viewer allows the user to have an immersive, interactive experience in a simulated 3D environment. It has many benefits across several applications, such as facilitating more cost-effective and timely decisions in the design cycle by enabling users to see flaws or possible risks before a solution is fully implemented. Discuss in the FARO forum at 3DPB.com.