Turn drone footage into 3D terrain models, which you can 3D print

Drone Deploy is an analytics and automation package that uses drones to create accurate 3D terrain and architectural models.

You conduct a reconnaissance overflight first, then use its imagery to specify the features you want to map. The app programs a flight-path that will capture the imagery from which the geometry can be derived, by comparing images of the same features from different angles. The 3D model is skinned with the bitmaps captured on the same flights, yielding an explorable, manipulable model.

Of course, once you have such a model, you can feed it to a slicer, create an STL, and run it through a 3D printer of your choosing.

The company highlights industrial uses of its tech: a soy grower who used models to optimize agricultural yields (a potato farmer is doing something similar) and a construction manager who uses it to stay abreast of major projects that are too far apart to visit regularly.

Drone Deploy

How to Use a Drone to Make 3D Printed Models [Ian Smith/Drone Deploy]

(Thanks, Nancy!)

Notable Replies

  1. Handy for simulators, virtual tourism, and lots and lots of other uses!
    Just add Oculus Rift class goggles.

    ...bring it on, please, bring it on!

  2. Not really sure what "Drone Deploy" is exactly, but it sounds like a paid for service of some sort for DJI drones.

    Seems like you should be able to achieve the same thing, with a bit more work using an open source mission planning software like PaparazziUAV and the open source OpenDroneMap for all the post mission imagery processing.

    And if you are looking to share your hi-res imagery via an open license for OpenStreetMap mapping, OpenAerialMap is probably the way to go.

  3. Promising, but we didn't get to see much of the 3d result. A flat field does not a good model make.
    Also, upload to their server for processing?
    Make downloadable software which I can run locally or GTFO.

  4. Two words: WAR GAMING.

  5. If I remember my algebra correctly, it's 9D^2.

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