Immel, an industrial and manufacturing engineering instructor at The Pennsylvania State University, said digital images of an object can create the large collection of points used to create a 3-D representation of existing structures. That point cloud can help generate a computer-aided design (CAD) file. With using commercial software, the dimensions within some reasonable amount of accuracy can be create and apply it in industry.
Manufacturers could use the CAD file and subsequent 3-D model to rebuild the part or 3-D print it to its original specifications, avoiding expensive and time-consuming traditional methods. The ideal application of photogrammetry in the industry setting would be to have a vision system in a manufacturing plant that included cameras fixed on the machines making the parts, taking continuous photos,” Immel said. “Live data could be sent back to an engineer or a quality control employee, and they could compare the point cloud that has been derived from the digital images to the point cloud of the original file and determine if the part is within tolerance or not.”
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