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So what is digital photogrammetry? It’s the use of art, science, and technology to measure data and obtain highly reliable information about objects and the environment those objects are in.

Why is it so important for 3D scans to be such high-resolution? They can easily be used on the manufacturing floor to deconstruct certain machines on a screen so as to limit the amount of time spent taking apart an actual machine. Deformation analysis is an economical and easy way to look through old structures, rearrange system parts, modify equipment and more. 3D coordinate measuring systems have the technology to gather data in seconds, not only saving your company money but also saving them time.

With lasers, lenses, and sensors, photogrammetric snapshots can reveal unforeseen flaws or unmask easier ways of operating in order to make manufacturing and production more effective. One camera can gather millions of points of data that can then be turned into useful information for researchers, technicians, medical experts, and others. The camera works by taking snapshots from various angles and then software lays them out on a 3D coordinate plane for analysis. While the camera doesn’t need to maintain exact positions, it is important for the camera to be high quality for the purposes of getting the most substantial results.

When results are clear, it is much easier for manufacturers and researchers to work with scalable digitized data. Scanning physical objects to convert the information into usable data removes the pressure of having to do research on limited objects under time restraints.

Understanding digital photogrammetry theory and applications will help you better decide what type of 3D products will increase productivity for your business. In this piece, we'll dive into 5 topics to help you understand the basic theory and applications related to digital photogrammetry.

#1 Triangulation

Say you are reading this on your laptop. If you are looking at your laptop, you know it is directly in front of you. If you close your right eye and then close your left eye, you’ll notice that it appears as if the laptop has moved. This idea is similar to the “lines of sight” that create the three-dimensional effect of a scanned 3D image. It happens by taking photographs at different angles and then overlapping them on a plane. The 2D images then can combine to form the 3D image that gives you a more extensive view of the object you are studying.

#2 Flight strip

When photogrammetric images are taken, they are taken in a series of parallel passes. The object will have data points on it that the camera lens picks up. The camera captures these data points at slightly different views all around the object until the 3D images can be pieced together. Because of how the camera’s exposure works, each image will be slightly overlapped with the preceding image.

#3 Automotive photogrammetry

To stay ahead of the competition and speed up the development and production of motor vehicles, manufacturers use 3D scanning and photogrammetry. Rather than experimenting with physical parts, they can deconstruct, inspect and analyze on screen in order to save time and money during the manufacturing of the vehicles.

Creating clay models has become more streamlined than ever before because they can be shaped directly from the scan data on a screen. Photogrammetric images converted into 3D scans allow technicians to improve the quality of their products because they can use Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis to reduce wind noise and test aerodynamic drag and downforce. They can also use the images to compare the scan to CAD models as a way to reduce the number of iterations necessary for the final product.

Digital photogrammetry doesn’t just cover the exterior of an object. If each object is scanned for parts, a digital assembly can happen on a screen to ensure that components fit together. The final details can also be adjusted.

#4 Medical research

In much the same way cars can be taken apart for inspection or put together to test fits, the interior of the human anatomy can also be scanned for parts.

Forensics, case studies, and medical research can benefit from digital photogrammetry. High-resolution images such as teeth molds and fingerprints can all be collected, CAD models can be created and the information can be archived in the “as manufactured” condition. Being able to measure data from fine, detailed small parts means that research and analysis are all the more accurate.

The medical field uses digital photogrammetry theory and applications to increase their knowledge of the human body. They can thus more effectively find flaws in things such as implants or modify the way doctors conduct certain surgeries.

In another realm, forensic scientists utilize 3D scans and TRITOP photogrammetry to compare scans to CAD models in the case of accidents. After a car crash, for example, 3D scans can be taken of the collision and the car can be compared to the original model to determine impact speed or inconsistency that could reveal technical issues that might have caused the car or motor vehicle to malfunction.

#5 Casting and Forging

Manufacturers are constantly looking into new ways to produce casts as similar to net shape as possible. More detailed and precise scans also mean casts and molds will be closer to meeting tighter tolerance requirements. Metrology solutions that combine 3D scanning with photogrammetry allow for a more complete re-creation of castings that support CAD model creation and can be archived in the “as manufactured” condition.

For parts that have intricate details, 3D scanning uses blue light technology to reproduce images in incredibly high-definition. Complex geometries are measured and fewer iterations need to be created as a result. A helpful feature of 3D scanners is that they can adapt to differing measurement sizes. Volumes small and large can be scanned and the images for both will meet the same high-resolution expectations.

After an “as manufactured” scan is archived, you can then compare the cast or mold to a 2D drawing for inspection analysis. If issues or inaccuracies arise, root cause analysis allows you to read a color map of the scanned object to catch a problem during the manufacturing process. From there, you can supplement the production process by improving product performance based on making corrections or enhancements. Smart technology in the scanning software can help you detect where best to make improvements in order to optimize workflow and increase productivity.

Want to learn more? Contact us today!

Need more information? Visit our photogrammetry page now! You’ll be able to browse our different products, such as the GOM TRITOP or the ATOS Plus, an add-on that intuitively integrates digital photogrammetry with the ATOS Triple Scan or ATOS Core — both of which collect 3D measurements with our blue light technology.

If you’re still left with the question, what is digital photogrammetry, or if you’re curious about how your manufacturing plant can benefit from the specifications of digital photogrammetry theory and application, reach out! At Capture 3D, our goal is to help improve your workflow and allow you to capitalize on the best products you can offer to your customers. Whether you work in a field that wasn’t mentioned, or you’re wondering how you can implement digital photogrammetry and 3D scanning hardware and software into your day-to-day manufacturing processes, we have you covered.

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