High-tech mapping equipment used in caves

A BUNBURY based company was spending time around Margaret River last week recording the historically significant natural and manmade features of the Capes region landscape.

But they weren't just taking notes and photographs, they were using a 3D laser scanning device worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to recreate caves and the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse with microscopic detail.

Filor 3D Services are in possession of the Faro 330x, the only machine of its kind currently in Australia, which is capable of mapping an area around it 330 metres in any direction in full colour and 3D in six minutes.

Filor business development manager Callum Davies said the machine, no bigger than a briefcase, took a million points of data in every direction every second, providing an incredibly accurate representation of an area.

Filor are then able to print the scan, whether a cave or a lighthouse, as a scale 3D model.

"What we can then do with that information is to keep a record of everything we have here in WA of historical significance in greater detail than ever before," Mr Davies said.

"We can do this for heritage listed sites, for museums, or anything else in WA or the whole of Australia."

When Mr Davies spoke to the Mail he said he was in the process of stitching the imagery together to provide a perfect 3D model on the computer for researchers to access.

"The reason for the trip was to Laser scan and provide the Museum of WA and the operators of Ngilgi cave a complete 3D image of the amphitheatre that they can rotate and measure accurately to aid in research," he said.

Mr Davies said the technology would allow researchers from anywhere in the world to study any sites of significance in Australia.

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