Hawaii Volcano National Park Opened Nahuku

3D scans used to assess damage to tunnel

In 2018 one of the biggest attractions in Hawaii’s national park closed down to tourists due to safety issues. It closed for 658 days to the public and took hours of work to rebuild and restructure before the public was allowed to enter again. Engineers were able to take 3D laser scanners to pick up accurate details and create a safer tunnel for the public to go through.

How this technology works

3D laser scanners take thousands of images per second, collecting information on a scene or object. Once it is received, it is stored in the cloud forever. The data can be sent to anyone in the world in a matter of minutes. It can then be transferred to a partnering system where the objects can be edited and developed into a model.

Kilauea eruption in 2018

The explosion caused a series of earthquakes throughout the island, causing damage to this specific tunnel. It caused so much damage that the employees were forbidden to work in it. An engineer took 3D scans of this tunnel and compared them to the scans before the eruption to find out what changed and what needed to change.

They went through the tunnel to create a safer space, and to lower the possibility of anyone getting hurt. There will always be some risk in a natural tube like this. There will be many places where someone can hit their head, roots someone could trip on, and falling rocks that no one will be able to predict.

Most of the cave is still natural, but there are some signs of manmade marks in and around the cave. On the ceiling of the cave, 3D laser scanners were installed to take real-time images of the tunnel. This helps track any changes in the tube, like moving rocks. This lowers the risk of people getting hit, stuck, or crushed.

Even after the reopening of this tube, a lot of the trail is still closed off for public use due to other dangers. With the help of engineers and 3D laser scanners, hopefully, more of the path will be opened further for the public to go on.

This entire project cost $170,000, took hours of scans, and many hours spent by people investigating the safeness of the tunnel and trails connecting. After a year, it is reopened with as little risk as possible.

Who else uses this technology

This technology is no longer just for engineers but has expanded to many different fields of study. Students are using 3D laser scanners as a study aid; manufacturers are adding this to their process for making pieces. Now doctors are able to do full-body scans to detect any severe problems without being invasive.

3D laser scanning is an affordable way to create models that are exceptionally accurate as well as collect every single detail from a scene. This makes it some of the most valuable technology our world has ever seen, and it will continue to gain adoption from country to country.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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