Virtual Design Analysis Group is a division of NVentum, LLC.

This unique collaborative endeavor; to utilize the latest reality capture technology to document the artifacts, buildings and campus of History San Jose, provides opportunities for private sector, non-profits and institutions of higher education to work together to solve some of today's most pressing engineering issues. The protocol for retrofitting as-built historic facilities and the use of new technologies to preserve our most prized historic treasures are vital to the continued success and expanded influence of our museums.
This blog will document the challenges and successes of this ambitious, one of a kind project.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Documentation of the Peralta Adobe

San Jose Historic Marker #1
California Historic Marker #866
On March 21st, the representatives of FARO and NVentum, LLC. will begin the digital documentation of the Peralta Adobe in downtown San Jose. Beginning at 12 noon, the historic adobe structure will be laser scanned using FARO's state of the art 3D Focus High Speed Scanner. Immediately following the scanning of the Peralta Adobe, demo of the data will begin at 2:00pm.
San Jose's oldest structure, the Peralta Adobe was constructed in 1797 by Manuel Gonzalez. The property was eventually name for Luis Maria' Peralta, the home's most famous resident.
The Peralta Adobe is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the first site recognized as part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.

Peralta Adobe Interior
FARO representative Matt Daly will be demonstrating the company's latest laser scanning equipment, the 3D High Focus Laser Scanner. We are currently using the Leica Geosystems 6000 series scanner for our project w/History San Jose and for the most part, we've been pleased with the results. As the project begins to move into high gear, we realize the need to purchase additional equipment to meet the demands of the task ahead. Comfort and familiarity led us to immediately consider purchasing Lieca's next generation laser scanner. However, we have been hearing rave reviews about FARO's products from a variety of respected individuals in both the construction and preservation professions. After receiving a link to Blach Construction's video documenting their collaborative work with FARO at Mission Carmel, I decided it was time to talk with the folks at FARO.
The Leica dilemma is one that we struggled with for quite sometime and ultimately led to our conversations and subsequent collaboration with FARO. We have had a real love/hate relationship with the product that is hard to overcome. On the one hand, the equipment is excellent and the end product is unquestionably outstanding. The Leica 6000 series scanner NVentum uses is one of the earlier scanners on the market. Yet, this scanner is capable of capturing up to 1 million points per second, still more than many modern lasers are capable of of capturing.
On the other hand, the Leica is expensive; twice the cost of the FARO. It's bigger, heavier and after a long day of work, you really feel how heavy it is. Granted, Leica's new C5 and C10 laser scanners capture more data and have a much farther range. (FARO's 3D Focus  is designed to capture 976,000 measured points per second with a range of 120m.) For what we are going to accomplish on this project, will the added capacity and range of the Leica warrant the additional cost?

The FARO 3D Focus features self registration, touch screen display and a built-in digital camera. It's compact size gives it an advantage when transporting and when working in confined spaces. In comparison with our current Leica scanner, it's lighter, has more features and maintenance/upkeep is less expensive.
The March 21st demo at the Peralta Adobe will be my introduction to FARO equipment. While I've heard lots of good things about FARO, I know that different applications for this technology result in a variety of expectation levels and evaluation criteria. A piece of technology that a surveyor might think  is great, may be rather useless for a person in other skill trades.While I'm optimistic about the results of the Peralta Adobe project, I've learned to wait until the results are in before offering an opinion.
Peralta Adobe
California Historic Site #866
As usual, I will share the results of our scanning project with FARO on this blog. If you are interested in attending the FARO demo at the Peralta Adobe on March 21st, please RSVP to Alida Bray, Executive Director of the San Jose History Museum at 408 287-2290.

For Information on FARO, visit