Subscribe Button 1

Mixed Reality Reinvents Portable 3D Metrology

Mixed reality display technologies are revolutionizing large-scale portable metrology tasks by providing localized visual guidance, measurement feedback, and access to inspection functionalities without burdening the hands of operators. The most recent PolyWorks mixed reality app comes equipped with robust tools for guiding 3D inspection, laser scanning, reviewing inspection results, and collaborating with colleagues. InnovMetric has harnessed powerful algorithms that fully exploit the innovative hardware and software technologies of Microsoft HoloLens devices, transforming the user experience for 3D measurement specialists.

When dealing with objects smaller than two meters, 3D measurement is typically straightforward. Operators maintain constant awareness of their position relative to what they are measuring and can easily correlate what they see on the computer screen with the corresponding location on the object. However, as the size of the measured piece increases, performance issues arise. Operators may struggle to discern their spatial position and identify a measurement target amid numerous other features. Establishing a connection between a computer display and a physical location becomes increasingly challenging. Operators may need to cover significant distances to reach the next measurement feature, and returning to the computer operating the 3D measurement software adds to task time.

With the introduction of laser trackers, customers rapidly adapted their large-scale measurement techniques. These tasks often required two operators: one performing measurements physically and the other operating measurement software on the computer to invoke functionalities and address queries. Some adaptations involved redirecting the computer screen to a larger monitor, projection screen, or blank wall to enhance visuals for operators. While these solutions were an improvement, having two operators doubled the human cost of measurement tasks, and maintaining necessary eye contact with a fixed screen while moving within a large assembly can prove challenging.

Mixed reality technology is now revolutionizing large-scale metrology, offering the benefits of projectors and remote controls without the limitations, along with several additional powerful capabilities. PolyWorks|AR provides rich visual environments with instinctual interactions that enhance the efficiency and performance of 3D measurement workflows by directly interfacing with Microsoft HoloLens smart glasses in inspection projects. Key features include:

Device Localization By Aligning Holograms: Position and orient the smart glasses in the part’s coordinate system by aligning a CAD model’s hologram with respect to a physical piece.

Efficient Management of Multiple Device Locations: Prepare multiple device locations in advance by associating them to QR codes; gazing at the QR code localizes the smart glasses instantaneously.

Intuitive Gesture Interactions: By the measurement specialists use of their hands to intuitively opens menus, configures parameters, triggers functionalities, and positions and orients 3D geometry.

Mixed Reality Pictures: Capture and store mixed reality photos taken from the operator’s point of view for documentation, analysis, or traceability purposes.

Reinvention of 3D Measurements

PolyWorks|Inspector sessions enable the superimposition of vivid holograms on measured pieces, facilitating remote interaction. This technology improves measurement performance by overlaying guidance geometry and measurement instructions on the probed piece in real-time, displaying probed points, measurement results, and digital readouts. Real-time feedback in PolyWorks|Inspector 3D Scene window enhances the quality of 3D scans, allowing users to visualize scanning progression, execute additional scanning in areas of poor data quality, and precisely identify where to scan features.

Furthermore, PolyWorks|Inspector 3D accelerates laser-tracker measurement sessions, enabling users to remotely redirect the laser beam, locate a target, or change the reflector type or probing mode using gestures. The technology also guides assembly building with holograms, displaying digital readouts, axial deviations, and guidance arrows in front of the user’s eyes while precisely positioning machine, tool, or fixture details.

For digital gauging traceability, PolyWorks|Inspector 3D automatically captures and stores photographic images showing the digital gauge, the measured piece, and the guidance hologram when measuring specific dimensions. Lastly, for efficient visualization of defects in large part measurements, PolyWorks|Inspector 3D allows superimposing 3D measurement results over large measured pieces, facilitating peer reviews or sharing the mixed reality view through Microsoft Teams.

Mixed Reality is becoming a valuable tool in large-scale manufacturing where precise portable measurements are crucial.

For more information: