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Matterport Camera: What is it and Why do we Use it?

By December 13, 2023No Comments3 min read

The Matterport Pro2 camera is a professional-grade 3D scanner that transforms real spaces into accurate 3D models.  The camera, paired with its software, produces high quality 3D representations of a space, allowing users to virtually walk through it at any time, from anywhere.  While Matterport was originally developed for the real estate market, it has proven to be incredibly useful in the engineering world. We spoke with Jeff Scott, a mechanical engineer at Encorus Group, about Matterport and how Encorus has utilized it.

What is Matterport useful for?

The results of a Matterport scan are useful for capturing the existing conditions in a space. This is useful down the road in a project for things like:

  • Utility tracing
  • Construction progress tracking
  • Comparison between design and as-built construction

Additionally, because everything in a space is captured, the scans are a powerful engineering reference. This has been useful for finding information like structural steel connections and process pipe routing without making additional site visits, saving the client both time and money. Another potential construction use case would be to scan a space before walls and ceilings are finished, capturing the utilities that will be concealed in the walls and ceilings. This is illustrated in one of Matterport’s showcase scans here.

The Matterport camera has been very useful as a visual aid for Encorus during client meetings. Being able to jump to a view of the area or equipment being discussed has helped us explain and coordinate design work, as well as point out potential issues that may spur future projects.

Matterport has mainly been used by Encorus on industrial projects to capture existing piping and conduit, but it has shown promise as a tool for architectural, structural, and MEP projects as well.

Some examples of projects where Encorus has utilized Matterport are:

  • Retrofit of an existing chemical plant to install a new production line
  • Replacement of control valves and upgrade of valve controls at a rubber manufacturing facility
  • Installation design for a tank farm at a manufacturing facility
  • Design to renovate a commercial kitchen and related spaces at the Montrose VA Medical Center
  • The evaluation of a sandblasting machine prior to potential upgrades

Use of the Matterport camera aided Encorus heavily in generating building drawings for the sandblaster evaluation project, and provided excellent reference for pipe routing on the valve upgrades project. The potential for travel savings were especially apparent for the valve upgrades project as potential construction problems were found while reviewing the Matterport space, and addressed during design. Had Encorus been capturing photos/sketches traditionally, this project would have likely required an additional trip to the plant in Arkansas. Encorus Group’s mechanical integrity group has also used the camera to scan the inside of tank at a fuel terminal.