October 25, 2017

Innovation and research in 3D cinema technology offer new solutions for industrial and medical applications

The possibilities for the application of 3D technologies in the medical and industrial sector are steadily growing.  Stereoscopic 3D imaging in particular is becoming increasingly important, promising to enable new solutions.

The research projects 3DInMed and M3D, supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), presented their innovative and technological developments at the 3IT Summit, which took place at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI from 23rd to 24th of October.

3DInMed: Immersive 3D Image Technologies in Industry and Medicine

The project name 3DInMed derives from the two sectors, for which it was developed: industry (In) and medicine (Med). As part of the BMWi technology program PAiCE, the research project 3DInMed has been driving the development of immersive imaging technologies, such as Virtual Reality, for use in the areas of medicine and industry.
“The 3D visualization brings great advantages for the medical sector, such as in endoscopy and microscopy. Doctors can better orient themselves via the use of the devices and thus are able to perform operations more quickly. This especially treats the patient with care”, explains Dr. Ralf Schäfer from Fraunhofer HHI, manager of the research projects 3DInMed and M3D. “Within the scope of the 3D presentation however, there is quality criteria to be met, in order to not overstrain the operating doctor. That is why we now apply intuitive to operate 3D processing techniques that were originally developed by the researchers of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute for the application in the area of films and television”, Dr. Schäfer continued.

M3D: 3D Replacement Parts for Industrial Applications

The project M3D – mobile 3D capturing and 3D printing for industrial application – is aimed at improving the work processes of ordering spare parts for specialized industrial machines. At the moment it is very expensive and time-consuming to identify, to order and to install replacement parts of a malfunctioning machine. Latest technologies of 3D reconstruction, object identification and 3D printing are used in order to provide businesses with a solution that is able to quickly capture components on a mobile device and then to automatically order the required parts.

Dr. Ralf Schäfer points out one decisive factor: “Without technologies and proceedings to provide suitable replacement parts faster and more cost-effective, there will be no successful maintenance and repair services in the industrial sector in the future. The research team develops the necessary core technology, which captures replacement parts via scan and enables reconstruction on the monitor and further identification.” This will make it possible to avoid production downtime and significantly reduce the costs for storing components and replacement parts.