3DUserNet: Point clouds and 3D models together, for everyone

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As we all know by now, 3D-capture data is extremely valuable—as long as you don’t let it get siloed. That means any new user of 3D capture is soon faced with the difficult task of making its data available to the people who need it, as well as combining it with other data types for use and analysis.

3DUserNet, a new entrant to the software market, aims to make these problems a thing of the past with its cloud-based platform that offers ways to view, manipulate, measure, annotate, and share “all types of 3D data” online.

Flexibility

To explain where the product came from, founder and business director Paul Snudden referred to his time with Advanced Laser Imaging Ltd.

“We knew from working with 3D data in policing and security just how powerful a tool it can be,” he said. However, he also saw that many of his clients still had difficulty making their data accessible, and an even bigger challenge making it usable for non-expert users.

A 3DUserNet project containing BLK360 data.

Snudden wanted to create a solution that makes all kinds of 3D data accessible with “no restriction on the source of the 3D data, a direct online platform with no software installation, and an easy to use toolset and and interface, which can used on any device anywhere.” In other words, he said, he wanted to “make 3D data a tool for the masses.”

To this end, he says it was important to make sure that companies could serve and share /all/ of their 3D assets with the platform, not just point clouds. “The surge in software that is enabling point clouds and models to be manipulated and merged to create new and useful solutions means that a portal that can deal with only one or the other is no longer fit for the 3D world.”

That means you can load in your .las, .laz, .ply, or .xyz point clouds and view them as matched up to your .obj, .ply, and .stl 3D models.

Access options

3DUserNet was developed with attention to accommodating different kinds of users, Snudden tells SPAR3D. It comes with a variety of licenses, including a viewer-only license, which gives users access to select projects, but no ability to change the data within. Next, there is a guest invitation option, which allows a user to view and navigate in 3D around specific saved project states. The last option enables enterprises to make their project viewable to anyone who has the URL, or to embed the project viewer in a website.

Now, and in 10 years

Though the product only launched in September, Snudden says they already have over 40 companies from a number of different industries running a free trial. That includes users from construction (senior management; digital, laser scanning, and BIM leads) as well as maintenance workers, work planners, engineers. It also includes users who want to share UAV, mobile, and terrestrial survey data.

Going forward, Snudden tells SPAR3D, 3DUserNet is looking for feedback from its customers to determine which new features will go into development.

To end our conversation, I threw Snudden the customary softball: What will your product look like in 10 years? “We anticipate having variants of the platform dedicated to different sectors,” he said, “and even for very particular uses within these sectors.”

“We want to be the product,” he continued, “that is driving the exploitation of 3D data in new and powerful ways to contribute to the digital transformation.”

For more information–and a gallery of examples–see the 3DUserNet website here.

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About Author

SPAR 3D Editor Sean Higgins produces SPAR 3D’s weekly newsletters for 3D-scanning professionals, and spar3d.com. Sean has previously worked as a technical writer, a researcher, a freelance technology writer, and an editor for various arts publications. He has degrees from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where he studied the history of sound-recording technologies. Sean is a native of Maine and lives in Portland.

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