From fish farms to wind farms, subsea hardware to submarines – Viewport3 haven’t quite seen and done it all just yet, but they’re heading in that direction!
Since launching in 2017 the 3D scanning and reverse engineering specialists have firmly established their roots in subsea 3D scanning. They apply 3D photogrammetry techniques to projects completed underwater by diver or ROV, as well as above water by drone or personnel. They then process the data into 3D to produce straightforward reports and reverse-engineering outputs, which simplify and enhance inspections and clients’ retro-fit operations.
Technical Director, and co-founder, Chris Harvey said: “We call this retro-fit assistance ‘wrap-around design’, and we’ve completed twenty such projects that ensure our clients can confidently design hardware that fits first time.”
Diversification is key
The team have long known however, that their 3D photogrammetry processes offer huge added value to clients across a host of different sectors. Why? Because whether they are training divers, or working with operators and marine contractors on challenging modification projects, their MO is the same: designing and deploying a tailored capture process, culminating in precise, technical-grade results which produce geometrically reliable outputs.
Their breakthrough project in renewables came early in 2022, where an international renewable electricity provider was prevented from installing topsides by a vessel collision to their subsea jacket.
Viewport3 scanned the jacket and issued 3D data to the client’s engineering team, who were able to confirm that the damage did not affect the strength of the asset, allowing the topsides installation to continue as planned. With the lift barge hire already arranged, the speed of this response was critical.
Hands-on remote support
Viewport3 have been working with clients’ divers and ROV personnel in a remote-support configuration for several years now, enabling collection of data and submission to their remote support personnel, whereupon the data is processed, analysed and reported on.
Last year, Viewport3 hosted a divers’ training session at their HQ in Aberdeenshire. Prior to the clients’ offshore campaign, the Viewport3 team presented a breakdown of the project-specific capture process The result? Fewer personnel on site, yielding budget and carbon savings, and a highly targeted, efficient and effective photogrammetry session, which in turn produced high-quality, high-accuracy data-sets.
R&D continues apace
2022 also saw the firm continue to make strides in their R&D programme. Due to a lack of operationally flexible ‘drop’ cameras in the market which are capable of collecting high-grade digital images, they developed their own.
Co-founder and Director, Richard Drennan explains: “The camera assists in the creation of virtual 3D assets, but is equally deployable outwith 3D scanning tasks as a regular inspection camera.
“The combination of high-quality images and ease of deployment are what sets our camera apart. It is also light enough to be mated to small ROVs. Importantly for tight-access projects, the camera can also achieve full optical focal distance in a mere 50mm from its lens.”
The camera was used in a project run by Strathclyde University in Shetland, where it collected high-grade digital images from a fish farm which were then used to create virtual 3D versions of the identified hardware. More recently the camera was deployed down a well in the East Irish Sea in order to identify the type of TA cap to be removed.
Co-founder and Director, Richard Drennan concluded: “Every project we have worked on has been delivered on time, and our work has enabled millions in savings in vessel time and accelerated returns to production. Our specialist knowledge of the subsea sector, particularly in relation to what our clients require to succeed, drives us to continually develop both our technological processes and our service offerings. We look forward to a busy 2023 and once again repaying the faith placed in us by our many returning customers.”