Just when I thought I’d had enough of travel and conferences for 2015 I found myself intrigued with another event. Lately I had been seeing a lot about FARO’s Must See 3D Solutions Workshops so some of my staff and I decided to attend the one local to us which was held in Long Beach, California. After all, it’s a lot easier to justify bringing a bunch of my staff to an event when there isn’t any notable travel expense or days of lost billable hours like when attending a typical conference.
According to FARO’s Marketing Manager, Jerry Hardy, these events are intended to replace FARO’s annual 3D Documentation Conference in 2015. “This year, we decided to bring the conference to the customers. Consequently, we are enjoying a higher attendance level versus asking the customers to travel to Orlando.”
There are 53 scheduled stops across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The workshops run for about five hours, include breakfast and lunch and are free to attend. There are three breakout sessions:
- Metrology for Manufacturing,
- 3D Laser Scanning for Architecture, Engineering and Construction
- 3D Laser Scanning for Public Safety
Given my focus on Building Documentation, of course I was most interested in the session on AEC. The overall focus of the event was to show how 3D Measurement Technology can optimize workflows, improve processes, and enhance efficiencies. FARO also promoted the Workshop to show how to compare and evaluate various 3D measurement solutions and providers, as well as how to assess the value of upgrading your current systems to the latest advancements in 3D measurement and laser scanning technology.
The AEC breakout session concentrated largely on how to enhance workflows with the combination of FARO’s Scene software and third party apps by Rithm Software. I found Rithm’s Builder app to have some very powerful functionality, especially with regards to automated floor topography extraction from a point cloud for floor flatness applications.
“FARO understands that the best way for our customers to get software solutions that meet their exact needs is through 3rd party development. Many of the apps in the FARO 3D App Center, including the Builder and Surveyor Apps we showed at the workshop, are purpose-built for creating a small number of deliverables in a very specific vertical market. Because they are so focused on building tools for a specific type of customer, the workflows are simply more efficient,” said Matt Daly, FARO’s Regional Manager for the Western U.S.
During one of the breaks I was able to get some hands on experience with FARO’s Freestyle handheld scanner. The scanner has a lightweight carbon fiber body and connects to a tablet PC. It was fairly straight forward to use. I scanned a doorway, some chair rail and a table. The color data looked good on the screen and the software did a great job of reminding me not to move too fast so as to obtain the optimal data capture. As expected, the scanner did have some difficulty capturing the black table cloth. Overall, though, I was impressed with its performance.
“The event was well attended,” said Daly. “There were 65 attendees including about 25% law enforcement and accident reconstruction, 25% manufacturing/metrology, and 50% AEC. Some other verticals were sprinkled in there as well.”
The workshop format worked well for me. I was glad it was within a 30 minute drive from my office so I could include my staff. It also gave me a chance to get a quick update on some of the latest features, apps and workflows promoted by FARO. The fact that I only had to give up a little over half my day was a plus. Kudos to FARO for bringing their event local to their customer base!