For ship building laser scanning is especially interesting for the measurement of free formed surfaces such as ship's bodies as well as constructions and superstructures. The measurement of complex installations (e.g. machines and pipe work) is another area of application.
Several software packages are used in the ship building industry. A direct transfer of the point cloud to the software solution used by the customer is often not possible as the amount of data is very large.
For many applications cuts through the ship's body are sufficient. These are then imported into and worked with any common CAD system. This is a re-translation into a 2D view. Using 3D models is useful when complex installations or alterations are planned. This allows engineers to use the deformation tolerant 3D model for a more efficient planning process. The construction in modern ship building is done based on a current as-build 3D CAD model.
For the measurement of free formed surfaces the software packages for reverse engineering are best as this task often demands a conversion into NURBS (Non Uniform Rational Basis Spline) surfaces. One can also do variance analyses with these software packages. The choice of correct software thus depends on the task and the CAD system used for ship building.
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