Xaviate, has launched a new service which uses drones in combination with high definition cameras to create accurate 3D models.Brighton based aerial works company, Xaviate, has launched a new service which uses drones in combination with high definition cameras to create accurate 3D models.

The company says the new service is proving to be a game changer in the mapping industry, providing almost unlimited visual access to structures and landforms at angles that would be impossible to map without using a drone, which is accurate and more cost-effective than laser scanners.

To get a 3D model, Xaviate flies the drone around the subject of the model, taking one photograph every five degrees. The photographs are processed through Autocad software and turned into a 3D model which can then be used in conjunction with 3D printing technology to make a realistic physical scale model.

Xaviate is currently using the 3D mapping to plan roadways in West Sussex, with plans to aid flood risk prevention across the UK and map the construction progress of structures like the i360 tower in Brighton.

The company says it plans to increase the awareness and possibilities of using drones in the emergency services. Director of Xaviate, Andrew Rayner said: “A 3D map of a collapsed building could provide vital information regarding the remaining structural integrity of the building as well as helping to identify the cause of collapse - all this at low risk, with the potential to save lives.”

Despite the controversy surrounding public safety and privacy, Xaviate says it is confident that the drone industry will grow. Xaviate pilot, Josh Van Nes said: “The applications for UAVS, or drones as they’re commonly named, are vast and we are still figuring out new ways to use this quickly developing technology to make common processes more time efficient, and less costly. Whether it is something as simple as inspecting the guttering of a house or as complex as collecting thermal images of a crop to identify troublesome areas, with drones, both can be done in minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in months to come, seeing a drone in the sky became as common as seeing a car on the road.”

He added: “We have been refining our 3D modelling by finding the best camera settings, lenses, and photo points to create the most accurate models and we’re very happy with the quality of image we have reached.”

For more information about using drones for 3d modelling, visit: www.xaviate.co.uk.