3D Laser Scanning of a Japanese Mall

3D Laser Scanning brings it to you

I don’t know what you think of Japan, but when I think of it, thoughts of sushi and electronics are the first things that come to mind. Those are the two things I love about Japan. I also love the people of Japan. My roommate in college was Japanese. So what would you get if you took foods, electronics, and friends and fried them up in a wok. You’d get a shopping mall! Shopping malls have all those things and more. And if you are looking for a place where there are shopping malls in Japan, you need to go to Nagoya. Nagoya city is the city to be if you want to see underground malls. Most of us would love to see one of these shopping malls, but unfortunately most of us will never go to Japan. That is no problem, though, because 3D laser scanning services can bring it right to you.

put it in 3D

The ESCA shopping mall in Nagoya, is one of the more conveniently located shopping malls. It is located right below Nagoya Station. Dr. Eiji Nakamura of Aichi Institute of Technology has a research group that uses a Focus3D laser scanner by FARO. With this scanner they created a 3D point cloud scan of the underground mall. Working with ESCA’s Mamoru Narisawa they had the whole place scanned with the purpose of getting people more interested in coming to the mall for shopping. It was no small feat to accomplish this goal. They had five people working on the project plus Dr. Nakamura’s fellow researcher Yoshiyuki Yamamoto. Together they had to put in some really late hours. It was not a job that could have been done at any time of the day, either. In the daytime, crowds are usually big and people are walking everywhere. During those times, scanning would be impossible, so they had to work at night. The five worked together to scan the underground and even some of the above ground exit locations.

A success

The results of the project were quite successful, and there were extra benefits from the project that they had not anticipated. In addition to just the walls, floors, and ceilings, they also used 3D laser scanning services to insert 3D models of things like water, gas and electrical lines, which helped get a visual of all the behind the scene workings. It also gave them a good visual of how the underground mall lines up with what is above ground; something that cannot be done with just the naked eye. In addition to this, they will be able to accomplish their original goal of attracting people to the mall by make this available for everyone to see. 

Dr. Nakamura is probably not going to stop there with using 3D scanning services. After all, this is not the first 3D laser scanning project that he has embarked on. Starting out, Dr. Nakamura was doing facial scanning, but then quickly moved on to more larger projects like roads and buildings. Nakamura has also scanned a university and a mapping system for cars. He says that there is a lot of potential for 3D scanning. I think that he is right.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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