3D print and topography: the photorealistic territorial dioramas
The collaboration between Corvallis and 3DZ
HIGH QUALITY THREE-DIMENSIONAL MODELS IN SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE: CORVALLIS, AFTER TWENTY YEARS AS A SUPPLIER AND PARTNER OF IT SERVICES, ENTERS THE WORLD OF 3D PRINTING REALIZING TOOLS FOR LAND MANAGEMENT. AND IT DOES WITH THE HELP OF 3DZ.
When you try to ask those who work in the field of 3D printing which are the most suitable applications for this technology, the answer is clear, and it is that an answer is not possible, as the additive manufacturing offers a precious contribution in the most different sectors. And indeed, it opens new paths – and therefore new business opportunities – for companies with an already consolidated know-how, willing to grow and diversify thanks to new technologies.
This is the case of Corvallis, a company that deals with Information Technology with an high added value offer addressed to banks, insurance companies, industrial and service, public administrations and that results in consulting, software integration, products, applications and outsourcing services, according to a business model designed to implement innovative solutions to support the customer. It seems a world away from that of 3D printing? But no …
The interest in 3D printing was born from the activity of offering solutions and technologies to the government and the territory knowledge, which puts forward skills that integrate traditional survey systems with innovative methods of acquisition, modeling, management, analysis, dissemination of geospatial data.
The need of the company was to create three-dimensional models of high quality and customizable by clients: from here the approach to the additive manufacturing. The first step was a workshop organised by 3DZ, 3D Systems authorized resellers, that flanks to the pure selling activity a serious divulging of the advantages that 3D printing can offer, through seminars, events and fairs attendances.
To tell the steps that marked the collaboration between Corvallis and 3DZ is Gianfranco Caufin, one of the founders of 3DZ, who has personally followed all the stages.
“After the first moment of introducing each other at the workshop, it followed a deepening: we spoke in order to assess the Corvallis’needs and to figure out how to satisfy them. The next step, the decisive one, was the test, in which we moved from words to action, checking the quality of the models and their responsiveness to the expectations of Corvallis. In practice, Corvallis wanted to understand and check in practice what, until then, was only theory. ”
These verifications have been successfully and resulted in the purchase of the ProJet 460 Plus of 3D Systems.
To explain the reason of this choice there is Luca Del Sole, a Corvallis’researcher:
“The choice of 3D Systems as a supplier for professional 3D printing was driven by a thorough analysis that recognized in the technical and performance characteristics offered by this producer the right solutions to our design purpose. A great significance to drive the choice was the possibility to have a line of printers that use nanoscale polymers for the realization of models. Indeed, this technology allows to best respond to the needs of a faithful reproduction of three-dimensional models, both as regards the accuracy of morphological details, both as regards the possibility to manage a large number of colours, and this is crucial for the reproduction of territorial models in large scale”.
The use of colors is crucial for the goals Corvallis had set, i.e. the creation of high quality three-dimensional models in architecture, urban and territorial produced in small and medium scale, ensuring a complete offer in terms of design and product customisation, according to the needs and aspirations of the client.
3D Printer ProJet 460 Plus, 3D Systems
3D print and topography: the process
Let’s look more closely at the production process: Corvallis realizes photorealistic territorial prints using Infogeo products technology, that relies on casting techniques of remote sensing images and vector data. These technologies are characterized by the use of specialized cartographic codes, intuitive and open an immediate interpretation.
The aim is the immediacy of the perception of the “places” represented, allowing to grab the attention even of non-experts. It is no coincidence that many of the dioramas application fields have as a common denominator the focus on the informational aspects.
For example, in the cultural heritage field, 3D print makes possible to experiment with new ways of experiential enjoyment of artworks, as with faithful reproductions of artefacts that can’t be otherwise manipulated due to their fragility and uniqueness; in tourism promotion may be useful to explain in a tactile and volumetric way the features of a landscape, a city plan, an amusement park, an exhibition space, a hotel or a historic building; in teaching, in many areas, to simplify the geographical learning process through the use of three-dimensional explanatory models.
And if, given the short time, there are still no concrete and accurate data that could give us a feedback on the return on investment, it is already noticeable the very positive welcome that customers give to this technology.
A trust also confirmed by the equipment expansion projects of the company, which acquired the 3D scanner Artec Eva to have a greater range of products to offer on the market.