3D Scanning

3D Modeling, 3D Printing, 3D Scanning, Rapid Prototyping

Bay Area firm leading the way in 3D printer technology

BENICIA, Calif. — 

BY: Claudine Wong

A Benicia company is getting attention across the world for its cutting edge approach to an industry that has long relied on more traditional methods.

F3 started as a land surveying company, but considers itself a leader in the field of industrial measurements.

Sean Finn, one of the company’s three founders, tells KTVU that his firm has been involved in several big projects including the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

"For example, we worked with the Bay Bridge when it was built and helped with the foundations,” he said. “And when a strip mall gets built, we tell them where all the curbs go and where all the buildings go."

But then a few years ago, F3 decided to try something new.

“Sometimes to win the game you have to change the rules a little bit," said Finn of the decision.

So the company decided to invest in a 3D printer to see how much more perspective they could give their clients.

Now they own four 3D printers, working around the clock, helping give their clients a look at their project in a way no one else can.

The response has been stronger than the company could have imagined with big name clients like Apple, Google, Shell and the Walt Disney Corporation lining up to work with F3.

Locally, F3 has also helped with the Hogan Dam and the Cal Memorial Stadium.

The projects have several layers, Finn said. Clients get traditional paper plans but then the project site gets a 3D scan.

What they get next is a 3D replica of the site. Most replicas have moveable parts so that everyone involved can take a look at the challenges in front of them in miniature.

Clients even get what F3 calls a 3D hardcopy. Those are 3D pieces that attach by magnet to the paper prints so models can be taken into the field.

On recent project Finn says those 3D models helped a refinery complete a project two days ahead of schedule and saved the refinery millions of dollars.

3D printing is not new but Finn says no one else in the world has used it like this. In fact in a recent industry conference in Las Vegas, F3 went up against 5,000 participants and companies from 30 different countries and walked away with two first place awards.

3D Scanning, 3D Modeling

Beyond 3D Scanning

The science of 3D scanning is applicable for a majority of projects going on in Northern California. An accuracy of 1/8" is generally good enough for most projects and F3 prides itself on being an industry leader in this area. However, F3 utilizes FARO's Vantage Laser Tracker when higher accuracy is required. This is the case with the project pictured below which is a tainter gate retrofit at the New Hogan Lake Dam. 

F3 was called upon to assist in the alignment of the gate trunnions for this project. The trunnions serve as the pivot point for the gate and any misalignment can cause stress in the arms. This stress can lead to steel yielding and ultimately failure. With the tracker's accuracy of 0.002", F3 is measuring the centerline of these trunnions to determine any discrepancies. When the downpours finally start, these gates will have no problem holding back the flood. 

3D Modeling, 3D Printing, 3D Scanning, BIM, Rapid Prototyping

3D Scanning Conference in Las Vegas

The F3 team had a blast in Vegas. We displayed our new "3D Hardcopies" to tremendous response and they took home 1st place in two categories. 

Our presentation was well received and as usual the attendees and Lecia staff were a blast to hang out with. F3 was fortunate enough to get a great deal of attention that lead to interviews and photo shoots. Check in for more post about this as the week goes on.......

3D Scanning, 3D Modeling

3D Scanning - Wrench Wednesday Question on LinkedIn


 It’s “Wrench Wednesday”! Our recent 3D blogging efforts ( http://f3-inc.com/blog/ ) have gained a lot of attention so we thought we would form today’s question around our 3D Blog. For today’s question, how many points were collected in the 3D scan of the historic “Gig Nana”? The 3D Data was collected at the historic Legion of Honor; Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco in the San Francisco Bay Area.  For hints and footage and follow F3 & Associates on LinkedIn and check out our 3D Blog so you can be first entry on Wednesdays.  

3D Scan of the historic Gig Nana: Data Captured at the Legion of Honor in the SF Bay Area

3D Scan of the historic Gig Nana: Data Captured at the Legion of Honor in the SF Bay Area

3D Scanning, BIM, 3D Modeling

3D Modeling - BIM-ing the Future

I would like to talk briefly about F3 and how it has come to embrace the rapid growth of BIM.   With the growth of BIM in the last few years, its benefits have become apparent in virtual design and construction (VDC) methods.  BIM has allowed for new innovative technologies to be implemented in the BIM process.  F3 has taken new technologies to effectively use them to find innovative solutions to countless challenges.  

As BIM strives to provide the most accurate information of the existing environment, 3D laser scanning perfectly complements the BIM concept by capturing the environment in point cloud form.  This has proven to be quite successful for preconstruction.  The 3D model from the point cloud serves as the foundation for adding the new design during BIM coordination meetings.  Also, F3 has the capability of providing 3D prints with our 3D printing services from our point cloud to 3D model workflow (patent pending).  This has been a successful tool for contractors and designers in planning and communicating effectively.  



Now F3 ventures into implementing augmented reality into our workflow called Augmented Industrial (patent pending).  As far as its relation to BIM, this can be the bridge in allowing the end user to use all the plans and 3D models for facility management in a seamless environment.  With the advent of wearable mobile devices, various trades can walk the existing environment and view 3D models and plans in real time whether it’s for equipment replacement or maintenance checks. 

Augmented Industrial

Augmented Industrial

There is much excitement to look forward to in the AEC industry and will update about F3 as it grows with BIM.

3D Scanning, 3D Printing, 3D Modeling, Rapid Prototyping

3D Laser Scanning - 3D Printing & Augmented Reality - SPAR 2014

I just returned from Spar 2014 in beautiful  Colorado Springs. I was fortunate enough to have two presentation slots. One was on the subject of 'augmented reality" industrial applications and the other was on the topic of combining our 3 major industrial solutions (3D Scanning - 3D Printing - Metrology or Faro Arm and Faro Laser Trackers) into one unique workflow we call Augmented Industrial. 

On the flight out I was a "pillow" for over half the flight for this complete stranger......

On the flight out I was a "pillow" for over half the flight for this complete stranger......

One of my signature presentation bowties. If you see me in one you know I am speaking that day....

One of my signature presentation bowties. If you see me in one you know I am speaking that day....

Shot taken by my friend Eric DeLeon from WHPacific

Shot taken by my friend Eric DeLeon from WHPacific

Industrial - Wharf.jpg

It is always great to see friends form around the US that are constant presences at these conferences. I always seek out Larry Klienkemper form Lanmar Services. He has a great company that specializes in BIM services and at the conference he is quite the presence. If you attended SPAR, Hexagon or Autodesk University you must look for him, he typically is in a bright green shirt and the life of the party. 

Met some new friends from Jacobs Engineering and hooked up with my old friends from Leica Geosystems. It's always great to see Geoff, Mike Jen and their crew.  We at F3 are big fans of the Leica C10 scanners and the new P20 Laser Scanner. Its nice when you can pair up a great product with great people to hang out with. 

Next up HvGN Live in Vegas!!!  http://hxgnlive.com/

See you then......



3D Scanning

3D Scanning - Augmented Reality for Industrial Applications

F3 & Associates has developed patent-pending workflows known as Augmented Industrial®.

It is not the data collected with 3D scanning and surveying that is the focus but rather what is done with the data that is most valuable. F3 believes the most significant service brought to the client is a new way of looking at – and interacting with – the 3D CAD model and scan data. The Augmented Industrial®applications offer the client new perspectives on their projects through plastic ABS printing and Augmented Reality workflows.

3D scanning only offers solutions to an accuracy of 1/8”.  By incorporating metrology equipment with the traditional surveying equipment and 3D scanning, we as an industry can provide a service which allows our clients to see their project in accuracy never before displayed.

Combining Augmented Reality with traditional surveying and 3D scanning will offer clients a virtual walk through of their projects.