Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 61

Established 1918
" What we did was not real
complicated, " he explains. " It was a
lot of looking at what other people
I knew in the industry were doing.
We went to a lot of Marine Fabricators
Association events, and other things,
just asking questions. "
Marine Tops has a long history of
" being very efficient and doing highquality
work, " which Van Damme
believes made the transition to digital
a little easier than it might otherwise
have been. He also says that adopting
both 2D and 3D digital processes,
while a " daunting task, " was the right
way to make the transition. He also
points to the fact that the company
has been patterning enclosures all in
one shot for decades, which helped
with the transition to 3D.
Van Damme says that his company
has approached the move to digital in a
relatively careful way. " We never wanted
to be the guinea pig " for new, unproven
products, he says. As well, he has kept
the company's cash outlay on the low
side: Marine Tops has purchased much
of the equipment and software it uses for
about $50,000-not an inconsiderable
amount, but fairly conservative as this
goes. On the other hand, the company
has yet to purchase an automated
cutting table system, the final and
most expensive part of a system.
While fabricators such as Van
Damme have taken the leap into digital,
he says it will be a while before he
comes close to mastering the intricacies.
" On some of this software, our industry
will only be using one percent, " he says.
" But by keeping close track to what we
do and documenting all the steps for the
various processes, I'll be able someday
to hand this over to someone else-and
they'll be able to do what we're learning
now, step by step. "
Van Damme doesn't claim that
his purchasing decisions are the ones
every shop should make-everybody
has their own needs, and how they
can be met should be determined
by a company's own research.
Measurements and models
There are several technologies for
measuring boats, such as wired probes,
laser pointers, laser scanners and whitelight
scanners. Van Damme uses a
point-to-point patterning system from
Prodim USA, based in Fort Pierce, Fla.,
called the Proliner, a turnkey solution
that uses a cable for measuring.
While touchless laser systems
have been growing in popularity, Van
Damme says he was worried about
their " limitations, such as difficulty
reading in sunlight ... but then again
all systems have some limitations. "
Prodim's Proliner uses a proprietary
contact-based measuring system.
" Because of this, we believe it is the
most accurate and user-friendly system
available, " says Zach Harris, Prodim's
North American area manager. " When
you are physically touching the object,
there is less room for errors, and that
leads to higher accuracy. "
PhotoModeler software, which was
Van Damme's first purchase on his
digital journey, extracts measurements
and models from photographs taken
with a camera (and almost any camera
will do). The system works for accurate
2D or 3D measurement, photodigitizing,
surveying, 3D scanning
and reality capture.
The method of measurement is
called photogrammetry, according
to Alan Walford, founder and CEO
at PhotoModeler, a Vancouver, B.C.,
Canada software maker, and can be
done even with a cell phone camera.
Each type of measurement technology
has its benefits, Walford says, but
he believes photogrammetry offers
excellent accuracy and efficiency.
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sales@robecoinc.com
www.SpecialtyFabricsReview.com 61
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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021

Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - 3
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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2021 - Cover3
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