Improving 3D Imaging of Turbines

Professor Arcadio Reyes Lecuona is an Associate Professor at the University of Malaga in Spain. Within the Use-It-Wisely project, he is responsible for both coordinating the technical specifications across all Use-It-Wisely Work Packages (WP) and for software development for the 3D visualisation of inspection results in steam turbines and other large, high-cost products.

In the University of Malaga, we have a team who are experts in 3D interaction. As part of Use-It-Wisely, we are developing a 3D viewer which will allow the user to visualise and disassemble complex products. In this visualisation process, collaboration and communications between inspectors, engineers and customers will improve. The disassembly of 3D models will ensure the decision making process after inspections is based on greater insight and information. This process, which at times alienates the customer, will become more engaging. In addition to the disassembly mechanism, a ‘smart transparency’ mechanism is also being developed which creates an ‘X-ray vision’ effect.

It is challenging to display the hidden parts of the turbine without losing the 3D integrity (special reference) of the turbine. Additionally, for the software to be useful to the end-user, it is important that it is user-centred in its design. This is particularly important as once the software has been tested and developed in the energy industry, it may then be applied to any other industries which develop high-cost, complex products, for example ship building. We are currently developing the concept of a ‘generic viewer’ named HOM3R (Hierarchical prOduct Model 3D vieweR) which may make this versatility a reality.

As well as our role in developing this innovative 3D visualisation software, we are responsible for coordinating the technical specifications for the whole project across all industrial clusters. It is an internal system which ensures that the project is efficient and effective and that all documentation is recorded in a similar way across all partner organisations. It also allows the European Commission to understand the entire specifications of the Use-It-Wisely project. We do this through two processes:

  1. Requirement analysis of the problem- study use cases
  2. Technical specification- definition of the solution

As the Use-It-Wisely project is in its final year, there is a pressing deadline to practically apply our novel 3D visualisation software. In the coming months, the software will undergo a demonstration which will give us a better picture of its practicality and usability in the modern day business environment.


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