iPhone/iPad 3D Scanning

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MGroupsTopdog
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iPhone/iPad 3D Scanning

Post by MGroupsTopdog »

Hello,

I want some advice on possible workflow efficiency improvements in 3D scanning small to medium-sized bridges.

I work on behalf of a county council, and we complete various safety and general inspections of their structures. We’ve recently implemented 3D scanning using an iPhone 14 Pro Max and our current workflow involves:
• Creating a trial account on PIX4Dcatch.
• Scanning the structure (hoping it doesn’t use more than the free 40 credits).
• Exporting the mesh into FreeCAD.
• Fixing the alignment before taking a x-section.
• Import this x-section into AutoCAD and take dimensions from here.

This process is certainly not the quickest or most accurate but for what we need it works. It’s just a bit cumbersome and we’ve had issues with going over the allotted 40 credits and rescan everything.

Is there a better alternative that is also free? On the other hand, are there alternatives that work well at different price points? Funding is something we could get for this type of work, but currently, there isn't any so we'd have to write a business case for this.
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Re: iPhone/iPad 3D Scanning

Post by gsisman »

MGroupsTopdog wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 12:13 pm Hello,

I want some advice on possible workflow efficiency improvements in 3D scanning small to medium-sized bridges.

I work on behalf of a county council, and we complete various safety and general inspections of their structures. We’ve recently implemented 3D scanning using an iPhone 14 Pro Max and our current workflow involves:
• Creating a trial account on PIX4Dcatch.
• Scanning the structure (hoping it doesn’t use more than the free 40 credits).
• Exporting the mesh into FreeCAD.
• Fixing the alignment before taking a x-section.
• Import this x-section into AutoCAD and take dimensions from here.

This process is certainly not the quickest or most accurate but for what we need it works. It’s just a bit cumbersome and we’ve had issues with going over the allotted 40 credits and rescan everything.

Is there a better alternative that is also free? On the other hand, are there alternatives that work well at different price points? Funding is something we could get for this type of work, but currently, there isn't any so we'd have to write a business case for this.
Forget the iPAD for Scanning a structural survey. At the very least you need something like a BLK360 level scanner to get cm-level ,sub cm level scans .You need good survey control to keep everything tight too since these are outdoor scans not indoor with lots of planes for Cloud to cloud processing. Bottom line....hire a scanning professional if you have no one in your public works group, for this type of engineering work.
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Re: iPhone/iPad 3D Scanning

Post by sim.cam »

hi.
for what its worth, I have been using iPhone as a lidar/ photogrammetry solution to capture as built environments as a carpenter collecting data for remodelling projects .
Your previous reply was obviously correct, where serious infrastructure is involved and accurate surveys should always be carried out professionally.

however, depending on your case use and the technical ability of your staff, my improvised work flow might work for you.

site scans with polycam paid version 79 gbp / year
export scans as .dae files to Trimble sketch up (pro version around 300gbp/yr

I would never rely on 100 % accuracy , good slave, bad master...
always check critical dims have scaled correctly , be aware of drift etc... always take on site reference measurements .

but once your lidar / photogrammetry scan is scaled properly in sketch up environment , you can use that as a baseline for new models , extracting dimension details etc. you can also share /collaborate easily this way. (turn off edges in styles to view scan without clutter)

also you might consider "matter port " option for creating digital twins of your real world council structural assets.
this offers pretty much all you would need for a cost of apx 150 for Axis tripod , inc years subscription , works with iPhone 14, expect 40 quid per use to convert your capture into the format which works best for you.
this offers much more functionality in terms of collaboration and tagging of your assets for anything from maintenance schedule , fault highlighting ,reporting, etc.

I use both.
in my experience, nothing worth having is free.
hope that helps
best regards
simon
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Re: iPhone/iPad 3D Scanning

Post by cahern3d »

I'd definitely look into Dot3D:
https://www.dotproduct3d.com/appstore

You can give it a try for free, and then it's still only $300 USD/year or $50 USD/month for UNLIMITED use and all all local processing.

You also might want to consider using an RTK or other trusted device to survey in some targets (or distance measurements) for control, but that is optional depending on your scale/accuracy requirements.
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