3D PDF Point Cloud

The Future of Document Management: Intelligent 3D Scanning

For some time now, engineers, analysts and scientists have been discussing that ever-frustrating topic of how best to manage and store the vast amount of information we now generate. The discussion around document management certainly isn’t a new one on anyone’s agenda however there are some very interesting solutions coming to the fore that promise to make it all much easier in this digital age.

Last week I attended an event at the famous Royal Institution, in London’s Piccadilly, “Digital Futures: Intelligent Scanning and Image Management”, which tackled the topic of digital preservation and document management head on – but with a different spin.

The content of the event focused on how modern organisations should be looking to deal with fast stores of critical information using intelligent scanning – a hot topic in the world of 3D at the moment.

It seems to me there are three main stages at work here:

1. Firstly, the move from paper to digital document storage which will rely on exceptionally high quality digital scanners.

2. Secondly, that managing documents in a consistent format makes sense and that the universal format should by PDF as it lends itself perfectly to universally accessible and robust storage, distribution and sharing of digital documents (especially now that PDF is an internationally agreed ISO-32000 standard by governments around the world).

3. Thirdly, as Design, Manufacturing and Engineering sectors now hold such vast amounts of information on 3D parts, architectural plans or product designs, they now need to store that information in a 3D format – which must be a consideration for new digital document management systems. Again, this is where the PDF format is the logical choice due to its ability to be stored in 3D as well as 2D.

With the new wave of 3D laser scanners available, direct capture of 3D point clouds and conversion of that data into PDF for 3D survey record keeping looks to be the emerging 4th stage – something we at PDF3D are particularly interested in. It’s going to be an exciting year for document management that’s for sure!

It will be interesting to see just how developers of new Document Management Systems respond to the new scanning technology – and how they embrace the 3D PDF format for storage in the coming months.

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